Car crash media

If you read my blogs on a weekly basis you’ll know that I have a passion for lifting weights, in particular powerlifting. You’ll also know that I like to give (hopefully) useful information each week to help people better themselves, train better, eat better or get stronger.

Well, this week’s blog is bit different; I want to talk about something I’m seeing more and more of all the time, something that has always struck me as damaging and something that I just can’t ignore any longer. Call it a rant, call it whatever you want.

I was doing some food shopping during the week, on my way through the store I browsed the magazine stands out of interest. I don’t know if it’s been a while since I last perused the media aisles or if there is suddenly a vast increase in the amount of magazines regurgitating the same old shite about who’s ‘piled on the pounds’ or which suedo celeb is ‘Fat, desperate and lonely’.

One particular magazine caught my attention this time round, there were a couple of celebs on the cover doing various things. One of them was Charlotte Crosby of Geordie Shore fame; she’s pictured in her bikini, clearly somewhere hot on holiday, in various poses going about her day as anyone would.

She looks okay, however the photographer has managed to capture her looking a bit sad maybe or a bit perturbed- probably because she knows someone is snooping around the bushes taking photos of her, or maybe the sun is in her eyes?- taking a pic of someone looking anything other than happy is a task that I imagine is fairly straight forward seeing as the majority of us would probably look this way if we weren’t deliberately posing for a photograph.

Now, I’m not asking you to feel sorry for someone whose entire career is based on forcing one’s self into the limelight purely for our entertainment, whether you feel sorry for her or any other celebrity for that matter is besides my point.

The tagline above this particular picture read something along these lines... “Charlotte; devastated as she battles against the bulge”. This kind of tabloid, car crash journalism (if you can call it that), in my opinion, has got to be the lowest form of “entertainment” (again, if you can call it that!). I mean talk about scrapping the bottom of the barrel, this must have been a ten to five on a Friday job! In the aforementioned picture charlotte looks relatively well, she’s fairly slim and looks fairly healthy, ok she has a tiny bit of a paunch, but who doesn’t right?

Are the staff that write, edit and create this garbage all moonlighting as models in their spare time? Or are they sitting at their desks dreaming up this nonsense, up to their ears in sweet wrappers?

There are a few things that particularly annoy me about these types of magazines; I’ll leave the most important for last...

Firstly, the same magazines that use their front pages to belittle, shame and objectify their subjects in order to entice us and our morbid curiosity to turn the pages, use the very same platform to celebrate human spirit and endeavour in the form of ‘human interest’ stories on the inside pages; you know the one’s, stories like how Jimmy Smith lost 30 stone eating nothing but baked beans. Do they think we’re stupid? Do they think that we’ll not see the irony here?

The choice of language and the intrusive, personal nature of these magazines strikes yet another chord with me, as I’m sure it does with those that fall victim to their prying. The example I used earlier is similar to another tagline I saw some time ago, it was the catalyst for writing this blog, all be it some time since I saw it. It read “Fat, Lonely and desperate for love!”

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this. Imagine walking down the magazine aisle in Tesco and seeing yourself on a magazine cover, inevitably in some unflattering, compromised position, with that tagline- how you justify writing that and calling it anything other than just plain spiteful, I don’t know.

I’m not sure I’d be able to stop myself from charging into the magazine HQ for some choice words with the editor, civil and non-threatening of course but confrontational none the less. I suppose that’s the price these people have to pay for a life in the public eye.

The last point I want to make though is slightly more serious.

What kind of a message are they sending out to vulnerable people or anyone for that matter about body image and health?Running a picture of someone on your front page, celebrity or not, who looks to be an otherwise fairly healthy weight and size and insinuating that they are ‘losing the battle with the bulge’ must be sending out a mixed, confusing and dangerous message to those who do not know better.

On top of that, ridiculing someone’s size, shape or state of emotional wellbeing for the sake of our entertainment can only be a bad thing for society as a whole, surely?

With bullying and social intolerance ever on the rise, aided not least by the increasingly easy avenues by which to berate one’s peers, not to mention the snowballing inferno that is political, religious and racial unrest sweeping across the globe, do we not think that sending messages such as these, messages of criticism and of ridicule is going someway to fuelling that fire?

Maybe that’s over the top, maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion, maybe I’m missing the point or perhaps it just offends me that I have to first walk past these magazines in order to get to the ones I like reading, who knows?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this one people, please leave your comments- nothing nasty though, I’m a sensitive soul!


Go lift stuff,