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Aretha Welch
Special to the Express

“Pancake effect, “unsightly stretch marks” and “heavy load” were just some of the teasers a September issue of In Touch magazine used to pull readers in and give them an up close look at the boobs of some of their favorite celebs. Can anyone say rude, totally sexist and unacceptable? How dare they enlarge pictures of a body part that is exclusive to women (ok and a few overweight men) and criticize it like that?  How dare they put these women’s intimate body part in the limelight like that, just for the purpose of tearing it down.  Do you critique males like this?  Unless we’re going to see some quaily, male celebrity testicles falling out of those ridiculous man thongs they wear to the beach sometimes gracing the pages of In Touch next week with some “saggy”, “decrepit” and “in need of a lift” headlines splashed up top, then In Touch will forever be known to me as the sexist little tabloid that is partially responsible for plagueing women’s minds with questions that could lend to the development of body dysmorphic issues.

I strongly believe the scrutiny which the entertainment media and paparazzi put celebrities, particularly female celebrities through is mirrored by young average American girls in their own homes. When the media labels women’s breasts as too long, too stretched marked, too big, too small, too flat- girls then start to examine their own breasts and the breasts of their friends with the same critical eye.  Almost immediately perfectly acceptable fourteen-year-old breasts become too small, and daddy is being asked if his sweet little girl could get implants for her quinciera or sweet sixteen.

In a nutshell the editors at In Touch are playing their part in creating the next wave of plastic-surgery-addicted, food-hating, body make- up loving, looks-obessed American girls. The whole theme of the magazine that week fed into it. Claire Danes was decribed as ugly, with a question mark. Mind you, that was a quote and they were reporting what some show producers had said, but this woman’s supposed ugliness was teased as ‘Latest News” near the front of the magazine. Kim Kardashian’s butt was ridiculed for being “too wide.” It was ridiculed by another celeb yes, but that too was teased near the “Latest New” section. That was placed alongside Cynthia Hendrix of Mad Men’s “bra faux pas.” Yes, she wore a non push-up bra and she has continent-sized (hyperbole intended) tatas. God forbid that this women not feel be overly concerned and preoccupied about her ample bustline. Strike her with ligtening dear Father. Please, for she has sinned. (Cue melodramatic music here.)

Do everyone a favor In Touch and shut up. Come show me all the perfect breasts and testicular sacs of the In Touch staff, then we can take it from there.

To say the least, the whole boob affair annoyed me.

But the up close look that bothered me most was the extremely zoomed in, enlarged and cropped image of Lady Gaga’s left boob. In Touch thought it was ok to zoom in on this woman’s breasts and show her stretch marks which were not even noticeable with the naked eye. She didn’t have crazy cleavage showing so the entertainment media’s usual , “she put it out there” excuse is null and void in this case. Instead it appeared to me that during photo editing someone stumbled upon her stretch marks and decided , “ oh gross let’s put her on blast.”

And I want to say to that person, you’re gross. And you’re part of the reason young women today are clinging to the surgical knife like it’s a life raft and they’re on the sinking Titanic.

Now let’s make it clear, I am not anti-plastic surgery or make up or extensions or any of that stuff. Your body, your business is my belief. Once you’re an adult or emancipated minor that is.  But I am against the fact that when you look at VHI reality shows or any of those MTV “True Life” documentaries where the person gets surgery, the surgery consumes their life. The surgery consumes their mind for weeks , months, sometimes it has consumed them for years on end. I am against that women now believe their imperfections make them unacceptable and worthy of ridicule. I am against the fact that many women think if the general public saw them without their butt pads, fake lashes and acrylics they would be unworthy of adoration and worthy of criticism. No one should believe they are worthy of ridicule and criticism about their body parts. Worthy of self improvement , yes. Worthy of a nudge in a healthier driection, yes. But worthy of having your breasts splashed across the pages of a tabloid and described in undesirable terms? No one deserves that. Not even Lady  Gaga who has been known to love attention. That’s attention no woman needs.

What I find most ironic is that last year when  In Touch hired one of People Magazine’s head honchos to be executive editor at In Touch,  online news source Huffington Post carried a story saying this might mean a shift in coverage for In Touch, because People was seen as the nice, reliable tabloid, that didn’t say too many mean things about celebrities.

Well maybe it’s something in the water over at the In Touch newsroom cause Alexis Chiu who was decribed as nice while at People, got mean quick. But when in Rome right?

Or maybe it wasn’t Chiu. Maybe it was her boss, Editor In Chief Dan Wakeford who thinks it’s Kosher (urban meaning of Kosher) to splash women’s titties across the pages of In Touch and pick them apart.

Let me ask you Dan, do you have a wife, daughters maybe?  (I could not find this information online. His Linked In profile only quoted his professional accomplishments). Well Lady Gaga is someone’s daughter, as is Cynthia Hendrix and all the other women whose breasts you made a mockery of. And you, Dan Wakeford should be ashamed of yourself.  You are not in touch, O.K. or a person of the people. You’re just a big meanie with a little too much publishing power and not much of a brain.

But let me pick your brain for a second. Do you know you’re main readers are women? According to an ABC News study at least 50 percent of women between the ages 18 to 35 read celebrity gossip at least once a week. Most tabloids are weekly, so seems a large chunk of your audience lie within the female population.  If you already knew this then tell us women why you dislike our bodies so much and make us the brunt of your seemingly superficial, but actually demoralizing headlines?

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