This Week In Tabloids: Bony Arms, Matchstick Legs and Eating Disorders


Welcome back to Midweek Madness! Every Wednesday, Callie Beusman hits the newsstand and together we thoughtfully analyze the celebrity tabloids: Ok!, Us, In Touch, Life & Style and Star. This week: There’s an eating disorder issue full of “bony” arms and “matchstick” legs; there’s an apology for incorrectly reporting facts; Charlize Theron and Sean Penn are fighting and in love; and we’ve got new details about Kim and Kanye’s wedding. This is a safe space, so lie down on the couch and let’s get started.



Important point about the cover: You probably will not be able to guess who the ladies are in the images where the text reads “GUESS WHO!” because one of them is an Irish actress named Antonia Campbell-Hughes, who was in the small film Albert Nobbs, and who lost weight for a role; the other is a chick from the Shahs Of Sunset. Not people who actually count as “celebrities.” But as you can imagine, this “story” consists of six pages of photographs of women and judgments about their bodies. Angelina Jolie is “too thin,” Kelly Ripa has a “strange, bony chest,” Tara Reid looks like “she is walking on matchsticks,” Denise Richards has “bony arms,” and Alyson Hannigan “certainly doesn’t look like a mom of two.” Did you know that there is one specific way a mom of two should look? A standard to which one must adhere? Now you do. Peppered in between the physique critiques are old quotes from stars who have discussed eating disorders — Lady Gaga, Nicole Scherzinger, Ke$ha, “Real” “Housewife” Joanna Krupa. And! At the end of the story is a yellow circle with “where to go for help” NEDA information. Because if there’s one thing Star magazine is interested in, it’s helping women. Also inside: Prince William went to Spain with his brother and his ex-girlfriend Jecca and Kate Middleton was positively pissed. Cara Delevingne and Michelle Rodriguez are “getting serious,” which means less partying until 4 a.m. and more cuddling up on the couch and watching TV. Sean Penn and Charlize Theron had a huge fight at the Chateau Marmont because he was flirting with the hostess; Charlize was seen “sobbing at the table.” Finally, not that you care, but Tori Spelling has told Dean she doesn’t want him back when he gets out of rehab. By the by: Dude still has that Tori/Madly/Deeply tattoo, right?

Grade: F (denial)



Miranda Lambert is on a health kick, and it is seriously endangering her marriage with Blake Shelton. “Losing weight has really helped Miranda grow spiritually,” says a source (side note: ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING?). Now that Miranda is all healthy, she doesn’t want to drink anymore, which is causing friction between her and Blake, who loves to drink copiously and then consume large quantities of meat. Here is a real quote from a “source”: “[Blake] says they were having a fun-loving, sexy relationship before kale came into their kitchen.” And yet another celebrity marriage dissolves due to the corrosive power of kale. Moving on: Casper Smart wants to break up with J-Lo because she’s too busy advancing her career. This is the fourth marriage her ambition will have ruined, alleges the mag. So much for leaning in? Elsewhere in the magazine, our five most burning Brangelina questions are addressed: are they happy? (Yes.) Now that gay marriage is legal, will they get married? (Sure!) Are they moving to South Africa? (Yes, temporarily, and it will be “a kind of homecoming for the vagabond clan” because Shiloh was born in Namibia, an African country that is notably not South Africa). In the most shocking news of the week, Ok! printed an apology for lying about Jennifer Lawrence getting engaged (Fig 1). My suggestion is they should run a second magazine every Thursday titled WE’RE SO SORRY, EVERYONE!

