This week, the media seems pretty much pre-occupied with bashing Angelina Jolie and delighting in both Kim Kardashian and Demi Moore’s downfalls. It makes for pretty ugly gossip magazine viewing. Hard to believe a year ago, I had NO IDEA who the Kardashians were…. Honestly, it is a really really really sad week for magazine covers – and there isn’t a lot of talking points, so really this week it is a straight run down without any of that awesome academic stuff I can usually get in there.
A – Magazine cover has no mention of Beauty, weight, or appearance.
Vogue – A flawless cover featuring model Karlie Kloss and specifically devoted to what Vogue does best – Fashion and Trends. The design is simple and minimal. Congrats Vogue.
B – Magazine cover makes mention of Beauty Routines, and Fashion articles for maximising ones appearance – No shaming or promises of results.
C – Magazine cover prominently mentions Diet/ Health with no hard promises or time frames, Features weight loss stories, Features stories about Beauty Routines which promise results, Features stories on Slimming/ Sexy clothing, Focus on obtaining a particular type of desirable body. Magazine cover focuses on dressing for the male gaze.
New Idea – Aussie Mums Tell, Our Boob Implant Hell – it’s not groundbreaking.. Not really shaming, but it does make comment on appearance- and from the tagline, one would assume that the article isn’t really going to present an unbiased look at breast implants so it could inadvertently shame women WITH implants. Kudos on the human interest story though that doesn’t celebrate plastic surgery – not that there is anything wrong with women (or men) choosing to have it done on their own merits, and not because they feel they have to, to keep a job or be more attractive. It takes up minimal space on a cover which is dedicated to gossip mongering, but I couldn’t justify it as a B – no matter how hard I tried.
TV Week – Australia’s Premier TV guide features a story on K-Fed AKA Kevin Federline AKA that guy who married Britney Spears and knocked her up and divorced her and had a bunch of other kids and got fat and zzzzzz. So, he has been recruited by Channel 9 show Excess Baggage – which I still haven’t been able to bring myself to watch I am sorry! –to help some ‘everyday’ aussie lose weight, and he is going to tell us why he is risking his life. I am sorry if I sound Blasé at this… but… I just have nothing. Perhaps this will be an interesting and inspiring weight loss story… I really want it to be, but the cynic in me says that this is just to promote ratings…
Woman’s Day – OOOH, contentious. The cover per se is flawless – focused more on the news of Nicole Kidman’s daughter’s engagement, and rumour mongering; but then there is the comment on Shiloh Jolie-Pitts new boyish look. There is a lot of talk about biological determinism at the moment – much of it because of the new lego toys (gendered polly pocket looking things. I don’t know), and the media seems to be taking umbrage with young Shiloh being a bit of a tom boy. This isn’t anything new. Any whisper of gender neutral parenting in the media stirs up a firestorm for some unknown reason. Yet, when Suri Cruise walks out in high heels it’s a bad thing as well… I’m confused… how are celebrities SUPPOSED to dress their girls? Are these young girls not allowed to express their personality? Kudos to Jolie and Pitt for allowing their daughter to be comfortable and true to herself.
D – Magazine cover actively promotes diets which promise fast results. Actively promotes Exercise for specific results. Actively assumes worth is determined by Male Gaze. Actively promotes youth for an audience over the age of 21. Actively promotes drastic beauty routines. Slight shaming tendencies.
No Ds again!
E – Magazine cover actively shames celebrity/ media personalities’ appearance. Actively promotes unhealthy diets/ unhealthy weight loss/celebrity diet tips. Actively engages in fat/ thin/ age shaming. Shaming dominates the page.
Famous – Demi in Rehab – Substance Abuse and Anorexia – This was a tough one on a magazine where it certainly wasn’t the dominant story and the entire cover seemed to be dedicated to celebrity tragedy… But still, speculating over a celebrity HAVING an eating disorder based on their weight is disgusting, and Famous should be ashamed of themselves – and that’s without touching anything else on that cover.
NW – Ange, I know I’m too Thin! (waist of a 7 year old!!). *headdesk* And so here is some Angelina Jolie bashing. Tabloid magazines take a certain delight in throwing the anorexia tag at her – and certainly have done in the last few weeks. It’s incredibly triggering to those members of the community who HAVE a disorder, and honestly, the best thing I have heard this week is that Brad and Ange have a block on their names on their computer so the kids cant Google them. I am honestly sick to death of talking about the claims thrown at Ms. Jolie – and even if she HAS an ED, it is a private matter which isn’t made any easier by constant and intense media speculation. Kim and Demi also feature!
Grazia – This was a tough one, and honestly, had Grazia not paired the HUGE tagline [WEIGHT RACE!] Oscars Danger Diets – just 4 weeks to shrink to size 0 with a picture of Angelina Jolie, they probably could have avoided the E. But they didn’t. They joined a cacophony of other magazines featuring Ms. Jolie at the moment alongside accusations of anorexia– except, this time they insinuate that Ange isn’t skinny enough!!! Which is it Tabloid Press?? I see a lot of eating disordered people becoming VERY triggered – not to mention those who exist in a constant state of media induced body shame.
Who – Drugs Starvation and Dangerous Partying. Must be another story on the embattled Demi Moore! It gets a ¾ page spread, and even better has a comparison photo of Demi’s face – the first supposedly in 2010, and the other now – featuring Demi who has pursed her lips – probably upset with another camera in her face. Eurgh. I honestly cannot face palm any more this week.
OK! – SOLD FAIL. Look, the entire cover is devoted to stars bodies – Anorexia slams against Angelina and Demi (just in case all the other magazines forgot to cover it). Jesinta someones body secrets – her body is a stark contrast to the chosen photos of Demi and Angelina’s, so I am not quite sure what body secrets she is passing on, but I am assuming its health related. And JUST so we don’t leave the new mums out – Mel Bs Post Baby Body! (You know – the one from the Australian Jenny Craig commercials I showed last week). Anorexia slams? Check. Guilt over not having a healthy body like Jesinta Someone? Check. Pressure on new mums to regain their pre baby body? Check. Good Job OK!
Best – Vogue – No contest here
Worst – OK!
Honourable mention – *checks under fingernails whilst whistling…*
What did you think?? Did I get it wrong?