Tag Archives: sam webb

“Phwoar! Schoolgirls in short skirts!” says stain remover

Never one to shy away from the big issues, the Daily Mail recently ran a shocking exposé on the migrating hemline of the British schoolgirl:

From mini to micro: Schoolgirls’ skirts are shorter than ever at an average of six inches above the knee… and two thirds of parents say they don’t argue about hemline height

Schoolgirls’ skirts are shorter than ever, according to a national survey of 1,500 mothers.

Hemlines have crept up three inches in the last five years and are now six inches above the knee on average, compared with three inches in 2008.

Schools have become more relaxed about skirt lengths, and so have mothers, according to research.

Source: Daily Mail, 25th September 2013

Of course, when I say they’re never one to shy away from the big issues, I specifically mean the big issues that allow them to print photographs of celebrity schoolgirls and hint at nascent sexuality in a way that would be creepy if done by a middle aged stranger on public transport but apparently is entirely legitimate practice for a national newspaper.

Is this story true? Broadly, probably – but I’m fairly confident the stat that hemlines have raised by three inches in the last 5 years is almost entirely fabricated. I’d love to see the data (the research methodology I mean – I’m not proposing I get sent on a fact-finding mission to perv on the hemlines of underage girls. I don’t work for the Daily Mail, after all).

As the story, makes clear, the figures come not from a year-on-year measuring of trends, but on an opinion poll carried out amongst mothers. Even if it were the result of two opinion polls – one in 2008, and one recently – we’d have a slightly more reliable result. Instead, the article details only the length mothers think their daughter’s school skirts used to be.

Of course it’s worth asking for a moment – of the mothers of rebellious teen girls in 2013, how many had rebellious teen girls of a similar age in 2008? Or are we asking mothers of 16-year-old girls to guess at the skirt length of 16-year-olds five years ago? Or, worse, to recall the length of the skirts their daughters wore at the age of 11? 

Still, all of this commentary is secondary to the real purpose of the article – to promote the company who paid for the ‘research’:

‘The popular school mini-skirt is fast becoming the school micro-skirt,’ said Susan Fermor, a spokesman for Dr Beckmann, which conducted the research.

‘School uniform tends to follow fashion to a degree but seems much slower to catch up than other forms of clothes. But short school skirts never seem to go out of style.

‘Schoolgirls don’t seem to the rules stop them – they just hitch up their waistband once they leave home in the morning

For those not aware, Dr Beckmann is the name of a brand of stain remover. If that doesn’t tip you over the edge of creepy, I don’t know what will.

“Women have lots of make-up!” say make-up retailers

Have you ever noticed that women have a lot of make-up? The Daily Mail has. Frequently. For instance:

That’s a lot of lippy! Women spend £172 to fill average make-up bag

A make-up bag can be among a woman’s most precious belongings.

So perhaps it is no surprise that the average value of its contents is a rather expensive £172.

A survey of more than 2,000 customers of beauty retailer Escentual.com found that a make-up bag and contents were often the single most expensive item that many women took out of the house with them.

Source: Daily Mail, 17 January 2013


Who were the company who figured out that women spend a lot of money on make-up? That would be make-up retailer Ecsentual, who make money from women spending a lot on make-up.

Such startling and mascara-heavy-eye-opening findings isn’t Ecsentual’s first foray into hard-core research – in fact just a week earlier their crack team of researchers discovered that women keep the make-up they buy until they’ve used it up:

Is YOUR eyeshadow a breeding ground for bacteria? Women keep make-up for six YEARS after expiry date – leaving them at risk of infection

A new survey reveals British women keep hold of their make-up products for six years after they go off – behaviour that could potentially be a ticking health time bomb.

Many Brits are holding onto their make-up treasures much longer than the use-by date, exposing them to toxins and bacteria, which lead to unnecessary breakouts and risk of eye infections.

Eyeshadow was revealed as the item that spends the longest time languishing at the bottom of make-up bags, with women keeping hold of them for seven years – nearly six years too long.

Source: Daily Mail, 9 January 2013


The real tragedy to Ecsentual’s research is that it comes just too late for the poor hapless male, who may have been tempted to venture into the make-up market just weeks before these remarkable findings came out, in buying their partners gifts for Christmas.

‘Of course it’s what I wanted dear’: Women will throw away £676million of unwanted Christmas and birthday beauty gifts
– On average, British women will bin £26 of unwanted beauty gifts
– Total wasted money of spurned presents adds up to £676million
– ’Always check it’s her brand’ says firm that did the research

Nine out of ten British women will receive beauty products from loved ones this Christmas – but a jaw-dropping £676million worth will never be used, according to a poll.

The average British woman will throw away two Christmas beauty gifts, worth an average of £26, according to new research by teeth-whitening brand Blanx.

Source: Daily Mail, 2 January 2013


If only British men had the advice of cosmetics firm Blanx before Christmas, just imagine how many comsetic products could have been spared the January bins! Think of the lipsticks, oh God won’t someone please think of the lipsticks!