Newspapers are struggling to keep readership and actively courting female audiences and yet gossip magazines, bought primarily by women, are suffering only minor losses in the shrinking publishing marketplace. OK Magazine claims to have an international readership of close to 30 million readers and has recently announced a new digital initiative to extend their reach even further. But as women and parents of small children, should we perhaps question what it is they are selling and how it makes us feel?
In response to a recent controversy over the alleged photoshopping of Kourtney Kardashian's post baby body, a group of new LA moms were asked for their response. Surprisingly, most of the women surveyed focused not on the choice of the magazine to photoshop the image, but rather the larger issue of postpartum weight loss in the media. However, they also had no illusions about the "reality" of the women being portrayed.
- "I feel that celebrity moms are not actually human, so I am not surprised when they lose the weight forty-two seconds after giving birth. It doesn't make me feel worse about myself because I know that as a human, I do not have the powers to melt weight off my body." Lara, Mid-City
- "Pregnancy and motherhood have given me a new perspective on my body - it's helped me be kind to it for the first time ever, which somehow has left me immune to feeling bad when I look at airbrushed bodies in magazines. That being said, if gossip rags are going to forfeit news for completely fabricated stories/images, then maybe those magazines should be sold in a separate FICTION section on the stands." Tara, South Bay
- "I think the magazine and TV depictions of celeb moms who miraculously whip back to 110 pounds about 12 hours after giving birth are insulting and damaging. if I had no work to do and 17 servants and could work out 10 hours a day, I could probably “spring back” too, but hey, I also don’t own a unicorn." Jessica, Mid-City
Clearly, media savvy LA moms are aware of the factors behind-the-scenes that make these famous moms look like they do, whether those factors be editorial or literal. So if that's the case, then why do we as a demographic keep buying these magazines?