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?