The gossip rages

Sometimes I go a bit off-topic for a rant. But ranting is my topic, soooo…. just roll with it!

OMG! A man! Now we can be whole again!

One of the things I have completely given up in my #LondonPoverty is a good ol’ gossip rag. But when I was handed one by a co-worker today and perused it on my way home, I realised that I’d given them up for real, not just as a common comfort, but ideologically, because it made me RAGEY.

I had a phase as a stupid teenager imagining myself a journalist for one of the girly mags: Dolly, Girlfriend, Cosmopolitan. I guess I saw how simple their copy was and thought ‘I could write that when I grow up!’ The writers seemed to live such glamorous but accesible lives, existing in the celebrity-zone, but reaching out to us plebeians to show us how it was done, illuminating the illusion.

I could have grown up to write such titillating pieces that include such relevant how-to, fuck-me tips as:

Be Like Him
Hang Around… A Lot!
Now Disappear
Ask for his help
Be confident too
Laugh
Feed him grapes
Love him

And finally… love yourself: “This is both the first and the last step in getting a guy to fall for you.”

If you think this drivel is so detrimental to womankind that even a man couldn’t have come up with it, please do NOT check out Cosmopolitan, where I drew this step-by-step guide from.

You will literally want to harm people. Like, seriously, how are there all these how-to-blow-jobs guides and no how-to-rid-the-world-of-stupid guides? Of course, this inanity abides in the same home where “Rihanna works red hot lips in London” and “Causes of Cory Monteith’s death revealed” live side by side as clearly equivalent to the current spectrum of human appreciation.

Granted, stupid is and stupid does and stupid sells.

But at the same time, aren’t ‘we’ responsible for what we put out in the world, and aren’t ‘we’ responsible for what we pay or click to consume? I just searched ‘cosmo sex tips 2013’ for this blog, and FUCK ME I feel a lot dirtier and cheaper than any sex I could ever have could ever make me feel.

I’d rather be alone forever than pay [whatever amount] for a magazine to tell me that the only way a man will every love me is if I tickle his blue balls with a dove’s feather while I scream at him in a foreign language (one geared to enhance the anxiety) and pour hot asian chilli in his mouth while rare clawed miniature turtles crawl over his belly, nipping him gently in his tender parts, until he recalls all of his awkward teenage boners and excises the memory of Mrs Matheson, his year 8 maths teacher, the one with the big boobs and droopy earrings, and calls out for ‘Mummy’ until Freud rolls over in his grave.

Let’s not forget that before, during, and after, I must treat him as I assume all men will treat me, with disdain and contempt and a hefty dose of ‘daddy knows best’.

Feminism gone wild, you say? It’s not that. Feminism has nothing to do with ‘being’ men, nor hating men. It has nothing to do with taking the worst parts of any gender and exacting them against the other.

I don’t think most readers of gendered magazines have any idea what they’re really consuming. Or I just hope that’s true. If they did, would they still buy it? Perhaps naively and perhaps idiotically, I assume that eyes could be opened faster than new franchises, minds opened more often than shoe boxes. Of course I’m probably stupid for thinking this, for assuming education could ever convince women that they’re worth more than this trash.

The magazine I was given today was a cheapest of the cheap drivel mag, and I knew that going in. I also knew I had not a dime to spare, which meant that the whole reading experience was much shortened by skipping the fashion and shopping pages, which aren’t really aimed at me anyway. I also don’t know who most of these UK reality *stars* are, so I don’t care anything for their life updates.

It seems, therefore, that the most significant blocks between myself and a trashy mag are:

a) I don’t have money to spare to buy you
b) Assuming that I acquire you otherwise, I don’t have money to spare on your advertisers
c) I’m a critical thinker, so I read all articles assuming that your sources are bullshit and therefore derive little informative/entertainment value from them
d) I’m an English student who once aspired to journalism (be it as a ten year old) so I cry inside when I read your writing
e) I’m a foreigner and I don’t know half the people you’re talking about (not your fault of course that I’m a foreigner, but seriously, your celebs are rubbish f-listers)
f) You put the trash in trashy.

I’ve not even mentioned the bikini bods. Some of them are SUPAFINE. Some of them are outside of societal norms. Some of the ones I think are SUPAFINE are the ones outside of societal norms, and I’m very very 100% sure that I’m not the only one who thinks this.  I also feel weird looking at them ALL (supafine or not) since they clearly didn’t consent to their pictures being taken.

I would not look good in a bikini, and I would not like any pictures of me [never gonna happen] bikini-wearing to be posted online. I look at other people in bikinis and I wonder how they feel about that, and no matter what their body type, I bet a lot of them feel the same way.

The ever-fluctuating Nicole Richie was on the cover of the bitch-rag I read today, which applauded her skinny-with-tits-bod. How must it be for a woman who has had well-documented issues with food and weight to be congratulated for upholding the ‘correct’ appearance for a Hollywood star? How must it be for those who have followed her as a role model with the hope of recovery?

These are all issues that many people are talking about at the mo, people smarter and wider reaching than me, and I’m just sharing my bitch-pinions.

Okay, so I’m not saying anything new, but I just wanted to say it to you.

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2 thoughts on “The gossip rages

  1. Le Clown

    Shapelle,
    Has anyone told you about the “Fat Shaming” week we’re having on The Outlier Collective?
    Le Clown

    Reply
    1. shapelle Post author

      Absolutely! I think I follow almost everyone posting on that so far, and that’s perhaps the reason why a simple gesture of an offloaded-mag struck me to the point of raging out on WordPress. Solidarity!

      Reply

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