Gossip magazines have been sold from newsstands for years and have always been the original source for juicy stories of the celebrity world.
Whilst they are arguably an easy read and something to pass the time, either on a long train journey or when you are getting your roots touched up at the hairdressers, the messages they enforce can be particularly demeaning and harmful than what they first appear.
With mental health awareness at its pinnacle, and in light of Caroline Flack’s tragic death being ruthlessly covered in the media, hair salons around the country are boycotting these types of gossip magazines from their establishments.
One of the first salons to get involved with this movement was the Boutique Hair and Beauty Salon in Devon.
On Wednesday the company took to their Facebook page to share their decision.
“We have decided as a salon to bin the gossip magazines and will no longer be offering you these whilst you’re at the salon.
“With the devasting news about Caroline Flack we will not be promoting these magazines that slate people, put people down, advertise people’s personal problems, disrespect peoples outfits… the list goes on,” the post reads.
This also included the hashtag #bekind and claimed that they would be offering customers educational magazines, among other reading options.
This is a significant stand from businesses and highlights the impact that degrading content can have.
This bad press could be extremely detrimental to the gossip magazine industry, and will hopefully force brands to take note of the effects of the content they are producing.
Magazines such as NOW and Star have both been notorious for producing content that fat-shames celebrities, with cover lines such as “Weight winners & losers” and “21 shocking bodies” among others.
However, both of these titles produced their last print copy in April last year.
This could be a telltale sign that readers do not want to be associated with brands that produce such toxic content, forcing brands to either change their mentality or halt production.
Despite the negativity that these gossip mags spread, their are many other publications that promote mental health awareness.
Happiful magazine aim “to provide informative, inspiring and topical stories about mental health and well-being,” fundamentally spreading a positive message about mindfulness that gossip magazines don’t.
But not all gossip magazines have such a bad reputation as others, so we shouldn’t rule them out all together.
OK! magazine’s USP has always been dealing with stories with integrity and being a friend-brand to the celebrity.
They often run exclusive stories and are invited by public figures to help them celebrate their life, whether this is a wedding or a pregnancy.
They recently ran a tribute in one of their issues to Caroline Flack by showing her life in pictures and honor her contributions to the media.
It is trusted brands like this that tackle tabloid Chinese whispers, whose impact is detrimental and irreversible to not only the celebrities themselves but also the consumers who are reading them.
As for now, however, the problem still continues and is something that needs resolving.
But with an increasing momentum being built by readers and businesses to squash these brands, within time other titles will take precedent over gossip magazines.
By Shannon Mountford
Feature image credit: Pixabay