Ironically, I am doing tonight’s write-up while I watch Death Becomes Her. It’s a little perfect, isn’t it?
Before we get into the best and the worst of typical January issues focusing on diets, a whole new you, and wardrobe make-over’s, let’s look at the newest additions to the rundown – Teen Magazines Dolly and Girlfriend. Both fare quite well, and it is fantastic to see that neither cover focuses on diet – just the usual culprits. Girlfriend features the lovely Nina Dobrev on its cover – who has – in my opinion – one of the most gorgeous, healthy looking bodies on the screen at the moment. Her left arm seems to have been digitally altered quite significantly however, to breakingly tiny – unimpressed. Girlfriends focus is essentially on celebrity, friendship, style,and beauty. It is worrying that teen magazines are pushing this appearance focused agenda so early on, and it would be great to see something other than boys, beauty and fashion on the cover – but we may be reaching for the stars. Dolly goes one step further with its annual Model search (formerly won by Jessica Hart and Miranda Kerr), and manages to suggest in just the cover alone that it’s the opinion/ validation of men that is most important! Congrats Dolly. Remember when you used to do features on STIs? Yeaaaaah. Me too.
This week’s best cover is awarded to Vogue (Australia). The cover is simple. It does focus on the usual culprits for a fashion magazine – beauty and wardrobe, but I am intrigued by the cover story “Yes Women – Learning to just say maybe”. Considering picking it up to see if it is worthwhile =).
Next in line is TV Week, which almost rocked the perfect cover! Let’s remember TV Week is primarily a TV guide, with some gossip. The cover features two actresses from an Aussie TV show proclaiming love for their gorgeous bodies. It would be better if this DIDN’T happen to coincide with the premier of the newest Biggest Loser, and Excess Baggage. Furthermore the tag line “curvy and we love it” followed by “…embracing their healthy bodies” suggests that women with the Ruler body type (an ectomorph) are not healthy, and not worth embracing – and this is a practice I am becoming rather tired of. The adulation of one body type over another is just damaging, as it makes women who don’t fit the projected ideal feel inadequate. It makes me think of this image-
OK! ties with TV Week, though on the basis I have not read the cover story, as it focuses on celebrity “Baby Buzz”. Unfortunately, we all know that baby rumours tend to be started by a celebrity embracing a stomach or wearing a baggy top. Grazia also ties, with their cover focused on fashion, career, and celeb gossip – though one has to wonder if the word DIET was really appropriate – even if it is in reference to your wardrobe… poor move Grazia. It really is a fantastic way to make sure we don’t forget we are meant to spend at least January dieting our arses off to fit whatever ideal female body is in fashion this week.
New Idea and In Style both ring in the New Year with “New Year New You” stories – just in time to capitalise on all those lose weight resolutions, and feed off the guilt the media caused over the holidays – telling us we should indulge, but if we did indulge we would put on at least a gram and that would be BAD! In Style offers “slim down secrets”, as well as wardrobe, hair, and “Celebrity Style” make overs! Whereas New Idea promises that with their meal and diet plan, you can “lose 4 Kgs in 2 weeks! ” – heads up New Idea – Woman’s Day promises 5 Kgs in the same amount of time. Woman’s Day continues the diet focus, with a feature on their slim and win finalists – I guess they ran a competition? How novel. All three magazines are working very hard to make sure we all know we should be monitoring and fixing ourselves and losing weight and not indulging because fat is bad remember! (Although, let’s not detract from what I am sure is incredible work done by the women in the Woman’s Day story. Congrats guys, I hope you are all happy and healthy! and it should be noted the main story is a TV chef having a kid).
I am sure NO-ONE is surprised by the three losers – with Famous taking the trophy for the WORST cover of the week. But, first the runners up. NW features “Bikini Body Secrets”. Now, I mentioned on Tumblr that I found it hard to believe that Rihanna would be strutting around Malibu in a bikini in Winter, and I was assured that some days it is around 80 degrees, or 27 degrees celcius. So, OK… I guess….maybe a bikini!.Of course the assertion of the story is if you don’t HAVE a bikini body, you better start working your arse off for it now because you are indeed inferior. First Runners Up goes to Who magazine for their disgusting cover drawing attention to small frames on some celebs and insinuating that they are starving, with the tagline “Shock New Bodies – Scary Skinny”. Whether they are or not, it is not the magazines place to splash it all over front covers in order to try to boost circulation, as it is a very very personal struggle. Furthermore, who do they think they are making assumptions and spreading gossip? I won’t be passing judgment here, as it is clear thin shaming and skinny bashing which I will not be a part of. These women can’t win. If they put on weight, they are too fat or pregnant or binge eating from stress. If they lose weight or appear “too thin” –a judgement passed by the media – then they are “too stressed to eat” or “starving for fame! “ 5 years ago, these women would have been celebrated for their current figures. They just cannot win! These sorts of covers encourage thin shaming, and encourage women to judge others. On popular website Mamamia today, a post was featured with the Katya Zarkhova images featured in yesterdays post on this blog, and a commentor stated “that bigger girl looks beautiful and normal and the thin one looks horrible. How can she be labeled “normal”???? “. Horribly insulting to any naturally thin women reading that comment. *shakes head*. Again, Thin Shaming. This Has Got To Stop.
Famous – “Rocking or shocking – Stars show off their new bikini bodies . Have they gone too far? “., “Plus the 2012 body survey – how do you compare? “. “Breast Revenge – Cam gets a boob job”.
*taps fingers* Do I even need to bother deconstructing this shit? Comparing women’s bodies to each other. Anorexia accusations. Comparing yourself to other women. Celebrities POSSIBLY having had plastic surgery for their own personal reasons which are none of our goddamn business – and let’s remember, this is all just conjecture. Cam could be wearing the worlds most awesome bikini. Congrats Famous to having the most heinous cover of the week. You really outdid yourself.
I am working on a grading system for magazines – a full on criteria (think high school style!) to make these posts even better!
What do you think? Which magazine cover is the worst?? Did I nail it???