Edition 144

This week, a royal mystery – how can they be making such a mess of this? Whirlpool helps men clean up their dating game. Is age going the way of gender, with the lines blurring in a new cultural shift? And the reality of fear – a study shows stark differences in how men and women experience public spaces.


The princess is missing! From the public eye at least, and the internet is awash with theories of the whereabouts of Kate Middleton.

Kate’s last public appearance was on Christmas Day last year, prior to a “planned abdominal surgery”, and she has been recovering at home ever since, or so we’re told. But after several cancelled public engagements people began to wonder – where is Kate Middleton?

Internet sleuths got to work and gave us multiple theories on her whereabouts. Our favourite is that she cut her own bangs and is in hiding until they grow out. That takes two months, in case you wondered.

Despite the memes and the gossip, the wider world didn’t pay much attention, until a photo issued by the official Prince and Princess of Wales X  account on Mother’s Day raised more questions than it was designed to answer.

Many were quick to notice the absence of a wedding ring. Then, on closer inspection, it became obvious that the photo is littered with photoshop fails. It’s so bad that the Associated Press issued a kill notice, specifically noting that the image had been heavily manipulated.

From a PR perspective, it’s a disaster. From a personal perspective – pass us the tinfoil hats, because we’re all in.

How old am I again?

An excellent Dazed article has pointed to another emerging cultural shift –  ‘No one knows how old they’re supposed to be anymore.’ Women in their thirties have bows in their hair (the horror!), while Gen Alpha is treating their near-perfect skin to the sort of intensive care that previous generations didn’t resort to until their crow’s feet reached their ears.

Despite all the usual hand-wringing – “dress your age!”, “you’re too young for those products” – the fact remains that another significant cultural shift is underway, with age possibly going the same way as gender, with the lines becoming blurred. 

We will watch, through age-inappropriate horn-rimmed glasses, with interest.

He scrubs up well

 Photo: Whirlpool

Whirlpool is doing more than your dirty laundry this year. The appliance manufacturer is cleaning up the dating pool by rinsing out men who think it’s still a good look to post sweaty gym pics on their profiles.

In its latest Care Profile campaign, Whirlpool in the US partnered with seven bachelors to help them on their quest for love – updating their dating profiles to show them as functional humans doing basic household chores. Out went the shirtless gym pics. In came the shirt-washing pic. Gone were the photos of them showing off their cars. In its place, proof that they can operate a washing machine. Now that’s modest and attractive!

The campaign really shows how, in the quest for love, the key is to be mature, modest and, most importantly of all, not a total d**k.

The reality of fear

Image: Brigham Young University

In the realm of public safety, a study from Brigham Young University sheds light on a critical aspect of women’s daily experiences—the constant vigilance required due to fear of harassment or assault.   

Their study examined men and women in a number of locations at night, tracking their eye movements and the focus of their attention. The resulting heat map vividly illustrates how fear in public spaces is much greater for women. It’s a clear demonstration of a glaring inequality in the lived experience of men and women.

While the study doesn’t offer practical solutions, it can clearly serve as a valuable tool and a call-to-action in shaping strategies for safer communities. 

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