Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Why we can do better than "Closer"

Every single mum I know buys Closer magazine, in moments of weakness I buy it too; then I am disappointed. I try to enjoy the look of the magazine but the colours look like Barbie's dream house, neon pinks and orange is punctuated with blues and greens, why? The layout should have a migraine warning, it's messy and chaotic, no tasteful colours anchor the look. Pastel colours mix with brights in perfect disharmony. I may be a cash poor single mum but I aspire to look good, up to date not cheap and cheerful, I would like a magazine that did the same not a Barbie car crash. The pictures are not great there is almost as much female flesh on show as a lads mag. These pictures are aimed to sell the magazine and don't care how they do it; this must be how there is a small picture of a 26 stone glamour model, like rubbernecking at a disaster, I have to look but don't know why. We can fast our eyes on some nudists and the latest episode of the Lindsy Lohan hyper reality show with Lindsy looking nasty. The main pictures are for celebs, it's the usual gossip fodder, Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud (when was the last time you heard her sing) "in love", Jordan talking about her toyboy and Peaches Geldof looking skinny and pregnant. The icing on the cake is "CBBs Gillian" wearing very little and being shocked she looks sexy at 57, wow, I thought we all turned into toothless, wrinkled old hags at 40.

As you delve into the magazine things get worse, delve is the word when you see a story of a woman who is having a baby by her own father; now this is alright for a juicy read but too many stories like this just leave a nasty taste in my mouth, I don’t need to know. The magazine as a whole has a teenage, immature body obsession, naked bodies on cover, from skinny to freakishly obese to encouraging women to obsess over our own bodies in "Closer diets". Some is good advice, advice on health is welcome but there is proof magazines body obsessions do harm, these magazines, "In terms of body image, the media bombards the young girls’ minds with images of skinny models. This makes them feel that if they are a few pounds heavier than these images on the magazine then they are unacceptable to the society." Mothers and daughters may share these magazines and share the pain they are not as slim as Peaches Geldof or beat themselves up over the odd bag of chips. Diet advice should not come with trash about bodies.

The woman with the 26 stone body is interviewed. As if we didn’t know the article points out becoming 26 stone is bad for your health. There is a moral tone to the article, it’s littered with "she boasts" and "shockingly", it tells the reader what to think. Personally I find the tone patronising, I know getting to 26 stone is bad for your health and I am already shocked. You could argue that this is "fun", we all like the bizarre and being a single mum can turn your mind to mush, after helping with homework, cleaning the house and a mind bending day at work who wants to read anything taxing? I don’t think these stories are harmless fun, I believe this is part of objectification of women; treating women as objects and not people with thoughts, intelligence and feelings. By showing this woman as an object readers look at this woman as an object, they can laugh at her and declare, hurry, I’m not that fat, this behaviour is a short term happy buzz but like a cheap bar of chocolate makes us feel a bit guilty and sick later.

Closer has lots to say about single mums, this addition was free of them but last Christmas they reported on a single mum who was very generous with her kids for Christmas, in fact she spent 2 000 pound on them. Again Closer speaks about this in it’s usual moral tone, the headline says "Merry Christmas Tax Payers". As a single mum I have never spent this much cash on my kids, nor has any other single mum I know, thus girl is either borrowing money or has great money managing skills. Single mums can scoff over this girl and gossip but how about looking at how to make Christmas cheaper for the rest of us who have to break it to their kids Father Chirstmas might no be too generous this Christmas.

In Barbie car crash colours we hear about Barbie car crash lives. We can hear about Danii Minouge and her love life, the Kardashian’s and the queen of the plastic women, Jordon and her love life. This is all a light hearted read but there are so many celeb magazines out there, just go to your local newsagents and the covers are interchangeable.

These magazines sell, is it because it’s all that’s there, is everyone who reads them interested? I imagine the zombies like me after a cheap treat.Maybe it’s even time our weekly treat got political and a little bit rebellious. Lives for singlneg mums are about to get harder, the BBC website pointed out "Save the Children says its research suggests 150,000 women could lose up o £68 a week when the new universal credit takes effect next year." There are other people who feel the same, I asked if anyone hated women’s magazines on my Twitter feed and "Sister Trinity" said "Because they brainwash girls/women to buy into patriarchal & corporate interests, destroy themselves, spend money, waste time." Nasty, bitchy, intelligent and true.



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