This may be our Health & Beauty issue, but I would like to use it as a chance to argue that there can be something very unhealthy about the beautiful people of St Andrews…
Big Brother is watching you, or rather that man in the corner is, the one with the giant camera welded to his face. Quickly, suck your stomach in and look as if you are enjoying yourself. As the camera bulb flashes, you are captured with an animated, enchanted expression. Just moments earlier, you had the dead eyes symptomatic of someone forced to listen to the grand saga of acquiring a house on Market Street.
A regular event, it seems as if each event in St Andrews has a team of paparazzi just waiting to document your evening. The next day, the photos crop up on every website remotely related to St Andrews night life, as well as their respective social media outlets.
Please, just make it stop. At least the celebrities photographed tumbling out of clubs in The Daily Mail and The National Enquirer have actually done something to earn their notoriety, even if it is just make a sex tape. Hardly any of us have made our mark in life yet and those of outstanding natural beauty are rare, too (though usually Scandinavian and already in possession of a modelling contract). I suppose the peppering of princes amongst us might be photographed on their own merit, if the society pages are willing to hide out in the seal enclosure to get a photo of them in Catch.
These cases aside, it seems sad that we need the simulated adulation of a non-existent audience. The only people actually seeking these photos out are those who were snapped under the strobe lights a few hours beforehand.
Well, there is them and anyone who needs a good laugh. The photographers’ subjects pose with the demented vanity previously only exhibited by Gloria Swanson in the finale scene of Sunset Boulevard. That poor boy with the camera is not Mr DeMille, and you are certainly not ready for your close-up.
The dancing has followed suit; bouncers stand by nervously, presumably debating whether the girl with a haystack for head hair is having convulsions or just trying to booty shake. Add these two elements together and we have a dance floor panorama that might be on a museum wall in years to come as a companion piece to Gin Lane.
It is untrue to say that these images don’t appear in The Saint occasionally, too. However, I am not arguing against the publication of these pictures. Instead, I want to contend that the real problem is us. Websites are only going to display what keeps the hits rolling in, after all. We need to care a little less about being seen, and a little more about what we are actually doing. This is especially true when so many St Andrews nights blend into one; the same pounding music heard by the same ears amid the same smell of spilt alcopop. Sadly, these are things that the flash of the camera can never quite capture.