After long and thoughtful consideration, I’ve reached the following conclusion. While part of me wants to say it was difficult and painful, the reality was it was a pretty obvious and easy decision to make.
It’s time to cancel my subscription to Us Weekly.
I’ve never been one to feel bad about guilty pleasures or downtime. I work hard, and gladly accept opportunities for a little mental escape, be it reading a trashy magazine about celebrities or zoning out to whatever TV program catches my attention. Back in the old days, I used to savor my Friday night routine of sipping a silly cocktail (chocolate peppermint martinis with maraschino cherries, anyone?) while pouring over the latest issue to keep on top of my celebrity gossip (oh, Brangelina!)
But Us Weekly long ago crossed the line from escapist to absurd — the fact that its cover stories continue to drive issue sales is quite horrifying and gives me very little hope for my fellow Americans. When did reality “stars” become celebrities? Personally, I have never gone “Dancing with the Stars.” I don’t know who the Kardashians are, or why anyone would have any desire to keep up with them. I’ve never watched a Real Housewife of any city, and I didn’t even realize that the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise was still on television (seriously? how??). The truth is, I rarely recognize the subject of the magazine’s cover stories.
But more than anything, I’m tired of headlines that focus on how skinny someone is or how much they weigh. Headlines that blast details on weight loss, the fact that someone looked so thin! while she shopped for groceries or went to a movie premier, and how much better said celebrity’s life is now that she (always she) is a size 00. And guess what?!! I, too, can be SO SKINNY (and therefore beautiful) if I follow the celebrity’s magical diet and exercise program! (but not too skinny of course, because that’s a problem worthy of another cover story). Us Weekly‘s obsession with weight, diets and dress sizes is pathetic. I’m tired of being told if I have a perfect, skinny body I’ll have the perfect life. I’m done.
So while I bid the publication adieu and seek out my next form of trashy entertainment reading, I try to take the high road by saying “It’s Not Us, It’s Me.” But that’s not entirely true. Us, it’s really you.