Every time I finish my grocery shopping, I end up in the tractor beam of nonsense called the tabloids. There they are, right in my face as I place my goods on the conveyor belt. I try not to look. Instead I try and focus on the little packs of gum that are on sale at the top of the rack but resistance is futile. The tractor beam has control of my eyes and I have to read all of the headlines even though I know they aren’t true. It’s harder if there is a lady in front of me with a cart full of Capri Sun and Pampers and a binder full of coupons. Then there is the guy behind me that just wants to pay for his sandwich but the “10 item or less” line was too crowded. There is no way out. Despite my best efforts, there is no escape from the lure of the tabloids.
They keep the really shocking ones between the holiday recipe books and the Archie cartoon digest. I can’t imagine people still read Archie cartoons. Occasionally, they throw in the weight loss books and horoscope tablets. But this mini magazine aisle is usually dominated by celebrity news or fake news.
Do you wonder why they keep the trashy magazines in the checkout lane? Right in eye sight? Why don’t they put them with the rest of the magazines that are on aisle four? It’s because we are curious. We love to see what is happening in the lives of stars because it seems our lives are boring and mundane compared to theirs. I also believe that the magazine makers think we are dumb enough to believe what is written on the covers of these things.
It’s never positive news either, unless it’s the issue that shows before and after pictures of formerly overweight celebrities. Mostly, these magazines focus on how a certain star is hooked on drugs or how a star is so skinny that they might die at any moment or that so and so, with the cool hair, is dating you know who from that Disney show and that they are madly in love.
In my most recent visits to the checkout line, the popular story is the crumbling relationship between a very beautiful and popular actress and her handsome husband. Each week there is a different reason that they might end their marriage. He is cheating on her. She was seen with another man, shopping around Palm Springs. Neither of them thinks that the other spends enough time with the kids. Does it matter? Not to us. But what do you think goes through their minds when they see this? If they see this?
I’m no celebrity but I often wonder how I would feel if I were on the cover of one of these magazines. It’s preposterous, I know. My life isn’t interesting enough to be put in international publications.
To put it in perspective, how do people look at us? What do the people that don’t know us very well think of us? What do people perceive of me when they see me in action or hear things about me?
I don’t know any celebrities. I don’t know any of those people on the covers of those magazines so I feel obligated to give them the benefit of the doubt and not judge them by headlines and awkward paparazzi photos. The same thing goes for the people I interact with everyday. I’ve been guilty in the past of making snap judgements of people I barely know. Who am I to judge them when I don’t know their story? I would hope they wouldn’t judge me without knowing mine.
Moral of the story (if there is one)? Don’t judge a tabloid magazine by it’s cover. We don’t always know the truth of what is going on in people’s lives.
Now. While in the checkout line, turn around an gaze at the fitness magazines behind you. The ones with the people with the perfect bodies… wait, that’s another post entirely.