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Credit: Getty Images/iStock

“Hey. Heyyy. Stop running away from me.” His words smear into each other like glue. “Heyyy!” I hear the rhythmic slap of his trainers on the path. Thwack. Thwack. Thwack. Thwack. The wind intermittently traps his syllables as it gusts through Wizard of Oz fig trees. “He…yyy”.

Birdlike, I snap my head around. There are flashes of primary colours: red, yellow. A dash of green and black. A clown outfit? It was October 12 — surely too early for a Halloween party?

Lamp posts shadows track my progress like ominous racetrack markers as I pummel ahead, my breath and gait now straggling. …

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Credit: Edith Zimmerman/me

Edith Zimmerman makes me feel good because she feels bad. If someone at the pinnacle of a millennial female writerly career can be so self-loathing, we’re all definitely allowed to be, too.

With a staff writer gig at The Cut, a baby model face, and side hustles as an illustrator and comics editor, she seems to have a version of a perfect life — only, she doesn’t think so.

As an on-paper unsuccessful writer, it is comforting to know that Edith and I somehow share struggles: Low self-esteem. Existential dread. An unfulfilled maternal drive coupled with a biological clock countdown.

She writes pieces with headlines like ‘The Woman Who Convinced Me That Bad Things Are Actually Good’, ‘A Spiteful Guide To Self Improvement’, and, most recently, ‘I Will Blast Myself With Cold Water If It Helps Me Enjoy Life More’, suggesting her shit is not nearly together. …

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What would pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais have made of Mandy Moore? Specifically, her reference to perhaps his most famous painting, Ophelia, in her latest music video?

Moore, in a plunging red chiffon ballgown, floats in a pool, the camera lingering on her from above. She waves her arms like a waterlogged fairy as she lip synchs to her latest tune, When I Wasn’t Watching.

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Ophelia did this too — well, the floating bit at least. Perhaps Moore doesn’t realise that Millais depicted the Hamlet heroine drowned.

Moore is hardly the first one to make this demi-faux pas. Fashion, for instance, has co-opted Ophelia for decades, whether it be JLaw and Dakota Johnson flogging various designer perfumes (Johnson in a particularly on the nose, Ophelia-referencing way), or a reality TV celebrity exposing her breasts in a stylised ‘fashion’ shoot last year. …


Loren Smith

Lawyer turned reporter turned rep. Fiction writer in progress.

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