Grade: F (anger)

In Touch


Selena Gomez has been nearly “destroyed by her love” for Justin Bieber. Her tumultuous relationship and subsequent breakup with America’s resident Miscreant Laureate caused her to “use drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of an oft-broken heart” — however, like basically every other gossip website in the world, this mag is claiming that Selena checked into rehab to help with her “love addiction.” Hopefully she manages to free herself from that nasty lil’ punk’s clutches once and for all. In other news, Johnny Depp is extremely wealthy and should thus be careful about marrying Amber Heard because she might get her womanly meat-hooks into his funds. “Getting Johnny to fall for her is [Amber’s] greatest accomplishment by far,” says a very demeaning source, who adds that it would be a “huge mistake” for him not to protect his money. Moving on: Robert Kardashian’s widow Ellen Kardashian is suing the Kardashian family for defamation; she claims that the Kardashians painted her as a scheming gold digger on TV. Some dirty laundry will likely be dredged up. Yawn. Elsewhere in the mag, the editors go over Taylor Swift’s dating advice and point out how she does not follow it in the most condescending and shame-y way possible. Some glowing examples: “HER RULE: Don’t Be Clingy. WHAT SHE DOES: Invites Herself to Thanksgiving.” and “HER RULE: Find an Upstanding Guy. WHAT SHE DOES: Breaks His Heart.” Blergh. Finally, we’re treated to a four-page spread of stars who have gone overboard with fillers. Hooray. (Fig. 2)

Grade: F (bargaining)

Life & Style


Miley Cyrus totally tried to steal her half-sister’s Christian rocker boyfriend in 2010 — so, maybe a low but definitely not new. From this flimsy little platform, the magazine launches into an analysis of how attention-starved and desperate Miley is: She’ll Do Anything To Get in the Spotlight (Fig. 3). Yawn. Moving on: Kim Kardashian’s decision to dye her hair brown again was a message to Kanye informing him that she is now calling the shots. With this bold move, she’ll definitely be in charge of her own wedding again, or something: “Kanye loved her hair blond, so the fact that she dyed it without consulting him is a brave move… Kim is signaling to Kanye that she’s no push-over.” So much of tabloid fodder is comprised of hair-augury, guys. In other news, Taylor Swift is worried that she’s undateable. Because she’s 24 and has been single for over a year, she’s starting to fear that she’ll be single forever — you know, if you’re one of the most successful pop stars in the world and unwed by your 25th year, you might as well buy yourself a few cats and call it a life. Finally: Kourtney Kardashian has begged Khloe to help her get her body back, which pleases her sister because, as you have likely read, the sisters are all locked in a constant death-battle over the title of World’s Hottest Kardashian. Sigh.

Grade: D- (depression)



This cover story about the Biggest Loser winner is basically a recap of what you already know: Rachel Frederickson went from 250 lbs. to 105 lbs., losing 59.62% of her body weight. The copy claims that she already “knew the euphoria of breaking records” since she was a three-time state champion swimmer in high school. Read: Competitive. A random doctor weighs in: “She can’t survive long-term with this calorie restriction and exercise level.” Frederickson says “it’s not about the money” and points to her body when she adds: “this is absolutely the prize. To have this energy and feel alive means the world to me.” Sure! Moving on: Sean Penn and Charlize Theron are “seriously smitten” and when you throw in her son Jackson, “the three of them are turning into a little family,” says a source who can sense when individuals morph into units. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have picked a wedding date and — shocker— they will both be wearing crowns in the ceremony. This is an “upgrade” from the tiara Kim wore to her last wedding. A source says Kimye are having handcrafted headpieces made for them because Kanye thinks he and Kim are imperial, obvs. (How much would you pay to watch Lorde sing “We’ll never be royals… It don’t run in our blood” as Kim walks down the aisle?) Stevie Wonder and John Legend will perform and “no expense will be spared.” CANNOT WAIT. In Blue Ivy news, Beyoncé does not allow the child to have white sugar unless it’s a birthday party or special occasion. Also: No Cheetos. Or any processed food, for that matter. Blue Ivy is a temple, okay? Finally: On the Feb. 17 episode of The Bachelor, one of Juan Pablo’s final six ladyfriends will dump him and leave the show. The mag refuses to name the contestant, so as not to spoil it for you, but apparently she tells him she’s not ready to accept a proposal and says: “I don’t want to take the spot of someone else who knows they’re at that place.” JP soothes the poor kid, stroking her hair and so on, and a source says: “Ironically, her honesty made him like her even more.” OH WELL.

Grade: C (acceptance)


Fig. 1, from Ok!

Fig. 2, from In Touch

Fig. 3, from Life & Style

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