I was recently standing in line at Safeway when I looked at the magazines to my right of the checkout line. The most recent season of the Bachelor ended in scandal; Juan Pablo is an asshole. I sat there wondering, why the hell do we care? We don’t know these people…
I am guilty of skimming the pages of people magazines, catching up on the latest celebrity gossip, and getting enthralled in the current break-up disaster. Most people cannot say this has never happened to them.
But, then I get to the page about how ‘Celebrities are just like us!’ Julia Roberts goes to the grocery store and Heidi Klum can actually read? I am in utter disbelief. It always hits me, right then and there, who the actually cares? The title of the article on Juan Pablo was titled ‘How Many Bachelors Does it Take to Piss off a Nation? Juan. The real answer should be Juan Too Many.
During my first twenty weeks, or two quarters, as a freshman at Santa Clara University I was enrolled in a class that
discussed topics that are actually important. The theme of this class was food, self, and culture; we discussed the factory farm subsidies, animal treatment, and the American fast food culture. Many people have seen popular documentaries that discuss this subject but for the most part, these topics are not talked about.
For this class I ldid lots of research and wrote essays that were both informative and – I hope – actually
interesting. I have learned about corn subsidies, animal treatment, and the issues of factory farms. Almost everything packaged we buy is has corn ingredients in it. Corn is monopolizing the food industry and there are many detriments that come along with it. Not only is the amount of corn we ingest unhealthy, it is killing our earth. Corn monoculture is drying up the soil and polluting our earth. Runoff from artificial fertilizer is getting into water supplies, which kills fish and can get people very sick. I have discovered atrocities that factory-farming commit. They torture animals to unreasonable lengths. The FDA doesn’t even regulate these meat-producing giants strictly. Factory farms can send out meat from sick animals that were covered in lesions. It is disgusting. The fact is, these topics are both important and, when written correctly,can be interesting.
The articles that stain the pages of these tabloids inform the public of, usually, nothing of real significance. Of course, this is part of the reason that we love to read them. I just wonder, what if Star Magazine wrote an exposé about a factory farming? Imagine if they included just a few pages on scandals that actually affect the readers. I wouldn’t mind a small section that grabbed my attention and made me think about real world issues. Somewhere between ‘Who Wore It Better?’ and ‘Best and Worst Beach Bodies’ there could absolutely be articles like these. I, in my heart, believe that there is a large amount of readers who would at least skim these pages and maybe even give the words on them a second thought.These tabloids reach millions of people. These trash magazines are seen by virtually every person in the check out line of their local grocery store; they catch people’s eyes and all of a sudden end up in their shopping carts. Along with the spontaneous tabloid purchasers, like myself, there are those who have a subscription. People read these magazines to escape from life, to leave the real world and indulge in the scandals and problems of celebrities and socialites.
I may be in my own delusional world. There is a possibility that the factory farm giants and other ‘evil corporations’ has enough power that these magazines wouldn’t dare to print a bad word about them. Maybe people simply do not care and my hypothesis is wrong. I hope our country would rather read about important matters than ‘Body Disasters’ section in the National Enquirer.
I want my generation and the one below mine- and the one above mine as well- to be generations that makes a difference. I know what you’re thinking right about now, I am starting get cliché – but hear me out. If The National Enquirer switched the ‘Body Disasters’ section with a section that discussed real world issues, we would be killing two birds with one stone. I have discussed the first bird, which is getting meaningful articles to reach the general public. The second is to stop tearing down people for their bodies.
Imagine picking up a magazine and seeing your cottage cheese legs on the cover or reading an article about how your arms are so skinny, they are hideously disgusting. To us, celebrities are not people. They are objects. How do we feel no guilt publically shaming people that we don’t even know? While these tabloids are breaking these people down, they are simultaneously sending a message to the reader that they must too have a perfect body. They are causing young women to question their beauty. This is not another bullshit article about how Photoshopping advertisements causes unhealthy body image, that is a very separate topic that can probably be debated. However, there is no question that seeing someone’s wrinkles juxtaposed with the word “DISASTER!” sends a message to the public about what they should look like.
This section is not healthy for us. We are being cruel to other human beings by looking and laughing at their bodies and we are fueling the ever-growing population of young beautiful women who have bad self-esteem.
So why not cut this vice out of these tabloids and replace it with an equivalent three or four pages on topics that could potentially change our world for the better?