Friday, 2 January 2015

A Letter to the Editors & Publishers of Celebrity Mags

Its been a while since I've written a long and rant like post on here. This one isn't about fashion as such, but perhaps the other part of the fashion writing and literature industry - and that is journalism. I've had a few things on my mind as of late, and thought I'd write them here.

For as long as about a third of my life, I have wanted to be a fashion writer. I wanted to write about fashion in magazines, or on blogs, newspapers - I didn't care, I just wanted to write about the subject I love. The feeling I get when I look through fashion magazines alone has not left me. However, standing at the magazine stands at the grocery store or corner shop is not quite as exciting anymore. In fact, I find it energy zapping and demoralising just standing there. Why, you may ask. 

In this day and age, celebrities are more exposed then ever before - the growth of social networks such as Twitter and Instagram means that celebrities can put themselves out there at the click of the button. Because of this, trolls and online bullies are able to anonymously write rude, negative and upsetting comments in a few seconds. This is a sad and worrying prospect that is often broadcasted on the news and published in the papers, ect, but people seem to forget the real trolls are their very own specie. 

Magazines such as OK!, Closer, Heat, and others alike, are running a rich and prosperous journalism empire from tearing people apart. This, I realise is a big and broad statement to put out there, but I would not have said it if I didn't personally and honestly think that was what is going on here. Lets have a look: 

Here is a spread from a copy of Star magazine, a US magazine. The headline reads, ''55 Best & Worst BEACH BODIES". Its part of their annual 'beach bodies' series and they bring it out regularly.  On the first page, we have various women celebrities enjoying a beach walk or swim on a regular day. These people, such as Rihanna and Kendall Jenner have been crowned with the 'best beach bodies'. Although I commend them on their seemingly healthy and slim physiques, this isn't what bothers me. The second spread shows some of the 'middle of the road' beach bodies. Here, we have Kelly Preston, aged 52, mother of three, actress and model. They write next to her photo, ''Wonder what Kelly is hiding under that black swimsuit?". There is also Barbra Streisand, 71, and Amy Roloff, 50 who suffers from a sort of dwarfism called Achondroplasia. Therefore, here they have 3 (and more) mothers, one with a physical disability, who all have extremely successful careers in their sect, and they are targeted, photographed on a casual trip to the beach, and then published into a magazine, judged purely on how they look in a swimsuit? And that isn't even the next page that down right humiliates the people photographed.  

So there has been a problem circulating about body image for a while now. With the rise of illness' such as bulimia and anorexic, are you surprised? Magazines, like the ones I have mentioned, will feature you in the magazine if you are too 'skinny', they will also feature you in the magazine if you are slim and pretty, and of course, they will feature you if you are too 'fat'. Ultimately, the 'too skinny' will want to be slim and pretty, and the 'too fat' will want to be 'slim and pretty'. When talking about peoples bodies, there will never be a positive effect to the readers. Why? Because I don't believe that we should comment at all. Whatever size, weight, high, ethnicity, gender, I don't care - commenting on peoples bodies publicly has detrimental effects for all involved. 

A J.K Rowling quote once got be thinking, ''Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.'' 

By stating this, I am not saying 'these people who are being ridiculed should not feel offended, because being labelled 'overweight' is not the end of the world. No! They should 100% not have to put up with it!

I would like to add that I have never been clinically overweight. I have always been in the average weight for someone my age, gender and height. I am not sitting here trying to make myself feel better about my insecurities, I am sitting here feeling overwhelmed by my frustration by the plain desperation of today's magazines. 

Just while we are on the subject, I am not trying to promote obesity. Hell no. I don't think being overweight is a good lifestyle choice. I think everyone can agree with that! I think society should be promoting healthy people, if anything. But commenting, posting, reading directly about a individual persons weight, size or looks is wrong - and it is very sad to see that is the only content some magazines can come up with!

Unfortunately, it's not just peoples looks they are attacking. Cheryl Cole, long term X Factor and member of UK girl band Girls Aloud, experienced a sad and unpleasant relationship break down after her husband cheated on her with 7 different women. Her husband was unloyal, and that, my friend, is a good enough reason to feel miserable. 

While suffering this, magazines pasted their covers with pictures of her, trying to move on with her life, with words like ''..she sobs''. 

It's hard enough to move on from a divorce enough, let alone with papers, photographers, and headlines implying weakness and distraught.

They call in 'gossip', I call it slander*.

*which is a criminal offence, may I add

With social issues aside, the sheer lack of creativity and decent and interesting literature and stories in these magazines makes me ashamed to even be interested in journalism at all. We live in a world with amazing new sciences that are changing lives and there is so much happening; and they are instead, ripping people to shreds. 

With that all now said, I would love to hear your opinions on this wide and diverse subject. Do you think commenting needlessly on peoples lives are wrong? Do you think magazines like this need to be pulled? Comment below! 

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