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Sarah Vine: The Apprentice winner 2013

July 19th 2013 / Sarah Vine Google+ Sarah Vine / 2 comments


Alan Sugar's new business partner is beautiful, smart and soon to be very successful. Sarah Vine explains why she's broken all the rules

Not having followed this latest series of the Apprentice with much interest, I'm not really qualified to say whether Leah Totton, the 25-year old doctor from Londonderry, was the right choice for Wednesday night's winner. But she was certainly the most interesting.

On the surface, it's her intention to open a chain of Botox clinics and launch her own line of skincare that's got the feminists rattling our cage doors. But really, if we're honest, that's not what's upsetting everyone. It's the fact that she's so damn smiley and pouty and all-round drop-dead gorgeous. She is the living embodiment of the character that Reese Witherspoon played so entertainingly in one of my favourite movies, Legally Blonde: a beauty with brains.

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That kind of thing's all right as far as it goes in the context of a Hollywood movie; but in reality TV? Wholly unacceptable.

The rule is really very simple: being bright and a babe just isn't on. That's not how it works. Clever girls don't have enormous blue eyes, candy floss hair and pert derrieres. They have monobrows, thick specs, wear frumpy jumpers - and think Space NK is something to do with the Russian satellite defence system.

Any woman who dares challenge this stereotype immediately finds herself the object of at best derision, at worst outright loathing. And what makes it even sadder is the fact that often those dishing the dirt are women - and worse still, they're doing it in the name of feminism.

Not, I suspect, that any of this will bother Totton unduly. She's a smorgasbord of cultural contradictions with a side order of sod the lot of you. So stick that in your bra and burn it.

Join the conversation

  • Sally
  • March 8th 2014

It's a shame that Sarah Vine didn't consider her opinions in this article when she wrote about Jane Proctor last week. I don't know Jane Proctor but she is also blonde and very pretty. I wonder if the problem is working for a gutter publication like the Mail - or perhaps Sarah Vine is truly a nasty piece of work?

  • penelope
  • July 20th 2013

The only thing that sticks in my mind about Leah is that she spent most her training time to be a doctor (paid for at great expense by the great british public) looking for the profit opportunity. Not a character I would entrust myself to.

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