The magazines this week were… a little on the light side actually. It’s making my job easy. I wonder if the magazines are on to me? =D. There was a little on the Oscars gowns, some speculation over Jennifer Aniston being pregnant, and a focus on weight. Overall however, it was one of the more positive weeks this year!
A – Magazine cover has no mention of Beauty, weight, or appearance.
TV Week and New Idea are both flawless this week, with TV Week focusing on Television plotlines (as it should!), and New Idea concentrates on some more Royal gossip, and lots of weddings and babies. Joining them is a surprising addition – Famous. Famous essentially centres on celebrity relationship speculation and gossip. There is a little Male objectification, and a bad picture of Posh, but no mention of beauty, weight, or appearance. Famous also weighs in on speculation that Rihanna and Chris Brown have re-united, reminding the public that Brown has a history of Abuse, and questioning the alleged move. It’s a surprising and positive shift for Famous, and it’s fantastic to see a tabloid magazine questioning this relationship – even though the actual status of said relationship is questionable. Very encouraging Famous. Keep up the good work. Read more at the New York Times.
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.
Harpers Bazaar. Taylor Swift features on this cover, which essentially focuses on fashion, accessories and fame… and Super Skin & How to get it. Sounds like the promise of results there HB…
Woman’s Day. FINALLY! Mel B‘s Victory. I’ve lost 15kg. How I got my Spice Girl body back in record time. Complete with a before and after! Honestly, Kudos to Mel B for shedding the weight she was clearly uncomfortable with. I look forward to not having to put up with her ads on TV anymore, and the continued assertion that losing weight is the most important thing in the world after you have had children. Let’s remember that she lost her weight on a diet programme which provides meals and exercise routines for you. Many of these programmes fail in the long run (right, Kirstie Alley?), as they simply replace, rather than actively teaching. This enables the diet companies to continue to make money, because honestly… if the programmes worked, there wouldn’t be such an issue with weight in the developed world, would there? Woman’s Day doesn’t disappoint with adding a Pavlova perfection every time! tagline – to accompany a feature on making a pav, one would assume. Nothing says weight loss special than a dessert whose primary ingredients are refined sugar, and thickened cream. Because, you and I both know that eating that –especially after seeing it on Mel Bs triumphant cover – will only elicit feelings of guilt and self loathing. Which is practically illegal when one inhales a slice of pavlova.
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.
OK! Despite largely focusing on the Oscars – which apparently was all about the fights – OK! also manages to pull up an image of Jennifer Aniston and insinuate from said image that she is pregnant. To be fair, in this particular image, she appears bloated – which could be the dress, the angle, or being snapped just after lunch. It’s that horrible assumption isn’t it? If you have a bit of a belly, you must be pregnant? Because if she comes out and says she isn’t pregnant, then the fat rumours will start. We can’t ignore that Jen is currently a 40 year old woman who is childless, which in today’s world is somehow more shocking than it should be. Whether or not Jen wants kids is her own business, and the media constantly asserting that she is pregnant, or wants kids, simply sends the message that it is fine to badger women about having children their so called biological clock, and that being childless is somehow abnormal. Disgusting OK!
Back to the Oscars for two seconds though, from looking at the cover of OK! one could assume that the Academy Awards were a female dominated event, characterised by fighting, and feuds. When in reality, only two women won any awards… in the female categories. Congratulations to them, but it is clear the Academy has a long way to go. Midnight in Paris over Bridesmaids? PLEASE!
NW on the other hand doesn’t even touch the Oscars, focusing instead on Rihanna and Chris Brown, Nicole Ritchie, and more speculation on Jennifer Aniston’s uterus. THANKFULLY, NW also engages in a little backhanded shaming with Megan’s Back To Foxy. She’s gained 5kg. Apparently Megan Fox’s abs weren’t foxy? I am not really sure how they know she gained five kg’s, and muscle weighs more than fat. In all honesty, she probably weighed more in her ripped picture, than in the one next to it. I don’t like this idea that a fit and fierce body isn’t foxy. Who determines this? Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes – as demonstrated by Ms. Fox in both these images… and honestly? I think they are both pretty damn foxy for their own reasons.
Who takes us back to the Oscars with Angelina’s killer frock (and leg), 40 pages of Oscar Secrets, and all the rest of the gowns, gossip, and meltdowns – apparently. The cover focuses on appearances rather than achievements. For the record, Meryl Streep took home the Best Actress for The Iron Lady, with Octavia Spencer taking home best supporting actress for her role in The Help. Who also takes a stab at Lindsay’s Freaky New Face, comparing a then and now image which seems to prove nothing other than a change of hair colour, a rounder face, and more makeup. This focus on female appearance is continued on the cover with another feature on Mel B, who says Look At Me Now! Disgustingly, this is placed next to a picture of Uma Thurman who has just announced her pregnancy with her third child. The media really wants to drive that Don’t Be A Fat Mum message home, don’t they? Let’s be honest. This was a purposefully done by the editor, to make a very specific link.
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.
Grazia. Oh good god. Grazia have been working hard to try to pull out controversial covers I think. Perhaps they have seen my wee blog and decided they need to earn the Worst Cover of the Week nod (sorry Grazia, you might get an E, but Who will win this week). Featuring a full length image of model and style icon Alexa Chung, Grazia runs the tagline What the Fash Pack Really Eat. OMG Alexa!. Ummmm. Well, sadly, you would have to assume that the assertion here is that they don’t eat much. Alexa is quite a thin woman, and has allegedly said before that her hectic schedule keeps her thin, as well as the fact she often forgets to eat. Sadly, that does send a rather negative message, and I do question whether Alexa actually said this, or if the words were put in her mouth. I worry about a so-called fashion magazine that runs stories about what fashion icons eat. The reason I worry is because one can see impressionable women seeking to emulate that kind of behaviour. It asserts that the only way to be fashionable is to be thin, and the simple fact is that simply isn’t true. Dissapointed Grazia.
For the record, Alexa is 5ft8, a US size 2 (Australian 8), and her measurements are 32, 24.5, 36.
Best Cover –TV Week – doing what they do best.
Worst Cover – Who. Really? Mel B next to Uma?? *shakes head*
Honourable Mention – Famous. Its not perfect, but it was a GRAND effort. Good job Famous!
Did I nail it? What do you think??