The Vagenda

GraziAAAAAARGH: Return of the Snoozemonster

Nicolas Coleridge of Conde Nast once snootily said that Grazia is only read by Au Pairs. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s just such a hilariously snarky quote that I just can’t stop repeating it. Take that, Grazia! No one influential reads your magazine. BURN.
HOWEVER, I was an Au Pair for three months in France and it was a miserable experience. The last thing I would have needed at the time, a time when I was almost constantly in tears, was Grazia. A fucking UNION and some employment rights would have been handy, but not Grazia. I actually read Vogue Paris and the Guardian. And now I’m not an Au Pair anymore. Go figure. 
It’s been a while since we did Grazia, and I’ve been wondering which women they’ve been picking on of late. Maybe they got some new targets, I thought, but I THOUGHT WRONG. It’s Jennifer Anniston and Rihanna, yet again. Snoremaggedon. Jen’s in the news because she’s apparently-but-probably-not given Justin Theroux a proposal ultimatum. ‘JEN TELLS JUSTIN: PROPOSE- OR GO’ says the coverline, next to a picture of her looking pretty chipper for a desperate, deranged woman (as Grazia would have it). Their source regarding Jen’s relationship, who says she is becoming ‘increasingly desperate and upset’ is a former boyfriend who by no means has a vested interest in what goes on in her life. ‘She’s putting on a brave face’, he says, a claim which is juxtaposted with Jen and Justin on holiday in Paris looking, again, pretty chipper. It’s another classic case of Grazia transmogrifying a woman who looks relatively content into a marriage-obessed, borderline psychopathic harpy. I actually hope Jen does get married, just so that the magazines leave her alone. This ‘single woman must have man in order to function’ shtick is becoming a total bummer. 
Chart of Lust is pretty much same-old same-old, apart from the fact that it includes Cheryl Cole and Katy Perry on Graham Norton, because, Grazia says, of their ‘excellent inter-celeb banter skills.’ Perhaps we didn’t see the same programme, because the show I saw while having a sneaky fag out of a hotel room window was one of the most vacuous bits of television chat like, ever. Katy Perry was basically robotically regurgitating perfunctory PR speak while Cheryl giggled at funny things Ross Noble said. I came away going ‘OK, but what are these women actually about? What are their likes and dislikes? The defining characteristics of their personalities? WHO ARE THEY?’ For about ten seconds I was completely baffled by Grazia’s take on it, before I realised that their ideal reader is in fact a similarly catatonic automaton who just goes ‘Shoes, Botox, Cupcakes, One Direction’ on a loop. Anyway, wasn’t that TV show like two weeks ago? I predict that Grazia will increasingly struggle to keep up with the fast-paced information flow of the interweb, until they eventually fold and die in less than five years’ time. You heard it here last, folks.
Next up it’s time for ‘This Week’s Conversation’, during which Grazia will usually set up a false controversy and then get some journalists with time on their hands to debate it. This week it’s ‘Has ‘wife’ become a dirty word’? I know. Appaz, Kate Moss said last week (in Grazia! OOOOH self-referential! How post-modern) that ‘my husband would hate it if I dressed like a wife’. Hence a whole load of crap about how we need to reclaim the word wife, all of which completely ignores the fact that most people just get on with their shit and don’t worry too much about what La Moss thinks. While I wouldn’t be too keen if my hypothetical husband referred to me as ‘the wife’, ‘her indoors’ ‘fish wife’ or ‘that bitch’, I don’t take much issue with the word ‘wife’ in and of itself.  And if I did, it would probably be because I had issues with the legal concept of marriage, not the terms pertaining to it. 
Maybe it’s a good thing that Grazia don’t really debate the important political concepts of the day. Not only are they not qualified to do so, but it also keeps them safely in the nonentity box. Instead, they dedicate their time to stuff like ‘Rihanna and Chris Brown’s TOXIC BOND’. FYI, according to Grazia, Rihanna and Chris Brown have been getting back together since March, and are yet to do so, so I refuse to give this story any time whatsoever until I see some proper.fucking.evidence. 
I should probably interject here and say that I imagine you’re finding this article pretty boring. Yeah, that makes two of us. Seriously, there are so many things I’d rather be doing than reading Grazia. I have period pains and there’s nothing in the fridge and doing this is not really improving my mood. It’s my birthday next week and I’m going to be 25, so I’ve been feeling pretty low about that. I guess it just seems like a landmark year, y’know? You think you will have achieved certain things like becoming solvent, but nu-uh. I’m in such a funk about it that I’m not even a having a party. I’m trying to convince my boyfriend to take a day off so that we can run around Hampton Court maze but the weather is so atrocious that we’ll probably stay inside and watch TV. So far I have cried on every single one of my birthdays and I don’t think this year will be any different.
