How dare Kate Garraway - herself an 'older mum' - front such a smug and shocking campaign as First Response's Get Britain Fertile?
The TV presenter was made up to look like a heavily pregnant older mum to warn mums-to-be to 'make informed choices early so there is no chance of sleepwalking into infertility'.
Women who want babies do not need to be reminded about their biological clocks. The question of fertility is omnipresent, constantly tick, ticking in the back of your mind.
It makes you a master of mental arithmetic when you hear of an 'older' woman conceiving: ooh, she is *counts on fingers* eight years older than me - maybe I still have a chance.
It makes you analyse endlessly and consider the what ifs. It makes you regret lost chances. It leaves you fearful, fretful and often frantic. But, all the while you hear of the likes of Halle Berry and Caprice – oh, and Kate Garraway – all women in their 40s getting pregnant – you still have hope.
That hope fades a little when you open a national newspaper and are confronted with a grotesque image of an old woman cradling her pregnant tummy. Not even an older woman, but a monstrous, almost Dickensian likeness of old age; unkempt hair, lined, fragile, damaged skin, hands riddled with liver spots.
But even more shocking is that a woman like Kate Garraway has allowed herself to be cast as this vile character. This is not a representation of an older mum; this is a freak-show creation. This image is of a woman so elderly her eyes are without life, her skin sporting the mottled appearance of a corpse.
This is not what women in their 40s look like. This is not what Tina Malone, pregnant at 50, looks like. Take away the bump and focus only on the aged skin, the dead eyes, the thinning grey hair and what you are left with is a representation of a woman nearing the end of her life.
First Response claim their campaign is to highlight fertility and to encourage women to take notice of their biological clock and to have their babies earlier. How frightfully helpful of them. And how very innovative to use a TV presenter disguised as a pensioner to do so...
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