The Vagenda

Trash Rag Roundup: Closer, Best & Now


Last week was a corker of a week for the women’s mag posse. Obviously one would rather not prop them up financially with one’s hard-earned dollah, but the Archway Londis* was just too well-stocked for its own good, and I found myself half-gleefully half-grimly stockpiling the fuckers faster than you can say Samantha Brick. Ironically, in order to rip them to shreds I have to first cast a saccadic eye over the most offensive ones by buying and reading them: £5 that would have been better spent on cheesestrings (recent re-discovery of) or delicious slices of Parma ham. Never fear: there is light at the end of this long, wobbly Londis tunnel – this quest forcooked meats which culminated in Best and its compatriots – because we can all have a jolly good chortle. So, what’s been a-trendin’ this week? CELEBS + REAL LIFE + FASHION + TV + GLAMOUR + GOSSIP are what’s promised everyday, but when it comes to magazines, my own personal favourites are the ones that deliver STRAIGHT TALK. There was an awful lot of STRAIGHT TALK this week, most of it centred around a blitzkrieg of bizarre nutritional advice involving egg whites; ‘classic separates’; weddings/the lack thereof; ‘pins’ and whose are looking too thin; pregnant Kate/Kim; a horoscope that seemed to sack off Sagittarius and put ‘September’ in the [wrong] place and finally, yet inexplicably, Simon Cowell.  

So, spread across Best, Now and Closer we have FIGHTING FOR THEIR MEN! KIM’S CRISIS! KATE’S PANIC! and, hilariously, JORDAN’S TORTURE! which merely featured a picture of KP looking, well, baffled at most. Then we had FERN’S DOUBLE LIFE (she sometimes wears ‘revealing miniskirts’ but THEN she went out for groceries wearing an oversized red t-shirt that said ‘Capulet’. SIGNIFICANT!! and OBESE TEEN; DEFIANT KERRY (what is it with these adjectives?), PREGNANT AND PETRIFIED and, most worrying of all, the classic no-brainer posed as a question: DEVOTED OR DELUDED: WOULD YOU STAND BY A RAPIST? In Best, we had a large section on the ‘best dressed’ list, the cover photo of which was a (mostly undressed) writhing beach babe, and some cracking health pages, in which one poor love meekly enquired over a sore back: it was getting worse, there was searing pain, should she get an x-ray? to which ‘Dr Pixie’, the mag’s resident intern, advised Ibroprufen. Job well done, Pix.

There was also a lot of ‘fast fix’ chat this week, which is unsurprising considering we’re all so busy crying over the impossibility of attaining that bedazzling bikini bod before the sun fucks off again (she says, ladling truffle oil onto her tits). It’s clearly very important that we’re good and ready to lounge around with half an inch of cotton stretched across our collective pudenda, so here are some of the best ways to achieve this and avoid offending anyone on the sandz: 1. The ‘lose 10lb in 11 days’ so-called ‘Parisian’ diet. Apparently the French are all unanimously skinny because ‘they spend two hours a day eating meals – sitting down, chewing well and eating slowly’. So do this, right, but also stick with the grains, nuts, beans and your daily treat of one square of 70% dark chocolate. You old rogue, you. Seriously, though – who has time to sit there staring at a plate of multivitamins, multiminerals (?) and dairy shakes for two bullshit hours every day? Hell, my flatmate’s perfected the technique of administering a morning BJ to coincide with the exact amount of time taken to fry bacon: ‘it depends on how you’re cooking the bacon, of course, but yeah’. WE ARE BUSY PEOPLE.

2. Don’t do a Denise, guys. Apparently Loose Women’s Denise Welch is having a mare, ‘at the end of her tether’ trying to lose two stone before a summer wedding. Friends ‘fear she might go too far in her weight loss quest’. These helpful pals point out that it’s probably because old Den’s ‘addicted to cake and pies’, so she might turn to extreme measures. Makes you wonder whether losing 10lb in 11 days might prove her salvation. Cos that’s not extreme.

3. Finally, you could take the advice of Sally Windsor, who in her #JUSTSAYIN’ column decided this week to tackle the obesity epidemic. She begins by lamenting all the taxpayer’s money supposedly spent on gastric surgery, before launching a full-on tirade against the ‘moaning, shameless fatties’ who just don’t know how to look after themselves, dammit. She acknowledges that ‘there is the occasional person who seems to have a genuine terrible genetic problem with weight gain’, before changing tack to explain random overweight strangers in the supermarket to her young daughter. ‘I tell her the truth in a loud stage whisper: “Darling, that woman is too stupid to look after herself.”’ #DoOneSal. Then, despite the captioned photo of one Paul Mason who sought surgery to help him lose weight, she ends with a call specifically to women, advising us all to ‘get out and walk our fat dogs.’

