These women's rags are masquerading as mags

RIDING SHOTGUN

RACHEL STEWART
Last updated 10:44 19/03/2012
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Alison Mau and her partner Karleen Edmonds

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Hey sister. If you see me sporting a curled lip and vague sneer while squinting at you in the supermarket checkout line, know this. I am actively judging you.

It won't just be your heaving trolley stuffed full of processed, sugary, tooth-decaying death that I am condemning you for. It will also be because you boldly and proudly placed its close partner in crime on the top of your junk pile. Just what is the perfect condiment to your toxic take-home fodder? The women's mag, of course.

You just don't look like a woman who has learned anything from the "11 tips to regain her sexiness" or the "17 diet rules that really work". It's fair to say too, that given your overall downbeat vibe, you haven't actively embraced the "13 ways to increase orgasmic pleasure" either.

I mainly judge you because you haven't got the brain wattage to grasp the fact that you are being manipulated to feel worse about yourself rather than better. The subtext of these rags is, that if you just buy all of the advertised products contained within, your life will be transformed. Naked consumerism at its worst designed to play on every self-esteem issue you've ever had - with the hope of creating some new ones.

I'm sorry, but voraciously reading about the endless parade of airbrushed celebrities and their perfect love lives does not appear to have outwardly assisted your own life - and, trust me, I'm being kind here.

That aside, the vacuity of the "celebs", and I use the word lightly, who appear inside these rags is breathtaking. In a small country like ours we specialise in elevating mediocrity to a whole new level. Yet our Kiwi "stars" are lining up to appear and, in many cases, get paid handsomely to do so.

Take the case of my fellow sister from planet Lesbos. Alison Mau denies being paid for the latest tabloid story about her "marriage proposal" to "wife-to-be" Karleen Edmonds. Despite having a history of being a bit of a (let's be honest) paid media slut, Ali insists her love for her new female partner is so much higher than any financial reward. How noble.

Regardless, Mau supplied all of the interested magazines with a perfect photo of the couple, and also released a statement saying, among other things, that they didn't speak directly to any media organisation. Yet, they still feel the need to carefully control the process. Makes me feel grimy. You?

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I digress, but since when is a civil union called marriage? A civil union is not marriage and, until it has the same legal rights as marriage, it is wrong for these rags to describe it as anything else.

What's so interesting about Ali Mau anyway? Apart from her current sexual preference for one particular woman, she is simply a very average TV journalist. One who has never lit the world on fire with anything resembling hard news gathering. Yet, there she is, front page and full of simmering, seething lesbian sultriness for your entertainment pleasure.

Is it Ali's fault or the fault of the readers for buying this garbage? Like all mindless consumerism it's the way it is because there is a market for it. You, though, will justify your preferred reading with a number of well-worn excuses. A perennial favourite is that it's a great way to relax and switch off from the real world. Some light fluff in an otherwise heavy existence.

It's a really strange world, don't you think, when people know more about Angelina Jolie's right leg than the plight of the 200-plus species going extinct every day?

Or why hairdressers can't even begin to conceptualise the fact that some of their female customers might actually prefer to read a National Geographic or a New Yorker while their hair is being coloured?

Maybe I'm missing something. Does my intellectual snobbery just need a good dose of lightening up and chilling out? Would it do me some good to learn about breast exfoliation and which psychic hotline is best value for money? Is it important to know whether I am emotionally dumping on my cat or whether I need a master class in how to wear high heels?

Sorry, sister, but I guess I'm just an uptight, all-knowing harridan. Might I be so bold as to suggest your mindless escapism doesn't bring you joy. You want fluff? Go and stroke a real live whio rather than just foolishly handing over the $10 note to buy this rubbish. Get outside and see some non- human wonders before they're gone.

Above all, stop buying something that makes you feel worse about yourself every time you pick it up. Follow my sage advice for free. Three words. Just for you. Here they are.

Get a life.

- Taranaki Daily News

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