Heat, kids and body image

My name is MumofThree and I am a Heat reader. Seriously, I am. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

I love Heat magazine. It’s funny and the writing is tight. It writes about all celebrities from A to Z – and it doesn’t lick their arses. It’s no OK with beautiful homes and stunning engagement rings. It pokes gentle fun at celebrities – whether the A list turning up two hours late for an interview, with a 200-strong entourage and giving the interviewer five minutes – or the Z list and their endless ‘body battles’.

The ‘body battles’ are like a screensaver for my brain. I’ve never watched TOWIE and never wish to (I don’t watch much telly at all), but I know everything about them and their body battles. And Jordan and hers. And Kerry Katona and hers.

One week they are embracing their ‘sexy curves’. The next they are sobbing because they can’t lose weight and are big, blubbery size 12s. The next week they are having surgery – bums, boobs, lipo. They are going to boot camp. Then they are too thin and are saying ‘Oh I wish I wasn’t so thin, I’m not proud of it, but I’m just eating half an apple a day and look at me with my tiny hips in these skimpy shorts.’ And then they put on some weight. But they don’t mind. Because they have ‘sexy curves’. And so it goes round again…

I like it because I can inwardly scream at them and their stupidity. It doesn’t matter if you are fat or thin! If you are so bothered – why don’t you eat less? Why don’t you drink less? Why don’t you do some exercise? Why don’t you just flipping well accept yourself for a size 12, size 14, whatever and just get on with your life?

It is all crap. But do teenagers realise it’s crap? Do my own children realise it’s crap?

My eldest reads my Heat. Just like I used to read my mum’s magazine when I was his age. But it was the Woman. In the 1980s. There weren’t body battles then. There weren’t boob jobs and lipo and bum lifts. If you were thin you were size 10, if you were fat you were size 16. There were no size 4s and no size 24s.

What does he think and what will my daughter think in a few years when she reads this stuff? Oh, I wish I could be a size 6 like Lydia on TOWIE. I just have to starve myself and have plastic surgery. Oh, Gemma on TOWIE loves her size 20 body, oh, she’s a 14 now, oh look, she’s a 20 again, she wasn’t happy being a 14. Look how fat Lauren from TOWIE is. Look at her, she’s a 12, she’s so unhappy, she needs to be an 8.

How confusing is that to a tween or teen brain?

So do I give up the little bit of pleasure I get from my Heat habit to keep them from this crap? But I can’t keep them from it, can I? Because it’s all over the internet and any other magazine I, they, or their friends choose to read.

So I might as well just keep going. It makes me happy and it’s not going to harm them any more than anything else they might come across. What do you think? Am I right?

Heat kids and body image, Heat magazine, Body image, Parenting

Author: Sarah Mummy

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10 Comments

  1. You and I are so similar it’s scary! I don’t read Heat anymore but I uses to and like you I accepted that it was crap and I enjoyed it for what it was! I stopped because it seemed like a lot of money when I could get most of the stuff on the net and then I discovered blogs anyway, but I loves my Tuesday fix of celeb gossip. As for the teenagers, I think they see this stuff everywhere and at least if they are reading Heat you can talk about how rubbish it is and laugh at it with them, so keep on reading it I say!

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  2. Thanks, Niccola, that’s kind of the conclusion I reached really! I’m glad I’m not the only one who reads/ has read it. It’s easy to lump it with the others and think it’s complete crap, but I think it’s better than that!

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  3. I don’t think it will ever be possible to keep it away from them.. its trying to find that way we explain it to them that its okay to be that ‘average’ size

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  4. I’ve had a read, Suzanne! That’s a really good article. It’s a scary thing that it can affect children so young. For me it’s been mainly about my younger son, strangely. I’ve posted a couple of times about him and his issues – he’s a very big boy and sometimes he will question if that’s right 🙁

    Thanks, Cookie Jar, I aim to keep them average size and embrace average size! Although I’m not myself – I’m skinny through no fault of my own.

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  5. I have never heard of heat…ignorance really is bliss!!
    I am your newest follower from the hop..pls follow back if you can.

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  6. I say, why not read and then discuss together about how ridiculous all this is and how thankful you are that none of you are of that mindset!! 😉

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  7. Never heard of Heat momto8! Are you British? Welcome, always happy to have new followers on board. Will look you up.
    Mom of A and a – I think you are right, that has to be the way forward!
    Thank you both for commenting, it is much appreciated 🙂

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  8. I like to read this type of thing to,I like it when the show celebs without make up cos it shows there just like everyone else 🙂 thanks for joining us at welcome to the weekend hop 🙂

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  9. No problem at all! I’ll be back 🙂 Thanks very much for commenting.

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