Linda Colling: Mixed up values

Little Mix: Photographer Simon Harris

Little Mix: Photographer Simon Harris

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SO, mega money for Little Mix.

The X Factor sensations are all set to earn a sensational £8million.

And good luck to them. But what a pathetic performance people make of themselves these days. I cringed at the very sight of their fans crying and carrying on even before these four lasses had won.

As they arrived in style in a limo in South Shields they were mobbed by the kind of hysteria and adulation once reserved for mega stars.

Now you just have to have your face on the telly and you are one. That’s how shallow people are.

Hopefully these lasses will make it as proper pop stars. Once you would have truly had to make your mark before being given celebrity status, but now people’s thinking is so skewed you are one if you appear on reality TV shows.

“The biggest girl band in the UK by a mile,” said Louis Walsh. Well, while wishing them well, they may well be forgotten by next Christmas. And the 10,000 chanting Little Mix at Wembley Arena will doubtless be chanting for some other nobody aiming to be somebody.

The sky’s the limit for the girls now. Hopefully they will live up to the fanatical support of their fans which is as transient as fame these days.

They have achieved what drives so many, even the totally talentless who dream of making a name for themselves. Simon Cowell plans to make the girl band global superstars. They are a marketeer’s dream with a string of offers including haircare products, clothing manufacturers, beauty firms and corporate gigs earning £50,000 a time.

Now they’re being primed for the big time as big as the Spice Girls, if not bigger. They’re not phenomenal singers, are a mix of shapes and sizes, but now every wannabe girl band will want to look just like them. A right mix-up.

Another mix-up in the papers was the airbrushing out of a two-year-old girl’s birthmark by a photographer. Her mother, Nikki Allan, was rightly incensed that the purple birth mark that runs from Omnee’s top lip to her cheek had been airbrushed out.

Mrs Allan, a 30-year-old retail merchandiser said: “We live in a world which has all manner of pressures to conform to and look perfect and for someone to decide that a two-year-old isn’t pretty enough because she has a birthmark on her face is scandalous.”

But photographer Luke Joyce said he would not dream of altering a child’s photo for cosmetic reasons and Omnee’s picture had been altered because of a mix-up with reference numbers.

What there is no getting away from is how picture perfect so many want to be. While the camera may never lie, the fact is the images we see aren’t necessarily what was photographed in reality.

Photoshopping is par for the course if you want to lose imperfections and pretend you look better than you do in real life. So many are so obsessed with the way they look, you can no longer be sure that what you see is what you get.