We move swiftly on to the story of a bride who discovered her husband had spunked away all her money- ‘a real kick in the teeth!’ No shit. ‘Love, Honour and Betray’ says the leader, in nice italics just in case you didn’t get the pun there, probably because you’re too stupid to look after yourself, you fat cow.

Continuing the wedding theme, everyone appears to have got a very big bee in their bonnet because Dawn French got married BUT SHE DID NOT INVITE THE PRESS, the lowly varmint. Not only this, but she reportedly ‘didn’t wear white’ either (*fist in mouth*). Meanwhile, Jennifer Anniston’s ‘red Valentino gown at this year’s Oscars shows she can pull out all the stops – possibly a pointer to her wedding dress?’, then we’re lead to wonder ‘if she’ll ever name the day.’ And Closer says Kim Kardashian is reported to be ‘desperate for Kanye to prove he still wants her’, needing ‘reassurance’ by his slinging a ring.

One person who *is* getting married, and from the sounds of it quite publicly, is Kerry Katona. In an ‘exclusive’ interview with Closer the happy pair reveal they’ve been working out together and Kerry’s lost A STONE AND A HALF!! But it’s OK, guys, because ‘George [her fiancé] doesn’t actually want me to lose any more weight’. Phew, that’s all right, then.

But back to Best. My favourite parts are always the ‘verdicts’ at the end of all confessional pieces. A reader tells a story, then some random comes along to judge the event, with all the sagacity of Take a Break’s Texas the Psychic Horse [check this out, if you haven’t already]. There’s a particularly blanche-inducing bit of insight from one such article about the upcoming release of Amanda Knox’s book, where the ‘second opinion’ hacks stick their enormous irrelevant oars in to deliver this: ‘You’d be forgiven for not knowing if Amanda Knox is guilty or not of killing Meredith Kercher. You may have based your opinion on what you’ve seen, read, or the way she looks.’ And so the giant tumbleweed of unthinkingly sexist tripe rolls on, puttin’ out the fire with gasoline.
THEN the magazine splashes out the aforementioned beef with Fern Britton, who parked her car and went to the shops ‘to get provisions [the bitch!], wearing no make-up and with her hair scraped back’. What she did manage to do is pull on a ‘baggy red t-shirt emblazoned with the word Capulet’ – like, from Shakespeare, innit? I dunno about you but I think this is definitely a sign, guys. She ditched the ‘sassy minis and revealing costumes’ to run to the shops, ‘playing mum’. The piece then goes on to question her fidelity to her husband and says that now Strictly’s over, Fern’s ‘self-absorbed and distracted’. Well, obviously: the lazy cow couldn’t even be arsed to tart up on a trip to fetch milk and brillo pads. Seriously, though, it’s a shame. She got dressed, didn’t she? Give her some bloody credit. She did what she needed to do in a calm, ordinary manner and got papped to shit for it: there wasn’t a Lilo mugshot or a flimsy left hook in sight. [To eliminate unnecessary celebrity shaming, perhaps the magazine world might look to members of the general public. ‘Normal Twats’, it could be called, and it would feature pictures of perfectly average Joes doing chumpy things. Now that's a magazine I'd forgo cheesestrings for! If a photo had been taken of the event, I’m sure an image of my own face last week as I was sick into a copy of the Telegraph’s money section on the Northern line would get the ball rolling. For you, Fern, who did nowt wrong apart from being a bit famous, I will make this beautiful sacrifice.]

Now look here, you ophidian magz, you veritable BREEDING GROUNDS of mass hysteria and materialism. This just won’t do. You cannot place adverts for trippy weight loss schemes besides enormous photos of the new giant Jaffa cake. Stop harping on the weddings. Don’t try and label us into three albeit alliterative categories of style – ‘sassy’, ‘simple’ and ‘subtle’. Stop quoting ‘insiders’, ‘pals’ and ‘sources’: we all know it’s you, the features editor, pulling your hair out at 2am. Do away with the crackpottery, encourage dancing instead! But shit, I hear you scream, channelling your best Macklemore, it was ninety-nine cents. To which I would reply, making use of the formidable Daft Punk, we’ve come too far to give up who we are.

* Am I massively late to the party re the fact that ‘Londis’ is an amalgamation of ‘London’ and ‘Paris’? It’s blown my mind.

- ZA

One thought on “Trash Rag Roundup: Closer, Best & Now

  1. Say whaaaaaat? Londis! My mind’s blown too!!!! But then I also didn’t work out banana + toffee = banoffee until I was about 16 and I bloody love that stuff so perhaps I’m not the best person to respond.