The Vagenda

How To Be Skinny, The Closer Way


Closer is obsessed with slimming. It is an obsession which manifests itself more overtly than possibly any women’s magazine ever, excluding those in France (France loves thin and hates cellulite, which seems a little conflicted for a country that invented the deep-fried Camembert) If the BBC were on the lookout for a ‘Diet Correspondent’, someone at Closer would almost definitely get the job. And then they’d spend the rest of their days standing with a mic outside Lauren Goodger’s house, talking about soup, pretending to be a proper journalist. I sort of want to go to Closer’s offices, to find out if they’re all emaciated and skeletal, or rotund and portly. Because the unhealthy slimming obsession would imply that something is rotten with regard to their relationship with food, and I’m not talking about the new ‘mould diet’ that’s helping the A listers purge the pounds (OK I made that up but it WILL happen, you mark my words.) Actually, I want to visit the Closer offices for another reason entirely. I want to find out what has to happen to you to make you work at Closer. Were the staff there once young and idealistic? Did they emerge from City University’s MA course hoping to craft Pulitzer winning pieces of investigative journalism, only to be snapped up by Closer as a result of their nut-brown fake tan and encyclopaedic knowledge of reality television stars? It must genuinely be the most demoralising place to work in the world- no byline here, not even the equivalent of the illustrious yet anonymous ‘Daily Mail Reporter.’ Oh, the pity, the shame, the broken dreams. 

Closer is full of ideas on how to be skinny. So many, in fact, that here at Vagenda HQ we felt that it was time to synthesise and collate that information into a handy list format, so that our readers at home can feel inspired to fight the flab. Closer often aims for an inspirational angle during its body image pieces- this week’s cover story ‘I’m in great shape for a new man,’ shows that changing yourself for a bloke is an effective way of building inner confidence and makes you look HAWT to boot. Like, duh. We all knew that already, thanks to Sandy from Grease. Anywayz, ladybros, without further ado, here are some tried and tested ways to lose weight, right from the hungry horse’s mouth:
1.) The Cambridge Diet Plan. 
Get Skinny while educating yourself! Enrol at Cambridge university and shed pounds due to the competitive environment and academic pressure! Not only will you look fantastic when you go up on stage to get that first, you’ll also meet a fabulous network of people who’ll ensure that you take your rightful place at the top of the social foodchain. Plus grabbing onto those coattails will do wonders for your upper arm muscles. Just kidding. The Cambridge diet plan bears absolutely no relation to the pedagogical institution of the same name. It involves soup. Soup and shakes.
2.) Find out that your ex-husband is in love with someone else
That’s what divorcee Lucy Davis did, according to ‘Heartbroken Lucy Feels Completely Empty’. Whether or not the emptiness pertains to her emotional state or to her stomach was not adequately explained, but she has certainly lost weight, so Closer are right to be concerned. In Closer kingdom, you can only lose weight for certain reasons (to please a man, to fit into a size ten bikini, to take part in one of their photoshoots) and heartbreak is not one of them. Closer reports that Lucy is looking ‘pale and gaunt’, when in fact she looks to be a perfectly healthy weight. There is flesh on her arms and legs, she just looks a bit sad, is all. For fuck’s sake Closer, can’t you just let her be sad rather than cloak your schadenfreude in faux concern? Turns out no. 
3.) 250K Beauty Boot Camp
Britney’s back, bitches, and she’s had 250K worth of…something. The details are unclear, but she looks great. All her hair has grown back and is a veritable cascade of bleached waterfall waves. Her teeth are white and straight, her nails perfection. I know I’m being OTT but she really does look one hell of a lot better. It’s just a shame she’s thrown her chips in with Prince of darkness/MASSIVE HETEROSEXUAL Simon Cowell to join his harem of beards. ‘Vagenda, are you insinuating that Simon Cowell might be gay?’ No Mr. Legal Lawyer person, we’re not. We’re saying that he has a genuine collection of false beards which he attaches to his face when the mood suits him. We imagine that there is nothing he likes better of an evening than dressing up as Jafar from Disney’s Aladdin. And if that makes him wrong then we’re not sure we want to be right. 
4.) Gastric Surgery
The sooner and younger the better. By age 12 if possible. Mother Ana Sanchez claims her daughter Betsy just wouldn’t stick to a diet and a gastric sleeve was the only solution. You heard it there first, people! THE ONLY SOLUTION! Exercise and healthy eating just don’t work. Except they do, and Betsy was doing neither. But now, with no effort whatsoever, she can eat McDonalds every day and stay a slim size ten, and all thanks to science. Enroll your child today. 
5.) Be Like Fergie
Despite her completely real and in no way fabricated love of ‘Taco Bell’s bean and cheese burritos with extra green sauce and extra cheese’, Fergie (Black Eyed Peas, not Duchess of York) is a trim size 8 with ‘washboard abs’. She attributes this to a gruelling exercise regime which sounds like waaay more work than gastric surgery. What? You mean the clue to losing weight is as simple as burning off more calories than you take in? That’s no fun. No wonder it only got two column inches.

