Getty Images/ Now Magazine
This week, Now the cover of the Magazine was apparently not very different from the previous issues – bikini bodies, beauty products and reality TV star.
The unwitting cover star Stacey Solomon, with the words “boring”, “desperate” and “low” is written beneath.
The sentences were taken from social media comments about the 28-year-old and put to the side, a photo of Solomon in the bikini, which he shared on his profile to encourage body positivity.
As messages of support Solomon poured in from famous friends and fans of Jennifer Saunders, Stephen Fry and Laura Whitmore, has raised the question – what place do the gossip magazines have in today’s society?
Image Copyright @StaceySolomon
Now the magazine has issued a statement in which it said: “The story featured in this week’s edition of Now magazine in the matter of Stacey Solomon was written on the basis of social media comments about Stacey and is not the opinion of the magazine Now.
He added: “We do not encourage or condone bullying in any form. We apologize to Stacey for any distress that our history may have caused.”
But the tv presenter called the cover “what’s the meanest that I have ever seen” – and many agreed with her.’Shame and bullying’
The actress and presenter, Jameela Jamil has been very vocal in the past about the effect of gossip magazines, women, self-esteem, and tells the BBC, “one of the saddest things to happen to women in modern times”.
“I primarily use shame and bullying to sell a toxic patriarchal narrative and way of life for vulnerable women, and then call it ‘fun’.
“They are irresponsible and encourage really toxic mindset of the women, in my opinion, with the intention to sell beauty and weight loss products.
“I hate that happened [Stacey Solomon], but I’m glad to receive this much negative attention, I think that is a sign that the hyper-normalization of the flagrant woman-humiliation is coming to an end.
“As a teenager, I was so interested in these magazines, they conditioned, I think that I too must feel shame if I shared the defects of the woman being assaulted on the their cover.
“Stacey is a wonderful advocate for self-acceptance, and this magazine has shown nothing but ignorance, arrogance, and bitterness.”Loose Women star salutes ‘saggy tits’
His sentiments are echoed by Jessica Barrett, who has worked at celebrity magazines for five years, says that has left the industry because of “the cover of women’s bodies and stories.”
“There has been a constant evaluation of people lose and gain weight and the patronising way in which women were celebrated for having curves, when in reality it was negative.”
Barrett, now a columnist for the Paper, wrote on Stacey Solomon’s cover, and tells the BBC that these covers are “slipped under the radar for some time”.
“These covers have been constant before social media took off cellulite and belly rolls sold very well.
“The people publishing the magazines need to lead the cultural movement. This caused a problem because his archaic way of thinking.
“We don’t want to rip people apart, we want to celebrate one another, and that is why its fallen so in tv – the negative mindset is gone against.”
“People take it and buy something shocking, but this has gone too far.
“I think that the people who work at Now Magazine will be desperately rethink their covers, is a good thing because they need a wake-up call – you can not simply write what you want.”The editors of “fighting the lost battle’
The former editor-in-chief of OK! Magazine’s Lisa Byrne is keen to point out that “the low circulation equal job losses”, during his time in the editor’s chair.
“There was always enormous pressure to get great sales every week, and I could never sleep the night before the figures were released”.
She tells the BBC that, in the current climate it is even more difficult, as “annoying celebrity” web sites ” means magazines fight for their place in the midst of a sea of free and easily accessible online content.
“I really feel sorry for the editor in today’s publishing climate. They are fighting a losing battle against that sneaky old web all over the world, who brazenly offers access to all areas for the readers who are desperate for a VIP trip to celebsville.
Image Copyright @RealDeniseWelch
“Publishers are in a constant combat mode, fighting to keep their magazine afloat, so that they and their team stay in the labour market.”
But Byrne says that there has been a “radical transformation of the celebrity magazine” from the moment that he decided to do away almost six years ago.
“Without a doubt, the editorial of bullying of stars – especially those who have made their name through reality tv shows and are seen as fair game – has escalated to epidemic proportions,” he says.
“Creating a cover that reflects the average of the opinions of a couple of bad players is not the way to go forward.”
Now the magazine has been contacted for any further comment.
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