Getting Flack and other puns.August 21, 2012
Looks like something from Mean Girls, doesn’t it? The Burn Book. Abusing, degrading, picking apart girls. Apart from this isn’t the Burn Book. Nor is it fiction. It’s from a magazine. A real life proper magazine. What’s more, it’s not from a women’s magazine, or a celebrity magazine, or a trashy 30p magazine. It’s from a magazine aimed at young impressionable girls. Not even teenagers, probably. Tween One Direction fanatics who will gladly lap up anything the media throws at them because, at that young age, they need direction (pun not intended) and influence.
It’s the US ‘fanzine’, Girl’s Guide To One Direction, published by Topix Media Lab LLC, who constructed probably the most spiteful, ridiculous, and idiotic piece I’ve ever seen. A ‘voodoo doll’ of Caroline Flack, host of The Xtra Factor, with pins sticking in her and notes picking apart her appearance, choices, and, quite frankly, her whole existence.
Let’s start with the less appalling features of this piece. It’s immature. “Caroline was born in 1979, which in China is the year of the goat. Big surprise – she looks like one!” What are you, five? She doesn’t look like a goat. Quite obviously. Flack’s gorgeous. More to the point, making fun of someone’s appearance? In a tween magazine? Not on. That’s going to encourage bullying (physical bullying, more worryingly, with a voodoo doll. That suggests damaging the doll like you would the person), and revert the whole message of “everyone’s beautiful “ and “image is not the most important factor in life”. These girls are going to think it’s an acceptable social norm for women to be judged purely on their looks. This magazine has a responsibility to abolish this notion and care for their readers’ perceptions, which it has completely ignored.
It’s picked apart and emphasised not just her main physical features, but things that don’t even exist on her body yet. Crow’s feet. Showing that she’s a “grandma”. Caroline Flack is 32 years old. These girls now think you’re old as soon as you hit your 30s and GOD FORBID if you start showing signs of age. EURGH. WRINKLES. GET RID OF THEM. No. No, silly magazine. Shush.
“Date boys your age, not your shoe size!” That would make Harry Styles, what, six? He’s 18. All this article is doing is spouting jealousy from a vicious ‘writer’, who’s probably got everyone who’s come within ten miles of Styles on a dartboard in her room. It’s teaching young girls to be jealous of women who have what they want, and that age differences in relationships is wrong. By all means, have your own opinions on age differences, but for the love of fragile and growing young brains, don’t preach them viciously to young girls who can’t have even experienced full on relationships yet. “Zero engagement rings. Because nobody wants to be with her.” Marriage is the only proof of love, then? So now we have young girls who aren’t going to be happy in their own skin, will want plastic surgery once they hit 32, will only date people their shoe size (on average – a 7 year old, oh good), will be jealous of other women’s success instead of finding their own, will prioritise boys over other relationships with family/friends/themselves, and will believe they HAVE to get married to be considered worthy.
So, where is Harry Styles’ participation in this? Anyone? Anyone found him? Haarrryyyy…oh that’s right. He’s nowhere in this article. Because it’s all down to Caroline, right? A relationship between two consenting people, but only one gets the flack (pun intended, that was good). The woman gets the blame. Much like the affair between 22 year old actress Kristen Stewart and 41 year old director Rupert Sanders. He was married with children, but who gave a statement and got all the abuse? Stewart. Of course she did. Because the man always has the right to do whatever he likes. Silly women for getting involved with entitled men. When will they learn, eh?
It’s bullshit. The whole article is bullshit and I really, really hope that these girls who picked it up realised how awful it is. I hope the magazine is taken down, and I hope that it’s the readers who do it. Because I’m sure these girls are smart and know their own mind. And if they don’t, because they’re young and growing, then I hope we can at least help them find it.