Friday, 30 April 2010

Who ya callin' Mumsy!?

I was watching the new M&S food ad the other night, semi-comatose on the sofa, when it came to my attention that they'd ditched the 'let's sex up the food' idea for a 'let's play happy families' theme.

I'd got quite used to the old ads - "this isn't just food, this is M&S food" - breathed in an uber sexy way by Ballykissangel's Assumpta and I'd even overcome my annoyance at the fabulous Dervla Kirwan making everyone drool over the food, being married to the equally delicious Rupert Penry Jones and having had the opportunity to wear a fabulous red dress and be mean to the David Tennant version of Dr Who.

Then the new ads appeared. The lovely Caroline Quentin and her jars of Percy Pig sweets ("just because") and M&S food in a whirl of fabulous family summer fun.

"I wonder why they've chosen her," I mused to Brian, who was sitting on my left, equally comatose. (The children were finally in bed, we were finally collapsed.)

He yawned. "I suppose because she's a bit mumsy," he said, rubbing his eyes.
"MUMSY?" I shrieked. "Mumsy? You mean fat."

Brian was wide awake then, alert to the fact that he'd just accidentally driven this conversation into a stone wall at high speed.

"No, not fat, just a mumsy type," he said, hurriedly trying to find reverse to back out of impending carnage, blood, gore and quite possibly fatalities.

"Am I...?" I began, ready to bop him on the nose, but he got his brain into gear first.

"You're not mumsy at all, no way, of course not, no," he said. Collision averted. I don't bop him on the nose.

Hmmm. I hate words like 'mumsy' because it does imply someone of cuddlier proportions, a bit frumpy perhaps. Dervla, mother of two, isn't the least bit mumsy, Caroline, presumably mother of some, is. Caroline seems nice, friendly and warm. Her M&S food is wholesome and healthy, sunny and companionable, sociable and fun. Dervla's was all boudoir dark; food dressed in stockings and suspenders.

Mumsy is, like 'busy mum', red rag to a bull where I'm concerned. Horrid pejorative terms. Why are mums ALWAYS busy? Why do (in advertisement land) 'good' mums have to be slightly cuddly? Note the 'slightly' because the media loves nothing better than demonising obese mums and you should never trust a skinny cook.

Then there's Nigella, who is no thin stick by any description, but neither is she 'mumsy'. I'll bet she's a 'busy mum' though. All that rushing about cooking, writing books and being gorgeous.

Me? I like to think I'm somewhere in the middle. Or perhaps somewhere else completely different. Another planet, perhaps, but definitely not 'mumsy'.

Now, what's for tea tonight? Oh yes, it's not food, it's M&S food (dine in for a tenner). I like M&S.


  1. Nope, definitely not mumsy, Mags!

  2. I always wanted to deck midwives and health visitors when they asked me " And how is mum today?" Ha! Thank goodness we dont have M & S adverts ( we don't have M & S for that matter )

  3. Better to be mumsy than bumsy, perhaps?

  4. No you are not 'mumsy' - I probably am but you are definitely not

  5. But Caroline Quenting with all that wit and intelligence "mumsy"? Yes, he definitely meant a bit fat as there is no other way in which the word could possibly fit. Glad he had the nous to retreat. Haven't met you yet but suspect you are not mumsy, in any way at all.

  6. That's a new word for me - hmmmm, now wondering how and when to use it.
    I wonder if I can find the ads on youtube to see what it is that got you going.


I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.