Jayne Dawson: A change is coming – we’re all a bit tired of being natural

HOME DONE: We've had enough of Kirstie Allsopp's handcrafted style.
HOME DONE: We've had enough of Kirstie Allsopp's handcrafted style.
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Despite the fact that Bake Off is still alive, even if in another place, I am beginning to think we might have reached the end of our Natural is Best years.

You know, that attitude that homemade, homespun, handcrafted is best. The Mary Berry meets Kirstie Allsopp phase that we have been living through for some time now.

There is evidence, here and there, in and amongst, that times are changing, and I believe that is a great thing.

For evidence, I offer you first the Royal College of Midwives. Until recently this professional body campaigned for natural birth It was disapproving of caesarean births, and of medical interventions including epidurals, inductions and forceps, unless vital.

But last month it dropped its opposition on the grounds that it doesn't want women who have these medical aids thinking they have failed.

Well thanks, Royal College of Midwives, that’s big of you. I never could understand why, given the potential pain, horror and death risk of giving birth, you were quite so set on women doing it the traditional way.

I don’t know that I would have wanted to be knocked out at the first contraction and woken in the hairdressers once it was all over, but I see no merit in doggedly pursuing a style of birth that has finished off millions of women and babies over the course of history.

But it’s not just in this area of birth that the Natural is Best movement is declining. Food is seeing a shift in attitude too. Organic is a bit old hat now.

I would say it’s currently perfectly fine to admit to eating food produced with the help of chemicals – you know, those chemicals that make the mass production of cheap food possible. In any case, we'll be glad of those chemicals once we have left the EU and food has become so expensive we will take it any way it can be grown.

And takeaways are fine now too. Your Friday night pizza might once have marked you out as feckless but not it just makes you a smart user of your own time.

Natural bodies are way out of fashion too. You really don’t see them any more. There are few amongst us who are not pierced or tattooed somewhere. There are groups of people out there – sportsmen mainly – who look like ancient warriors so beautifully decorative is their skin. They are certainly not as nature intended. Cosmetic surgery is not the shameful business it once was either, with people casually passing on details of their hair transplant or nose job.

And, more than ever, we love technology. It might have been Harold Wilson, a prime minister of the 1960s, who spoke of “the white heat of technology” but our passion burns even brighter more than 50 years on. Back then even our food was space age – I speak of the powdered wonder that is Angel Delight. Now, we want more than Angel Delight, we want all that technology can give us: longer life, better life, the secrets of the universe, and all available on a phone app. There’s nothing natural about that.

And it isn’t necessarily a selling point anymore, to declare that a beauty product is all-natural. Increasingly, we like our products full of science. This seems wise to me. If I spend money on a moisturiser I want the full weight of molecular science behind it.

And, best of all, prejudices over what makes us male and female are disappearing. We are accepting that people can be any version of biology and gender that they want to be, and that it doesn’t really matter. It isn’t the most important thing about them.

So I’m ready to enjoy the new science-led phase I’m pretty sure is heading our way. I’m a bit tired of Kirstie’s homemade lifestyle anyway. It’s too hard. All that sewing and glueing. I think the 1960s had it right, the newly-invented, the factory-made can be exciting, I'm just not totally convinced by Angel Delight any more.

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