6.) ‘Body Sculpting’
Not quite sure what this involves except that it gives you a ‘Brazillian booty’. Real Scousewife Amanda also swears by Herbalife, which despite how it sounds is not the three years you spent stoned in college. It’s way less fun than that. It’s a ‘meal replacement’ programme. We’ve heard of another type of ‘meal replacement programme’: it’s called an eating disorder. 

7.) Eat every two to three hours
So that you never get hungry. Liberty X star Michelle Heaton swears by a diet of chicken and All-bran, two of the blandest foods ever invented. She has ‘slimmed from a (obviously massive) size 12 to a slim size 8 as a result, as you can see from the ginormous photograph of her in her bikini. Two pages are given to Heaton’s post baby-weight slimming regime- there’s a sort of voyeristic fascination when it comes to what she puts into her body that is slightly distasteful. We’re on page 88 and I’m actually overwhelmed by how much dieting I’ve been exposed to. Recent statistics claim that 2/3 of adult women are on a diet at any one time, which is miserable enough – surely reading about it as well is just a one way street to Crazytown? Enough.

8.) Eat pork, but don’t be pork
‘Drop a dress size in four weeks!’ Noooooooooooo! Not MORE, surely? Here we have another slim bikini clad woman illustrating a diet feature, this time the Closer ‘Beach Body Plan’. It sounds like seven days of utter tediousness, although preferable to even one hour spent having coffee with one of the fascists who thought this crap up. Furthermore, ‘pasta with meatballs’ and ‘smoked salmon bagel’ don’t sound all that different from the stuff most people eat every day, so I hazard that this diet will make absolutely no difference to the size of your arse whatsover. They recommend PORK KEBABS, people! 

9.) GI Jane workout
I’m starting to wilt by this point. Kelly Clarkson stays skinny using Crossfit, a military inspired fitness technique which presumably doesn’t involve shooting innocent civilians and then running away. But with Celebland you never really can tell.

10.) Act like a twat
The other day my boyfriend turned to me and was like, ‘everyone in Soho is eating frozen yoghurt right now. They actually meet their friends to go for frozen yoghurt.’ He was incredulous that anyone could actually be that twattish in real life. Turns out they can, and actress Helen Flanagan, 24, is one of them. She claims frozen yoghurt is her favourite dessert. Yep, her FAVOURITE. In a world of chocolate fondants, cheesecake, panna cotta, Ben and Jerry’s, chocolate gateau, chocolate mousse, chocolate ANYTHING, she cites frozen yoghurt as her favourite dessert. Be gone, Helen Flanagan! We will not be partying with YOU.

11.) Light at Heart
Tate and Lyle is now making sugar which purports to have ’50% less calories.’ Correct me if I’m wrong, grammar Nazis in the comments’ section (Anna, you surely must have an opinion on this?) but doesn’t a plural noun require a ‘fewer’? I mean, I could be 50% LESS intelligent from reading Closer Magazine, but somehow ‘less calories’ sounds wrong to me. Perhaps my brain is frazzled from all the low-brow dietary thinformation. I checked out the 50% claims and it seems that this sugar contains steviol glycosides, which are twice as sweet as normal sugar, meaning you only need half as much, thus proving that people who work in marketing are dicks.

There’s a bit later on where a nutritionist looks at the contents of Louise Renknapp’s fridge but I am suffering full-on diet fatigue and couldn’t bring myself to read it. After all that diet propaganda, I feel like eating every dairy product in the fridge raw and simultaneously. I feel like having potato dauphinoise dripped intravenously into my system. I want a KFC tower burger, with extra hash browns. I want to be free and jiggle! Eating is a pleasure unmatched by almost any on this earth. I’ve already got the Daily Mail in my vagina, the last thing I want is ANY of these women in my digestive system. Go to hell, Closer. It’s time for a burger. 

6 thoughts on “How To Be Skinny, The Closer Way

  1. Anna has found true fame at last! Perhaps she can develop a signature diet to market with her newfound fame. I look forward to it.

  2. I can say from experience that the real ‘Cambridge diet’ involves buying everything involving meat and cheese and bread in Sainsbury’s and eating yourself silly because everyone else around you seems to be a zillion times more amazing than you are.

  3. Er, about points four and five – if dieting was as ‘simple’ as using up more calories than we take in then any diet would work and keep working. It isn’t as simple as that. Even when people keep to their dieting behaviours the weight tends to come back after a while.

    I know you’re taking a swipe at the magazine obsession with dieting here but don’t go falling for that old myth that tells us we’re overweight because of some personal failing rather than dodgy pseudo-science. Really, why do otherwise feminist women believe that they somehow and mysteriously lack willpower when it comes to diet and exercise and that they are lesser people (ironically!) because of this apparent lack?

    Before anyone gets the wrong end of the stick, I’ll state that I am all for healthy eating habits and exercise behaviours and would love everyone to have easy access to them. Equally I agree that it’s none of my business how someone else wants to get along with their body, they can eat nothing but lettuce or lard and it’s still none of my business. However healthy eating and exercise doesn’t always lead to weight loss, but it will lead to healthier people and that’s much better, in my humble opinion.