Your letters and emails.
I enjoyed Aleks Krotoski’s new column in the October issue (327). But it’s not only social media that is to blame for the lack of self-esteem among women. I’ve long been infuriated by the way that almost every actress playing a role on TV has to be ‘physically perfect’ (unless, of course, they’re playing someone stupid or nasty or a servant, for example). Even if the programme is about a real-life woman from history, you can be sure that the actress playing her will be stunning, no matter what the real woman actually looked like.
If you look at male actors, however, there’s a whole different attitude. There are weird-looking, old, wrinkly and sometimes downright ugly men in all sorts of roles in films and on TV, and quite often they are the ones who ‘get the girl’ (who is inevitably young and beautiful, of course).
To see what I mean you need look no further than the latest reincarnation of Doctor Who. The men who have starred in the title role have been of all ages and were not all conventionally attractive. But, you’ve guessed it, the new female Doctor is young and as near perfect as you can get. What a surprise.
It’s no wonder so many women have such low selfesteem. I look forward to the day when women aren’t valued only for their looks but I have a feeling I’m in for a long wait.
Elizabeth Wallace, Bognor Regis
I think, sadly, you may be right. There’s certainly more progress to be made in terms of on-screen diversity but the first female Doctor is a step in the right direction, at the very least.
– Daniel Bennett, editor