Wednesday, March 29, 2006


'Loaded' Magazine Made My Four Year-Old Daughter Have Breast Implants!!!!!!!!!!

A few months ago, I saw the comedians John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman up here in Manchester, and while they were bantering with an audience member about said audience member's knowledge of current affairs, one of them made a crack about Newsround being for people 'whose knowledge of current affairs is mostly panda-based.' I thought that was a great line, and I was reminded of it today.

You see, Newsround are busy doing a feature on 'body image' of kids. I wouldn't have known that - I don't want you to run away with the impression that I watch kids TV all the time, just, you know, occasionally - except Five Live were also doing a feature on it, possibly the same feature in fact. This is the spirit of originality that makes the licence fee such good value for money.

This was a chance for Britain's prudes to poke their heads from the dusty woodwork, and boy, did they take the opportunity. Apparently, kids 'these days' (by the way, if I ever hear one more person use the phrase 'these days' in a derogatory fashion, I shall force them to wear ankle-length skirts and chain them to the cooker (yes, the men as well), as if 'these days' weren't a fucking mile better than everything that's gone before) are really, really upset with their body image, because they don't look like Rachel Stevens, or whoever it is that the yoof look up to.

Everyone was to blame (they always are). Obviously, first port of call were 'lads mags.' Now, I have stated before my feelings about lads mags, but to re-iterate broadly, I feel that they are a poor substitute for real pornogrpahy, but that they do the grand total of bugger all harm, except perhaps for killing just a couple of braincells each time you read one.

However, this wasn't good enough for the caller. They objectify women, she said (no, they don't). Indeed, she seemed most distressed by the possibility of a kid seeing them, as she also was about the possibility of kids seeing page three (the horror, the horror!). Good to see that people want us to return to the days of bitter battles about page three, because I should thoroughly enjoy watching the moralising prudes have their true impotence revealed by the power of the market. Trust me on this, as is said in that link:

'Edwards reckons that if the Sun ever does walk away from the topless Page Three, another paper will quickly step in.'

'"But I don't think the Sun will ever pull out," he says. "It knows its audience." Page Three plays on male weakness and that makes the business recession free, he says.'

Soft porn will be around for a long time yet.

Also to blame are women's magazines, everything from titles for teenage girls to gossip magazines. Well, I suppose it's somewhat more likely that a girl would want to look like an actress they admire than a porn star they don't, but still, I'm far from convinced. Anyway, the real shame of this is that we live in a society so vapid that some girl-band reject is the closest to a cultural hero adolescent girls have, which I think is far sadder than just the possibility that they may diet a bit to look like them.

Perhaps the best - by which I obviously mean worst - argument was put forward by a man who 'watches Saturday morning kids TV every week' with his spratchlings, and who believed that kids were becoming self-conscious about their body image because children's TV presenters are too good-looking. Apparently, he claimed that, as kids, we look up to childrens TV presenters. Erm, no. I don't seem to recall a burning desire to be Andi Peters from my own childhood.

The whole argument is fundamentally flawed, particularly by the attempt to present younger children as having a greater socio-sexual awareness than they actually do. The irony of it is that the prudes constantly argue that faintly sexual media is sexualising children before they are ready, yet in fact their own arguments project a far higher sexual consciousness onto young children than they actually have.

Sadly, the prudes are managing to have a bit of success in their campaigns. It has recently been announced that lads mags and the like 'are to be moved to higher shelves.' Let us get one thing straight - Loaded magazine and its counterparts are not illicit smut. All magazines like that are in reality a highly cynical attempt to separate naive adolescent men from their cash by means of cautiously titillating content.

You'd be better off down the sex shop.


I just remembered something. When I was in Sainsbury's the other day, they had, by the tills, copies of 'Closer' magazine and Sainsbury's own magazine. On top of 'Closer' it said 'magazine of the year.' On top of Sainsbury's own it said 'voted magazine of the year.'