Sorry, I just went a bit xoJane on your asses. Like you all give a fuck about my birthday. You’re here to read about what’s going on in the ideological minefield that is the Grazi party. Which is: dresses, Peaches Geldof, Demi & Ashton’s ‘No Sex’ Minibreak (sounds like a hoot), and Angelina Jolie’s Buddhist Guru. We also have GO GHETTO GIRLS! In which Grazia advises you that it’s soooo this season to dress like you’re black and poor. Well done, Grazia, trivialising social exclusion and poverty through the medium of fashionable consumerism. I didn’t think that you could go any lower and you just did. You actually have no fucking clue what life is like for the rest of the population. Believe it or not, we’re not all running around in Manolos hobnobbing with PRs and going ‘yah, totes.’ When the revolution comes….
Deep Breath. Are Working Mums Worse Parents? Here we have two women supposedly debating the issue from the totally non-blinkered perspective of THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE.  People do this all the time and it drives me crazy. There’ll be some kind of debate on Comment is Free like ‘is alcohol evil?’ and then you’ll have a load of people doing the grown up equivalent of ‘well, my mum says…’ So in this case, we have Angela Neustatter going ‘women who return to work out of choice are guilty of abuse’ and then Janice Turner going ‘women who ditch their careers because they believe their kids are suffering grow bored and resentful,’ both of which are pretty shitty statements to make. We need to stop beating each other with the sticks of our own choices, guys. That it isn’t easy to have it all isn’t actually that big a revelation. What? You mean looking after my children and participating in a capitalist system which favours service-based labour and long hours isn’t going to be a complete doddle? No way, dudettes. The difficulty surrounding this debate is that it has become highly charged- those implicitly involved (i.e. those with kids who are trying to juggle) will always take a statement personally, no matter what. In that sense it’s like breastfeeding: bloody impossible to have a reasoned debate about. Both women here have missed the point: Angela because she seems to think all feminists have capitalistic aspirations, and Janice because she seems to ignore the fact that bringing up children is a bloody important job in itself. Yes, it might be boring, but so are most jobs. Whatever you choose, it’s probably going to be snooze central, but can we PLEASE start defending a woman’s right to make that choice and actually debate the legal, social, economic and political issues sounding this problem and not what one woman decided was best for her? Sheesh. FYI, this article in the Atlantic is interesting. Ish. 
BTW, Cow print and Peruvian Food= in, Dernier 7 tights and dressing like a sweet=out. 
So I’m now halfway through Grazia and this article is already too long. So I’m going to synthesise the hell out of it. In ‘Does My Waist Look Small In This?’ the Grazia editorial team try out the corset (which is apparently ‘back’) and discover that it is really fucking uncomfortable. Then Polly Vernon talks about what Madonna did with her nipple ten days ago, just as everyone is losing interest. Fearne Cotton talks about herself for two pages. A Quiz compiled by a journalist in a pair of Dunks and a chain with a dollar sign on it attempts to determine if you’re a grown up or not. Sali Hughes talks endlessly about trolling. Model looks uncomfortable/constipated. WEAR WHITE LACE! GET MARRIED! WEAR A WEDDING DRESS! NO! GO BACK TO YEAR TWO AND LEARN HOW TO WEAR A HAT (on your head, duh.) Buy a £1,600 Armani Jacket! Find out what the fuck ‘free radicals’ are, which ‘sun tribe’ you’re in, go to Scotland, buy this and this and this, do EVERYTHING YOUR HOROSCOPE SAYS, buy more stuff! 
Happy fucking birthday to me. I need a cup of tea. Laterz, ladybros. And remember: stay Ghetto. Peace. 

5 thoughts on “GraziAAAAAARGH: Return of the Snoozemonster

  1. The Atlantic article is actually quite good and worth a read. Although I don’t agree with every point she makes, it is very well argued and sort of a breath of fresh air from the usual extremist views on the work-life balance thing.

  2. God you youngsters. The boom really ruined you guys. Do you really think you should be financially solvent at the age of 25? I have 12 years on you and I got on the property ladder only 2 years ago. I don’t think I ever dreamed of being solvent at 25 and I didn’t even have the uni debts you guys have (I got half a grant. Yup one of the last to be given money to go to uni). Anyway lighten up. You will be wealthy because Vagenda is GREAT and do is your article.

  3. I’m 46 and this article made me laugh hard. Thanks for that. Also, it gives me hope that young ‘uns like you are so adept at taking the piss out of lady mags. Did that sound properly British? I’m from the U.S. but I thought I would try to play along.
    Relax, indeed. And stop crying on your birthday.