Grazia and our glossy women candidates

The glossy Grazia magazine has added a political twist to its latest issue by featuring six aspiring female parliamentarians from Conservative and Labour and five alluring Liberal Democrats. Of course, they are all glamorous and impeccable dressed for their photo-shoot, and risk exposing themselves to being judged for their appearance rather than their abilities. I expect they are tough enough to handle these jibes, that it is nothing compared to the tough skin and stamina required to be an MP.

I am pleased to see my Cambridge friend, psychiatrist Dr Michelle Tempest, Tory parliamentary candidate for North West Durham, included in the Tory batch, declaring: “It will take the next generation of female MPs to change things – we need to keep plugging the message: I’m around for policy and that is all.”

I was also intrigued by the quote from Kemi Adegoke, who is standing in Dulwich & West London and describes her defining political experience as getting slapped int he face by an extreme left-winger who couldn’t accept that black women could be Conservative.

From left to right, the Tory candidates are Kemi Adegoke (Dulwich & West London), Keely Huxtable (Birmingham Northfield), Joanne Cash (Westminster North),  Tracey Crough (Chatham & Ayylesford), Hannah Foster (Exeter) and Michelle Tempest (NOrth West Durham).

Here is Labour’s line-up, described in Grazia as looking “more like Berlusconi Beauties than Blair Babes – glossy and glamourous, implausibly youthful, with several sporting the sort of eyeashes usually reserved for a Maybelline mascara commercial”. What’s wrong with showing off your best features? They were all elected from all-women shortlists, but Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree) has had a negative response about this.

“I would have liked to have won in an open contest. People have said I didn’t deserve to win,” she bemoans.

Is this going to result in a two-tier political system for women in parliament?

The Labour line-up includes, from left to right, Luciana Berger, (Liverpool Wavertree), Rachel Reeves (Leeds West),  Lucy Powell (Manchester Withingon),  Maryam Khan (Bury North), Emily Oldknow (East Midlands), and Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South).

The Liberal Democrats were disappointingly one short, but impressed Grazia nonetheless and they were described as “women you really can relate to”; all consider themselves feminists, and oppose all-women shortlists.

Amy Kitcher (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney) reminds Grazia readers: “There’s a shooting gallery in the House of Commons, but no childcare facilities”.

They are from left, Daisy Cooper (Suffolk Coastal), Amy Kitcher (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney), Naomi Smith (London and Westminster),  Aqila Choudhry (Leeds North East) and Sarah Green (Arfon).


  1. It’s a shame these women agreed to this – people care about their policies, not their looks

  2. Hi Ellee.. I don’t see the point of them going into the magazine. I did read the link that you have from the paper.. one of them is quoted as saying “its not about being glamorous or pretty, its about our abilities” why do this then. The Lib dem women consider themselves feminists which I am not..!

    It is the same with the interviews by David Camerons wife and Gordon Brown’s… what difference does it make what they say.. about them at home.. it is what they do for the country that counts. Men all change outside the home !!

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