In Depth

Instant Opinion: Beauty sickness ‘has laid low a generation’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Monday 28 October

Newspapers

The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Clare Foges in The Times

on the Instagram generation

The beauty sickness has laid low a generation

“The worst thing about the beauty sickness, the reason it has dug its claws into so many girls’ psyches, is that physical beauty and nudity are now linked to that irritating, much-misused word ‘empowerment’. Many a half-naked babe on social media or reality TV now claims, with a straight face, that she is flaunting herself in the name of feminism. Body confidence has been reframed as a kind of revenge on the patriarchy: ‘You controlled women for so long by reducing us to sex objects, now we’ll get our own back by... reducing ourselves to sex objects!’ The conflation of nakedness and beauty with strength and power heaps more pressure on girls. Now, if you’re not confident enough to flaunt your body then you are weak and unempowered.”

2. Peter Frankopan in the London Evening Standard

on digital dangers

Cyber crimes are the new weapons of mass destruction

“In the past, the networks that linked us together enabled and facilitated the exchange of silk, spices, ceramics and many other goods. But they also resulted in the transmission of ideas, languages and technologies. They could, and did, spread disease too, such as the plagues that devastated the world in the past, including the Black Death that may have killed half of the population of Europe alone. The more we interact, the greater the opportunities to enrich our lives, to come together, and to share but the greater the risks and threats we face.”

3. Zamzam Ibrahim in The Independent

on wooing the student vote

Boris Johnson can’t stop students from voting – the solution to Brexit is more democracy, not less

“The solution to the many crises before us, in our universities, workplaces and communities, is more democracy, not less. Boris Johnson’s repressive assault on democracy – a ruthless attack on both people and parliament – shows him to be on the wrong side of history. He is the embodiment of the putrid political class that can escape the consequences of any wilful misstep, whether it’s racism, misogyny, pathologic lies or the misuse of public money. No number of his extravagant Twitter hashtags or embarrassing Snapchat escapades will fool young people into thinking that Boris Johnson serves with our interests at heart.”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a weekly round-up of the best articles and columns from the UK and abroad, try The Week magazine. Get your first six issues for £6–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

4. John Harris in The Guardian

on the home

The housing crisis is at the heart of our national nervous breakdown

“Over the past three years, commentary about the nervous, uncertain condition of Britain has repeatedly veered into questions of ‘belonging’ and community. These things tend to be framed in terms of culture: conversations about whether liberals and leftwingers can speak to people attached to nation and place, angst about flags, understandable fears about the point at which such things blur into nastiness and bigotry. In the process, one crucial point is rather missed. If you are going to talk about whether people feel rooted, and the absolute basics of community, there is one subject that ought to command your attention: that of the basic, primal idea of home, and the fact that far too many people in this country either do not have one, or worry that the one they possess might be about to get snatched away. It is, in other words, time we talked about our national predicament – and indeed, what might be at stake in the election, whenever it arrives – by acknowledging that housing is a central issue, and always has been.”

5. Zoe Strimpel in The Daily Telegraph

on marriage

Marital infidelity is the biggest taboo of our permissive age

“Today, having sloughed off the religious aspects of marriage including its lifelong binding together of the couple on legal and moral grounds, we have bought in all the more fiercely to its personal promise. No matter how woke you are, refusing to accept nothing less than an all-singing-all-dancing total bond with your committed partner means the pain when that person lets you down is all the more devastating. Gone are the days of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ – now it’s a tell-all, feel-all culture, and all the more painful for it.”

Recommended

Is now a good time to fix your energy bills?
Woman reads utility bill
In Depth

Is now a good time to fix your energy bills?

Quiz of The Week: 18 - 24 June
Ed Davey and Richard Foord
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 18 - 24 June

Immunotherapy, unions and a house revival
Medical scan
Podcasts

Immunotherapy, unions and a house revival

The 6 January hearings: a reckoning for Donald Trump?
The US Capitol
The latest on . . .

The 6 January hearings: a reckoning for Donald Trump?

Popular articles

The Mediterranean cities preparing for a tsunami
A tsunami in 2011 in Japan
Fact file

The Mediterranean cities preparing for a tsunami

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

When is the next UK general election?
A sign directs voters to a polling station
In Depth

When is the next UK general election?

The Week Footer Banner