First, there was football. Then there came Big Brother. And sometime after that there was Nuts magazine, widely available free pornography and myriad style and makeover shows. Finally, feeling like a both a tacky hybrid and a perfect solution to all of the above, came the WAGs: the football babes, merging these disparate minority interests into one single phenomenon: pretty girls, somehow linked to football, wandering around in bikinis and occasionally being catty about one another. It’s a marvel nobody thought of it earlier.Which is not to say that, in their purest form, WAGs are a new invention.On the contrary, former Arsenal stopper Bob Wilson is said to have taken a wife and rumours persist about George Best.
But the marketing of them as a sassy brand in their own right was certainly unprecedented, and walked us down a questionable path. Questions like ‘is this still how we view women?’ and ‘can you forward that on to me, mate?’ Questions, oddly enough, which drew the same exact response: ‘only if you’re Bluetooth can get a signal in here’.
As everybody knows – unless they are trying, in the vein of people feigning an inability to decipher text speak, a little too hard to be aloof and ‘out of touch’ – WAG means Wives and Girlfriends, but also operates comfortably as a singular, raising the exciting prospect of the wife of a footballer cheating on him with another footballer and, in the process, becoming four nouns in one, which seems excessive, even given the nature of their work. But then, Jermain Defoe always did love a challenge.