When I was involved in magazine publishing, there were certain words on a magazine cover that it was generally accepted would make your product more likely to be bought. WIN! was one of them, as in relating to a readers’ competition. FREE! was another, as in relating to a gift or voucher inside. Depending on the subject matter of the title, there would be something alluring that should, in theory at least, appeal to everyone who might read the magazine. A GREAT GARDEN GUARANTEED might do the job if gardens were your subject. (As is often the case, alliteration is a popular tool in these circumstances. Exclamation marks, too.) Having said that, I don’t think even the uber lads’ mags such as Loaded or FHM ever ran a cover line offering WIN FREE SEX. Although I’d bet there were editorial conferences that discussed the sense or otherwise of doing precisely that.
These days, I think it is true to say that no magazine that accompanies a weekend newspaper ever goes more than a single issue without some weight-loss advice. LOSE 10 POUNDS IN 10 DAYS or the like. KALE KILLS KILOS or some such bollocks. You know the sort of thing I’m talking about. But this is, of course, a serious topic. Obesity is, after smoking, the chief cause of cancer in the UK. Be that as it may, I got a chuckle (repeated ones, to be honest) while viewing the weight-loss-seeking, dog-walking, short clip (below) that someone sent me the other week. The tricks some canines will get up to for more walkies, hey?
Fat-shaming is an issue that I’m sure affects (i.e. hurts) women more than men. Or, if you’re Sarah Vine writing in the Daily Mail yesterday, it does you good. Boasting that she’d lost almost three stone since October, her piece (about herself, as almost always) ran under the headline ‘Why I’m the proof that fat-shaming works…’ Oh well. On the other hand, the actor Jameela Jamil has had enough of all this. More than a belly-full, in fact. She has launched a campaign called ‘I Weigh’. She says: “As evidenced by social media, and thanks to deep-seated societal fatphobia, we, and women in particular, have pretty unhealthy attitudes towards our bodies.” She was inspired/angered to do this by an Instagram post “which inexplicably lists the weights of each member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan”. As Jamil suggested, this displays “how women are taught to value themselves. In Kg”. Marina Hyde pointed out in a piece in The Guardian that Kim Kardashian recently published a post promoting a diet shake which saw her “artfully caught in the act of consuming a weight-loss aid while clad in just a cropped top and a thong”. Surely what every women wears while downing a milk shake? Jamil says: “By all means take pride in your appearance. Enjoy your looks, and your clothes and your sex appeal, but don’t make it your No. 1 concern and selling point. We aren’t supposed to all look the same.” Nor necessarily like Sarah Vain…sorry, Vine.
Weight is not really a subject for fun, notwithstanding humorous dog-walking video clips, but at least the foxes on the home page seemed to enjoy the snowfall of last week!