I think the lesson from this is don't buy magazines or newspapers on the basis of tagline proclamations.


It just occurs to me that we are forever worrying about childhood obesity. Maybe kids being dissatisfied about their body shape may not be such a bad thing, if it made them decide to choke down a green salad, say, once a week.

Anyway, if all they are worried about is that kids are going to hate themselves for being a bit plump, then frankly I should think that is excellent preparation for adult life, when apparently we all hate everything, including ourselves, anyway.

Erm... Stephen agree with your point totally like, its just well, i remember having an in-depth conversation with you (all-be-it drunken) where you said it was your lifes ambition to be Andi Peters...

HAHAHAHA! Sorry, have been essay writing all day... i may have gone insane(er)!

Totally stupid members of the public given a soap box- yes good old auntie- what would we do with out it!
That was Andy Pandy!

Would you believe, I've spent all week writing, and I have far, far more still to do. Pretty shite.
I was going to churn out my piece on puberty starting earlier but my head really hurts so you'll just have to take my word for it. it is.

p.s people who complain about the kids having sex and paedophilia are usually the ones who dress their two-year olds in mini string bikinis. Of course I would say its fair to assume that paedophiles talk about themselves. And politicians. Well, and me.
Hey, I always wanted to be Philip Schoefield....

No, wait... I always wanted to DO Michaela Strachan.

No, wait again... I always wanted to do OVER Timmy Fucking Mallet!
I used to work in a newsagent and one thing we always used to notice was that about 8 or 9 of the daily papers had a banner that said "newspaper of the year".
I always wanted to be Gordon the Gopher. He was clearly the brains behind the outfit.
Boudica - Sometimes people have to get it into their skulls that the world has moved on from the 1950s! Dunno when it'll happen, though.

Binty - Who could argue with the demise of Mallet? That concept had a -5% humour rating. Enough to drive a man to 'Bodger and Badger.' Or not.

Head Apollo - I know, and on what authority? None that I can think of. Fibbers that they are.

Paul - Apparently, Gordon is now an alcoholic!
It strikes me as odd that the idea women go out and buy magazines because they make them feel worse about themselves comes from feminists. Implying as it does that women are too stupid to be left to make their own choices.

Perhaps we could ban womens magazines in enclosed public spaces to prevent passive bad body image infecting anyone who glances at them.
Yes! Perhaps, better still, excessively thin people could be banned from walking the street without a fatsuit, or maybe we could force everyone under a sixe 10 to eat lard until they're average.

That would solve the problem.
...but as the thin people become bigger, from eating all the lard, the average will keep going up, so they'll have to eat more lard - as will everyone else to make the average, which'll go up again and again and again...

this is a ponderous problem, the only way i can see to solve it is corresponding amputations from the fat people for every weight increase, there should be a decrease. Newton's Turd Law doncha know...

could try (bodger and badger style) mashed potato, instead of the lard, i suppose.
or tubby toast. or tubby custard. that might make everyone a bit tubbier.

man, did Po have a cute voice or what?
I have to admit, I owe my svelte, handsome appearance to quick glances at copies of 'Grazia' and 'Mens Health' in the newsagents every day. I'd never have stuck to that urine and beetroot diet otherwise....

I do hope Gillian McKeith is reading this.......
"...I don't want you to run away with the impression that I watch kids TV all the time, just, you know, occasionally..."

Notwithstanding watching Disney Films for your degree?
Matty - Good point. I'm crap at maths, as you well know.

Still, I actually think your idea is better. After all, wouldn't it be better if everyone was the same? We'll keep working towards it.

As for Po, too fucking right. It was the worst day of my life when you told me she was a lesbian.

Ill Man - Of course! That's the very same reason why I've spent all night doing bench presses instead of eating Ben & Jerry's out of the tub. And that's why Franka Potente will be sleeping with me tonight, instead of with someone succesful.
Matty - Yes, 'fascist propaganda' aside, obviously.
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