This can only be a good thing.
I love gossip. I have a mind that clings relentlessly to the trivial, I can remember all the songs from Labryinth, plots from every Sweet Valley High book (Wakefields 4 eva!) but ask me about the English constitutional system and all you’ll get will be a dazed look.
So I was always an avaricious consumer of gossip magazines. I bought one of the first issues of heat magazine (although I haven’t been buying for over a year now. No moral fortitude just that gossip sites are better and more available when your bored at work). A couple of months ago Heat released a pull section of stickers one of which was a sticker of Jordan’s son Harvey with a speech bubble saying ‘Harvey wants to eat me’.
Yep. I don’t know where to begin by expressing how disgusted I was by this. But to prevent muchas pointless ranting here’s the breakdown:
1) Harvey is five years old
2) Harvey is not a celebrity (he has not chosen to be in the public eye)
3) Harvey is disabled. He suffers from septo-optic dysplasia, a rare condition which means he is visually impaired and suffers from hormonal deficiencies hence his size
Heat by publishing this are making fun of a disabled, non famous five year old. Which is so beyond acceptable, no matter what pathetic apologies they may make afterwards. So three months ago, I stopped buying all Emap products out of protest (this also coincided (with a rant for another day) the realisation that the majority of women’s magazines serve to make you feel crap about yourself and pimp loads of overpriced tat you don’t need so you can fill that gaping hole within (try doughnuts instead (joke!)).)
But that feeling, that by buying heat and its competitors, by being interesting in Celebrity cellulite etc, that I was culpable it did not go away. I started to feel a little bit queasy.
The recent press coverage of Britney Spears breakdown made me awful. Anybody who profits photos of somebody who 24 hours before had been released from mental institution is immoral.
But by reading the site I was at the very least amoral. I was swallowing it down avidly, no better than those people who stand and gape at ambulances sucking in every last drop of human misery.
Then I saw this article on holy moly, one of my favourite sites, about how they were no longer going to use intrusive paparazzi photo. And it summed up what I’d been thinking.
So I’m going to try and not be trivial. I’m not going to read or buy these magazines anymore, or visit the websites.
I’m not arrogant enough to think that this will make any difference in the grand scheme of things. But it will make a difference to me. And that’s enough for now.