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An open letter to the PCC and Closer Magazine

27/06/2011

Closer Magazine – Repugnant and Irresponsible.

Yesterday, whilst fuelling up the car, I spotted this headline on the front of Closer Magazine.

Skinny and pregnant, or not... and fat.

I often find myself aghast at the filth pedalled by red top magazines in the vague guise of journalism and reportage, but this one I couldn’t just let lie, so here’s what I’ve sent to the PCC and here’s hoping that some action is taken.

Dear PCC,

I hope this finds you well. Spotted the headlines and pictures detailed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/huxhombre/5876720852/

It’s clearly highly irresponsible to a) portray the woman on the right as someone who is showing a “tum” and implying that she should lose weight, and also to encourage slimming/dieting when pregnant. It’s also sensationalist and clearly a dangerous thing to pedal to young impressionables. I’m reporting this to you if only on the basis that it flouts the following from your Code Of Conduct:

“All members of the press have a duty to maintain the highest professional standards”

The headline and pictures have singularly failed to comply with that opening statement from http://www.pcc.org.uk/cop/practice.html. Furthermore, the code says it extends to include

“THE PUBLIC INTEREST

There may be exceptions to the clauses marked * where they can be demonstrated to be in the public interest.

“1. The public interest includes, but is not confined to:

i) Detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety.

ii) Protecting public health and safety…”

Clearly, setting a pregnant woman with exceedingly flat stomach against a reputedly not pregnant woman and holding the woman on the left here as a beacon of slimness versus whilst painting the woman on the right as having a “Tum” (whilst she’s clearly a very slim woman) is very much against the interest of public health. I believe it’s clear that this kind of attempted journalism is dangerously promoting an unhealthy, undesirable and unrealistic view of what healthy body shape is and should be.

I look forward to your response.

Best Regards,

Rich Huxley

———————————

So, if I’ve got the wrong end of the stick, or if you’re with me on this then please do comment below. You can also reach closer magazine on Twitter here.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    27/06/2011 12:42 pm

    It’s simply not appropriate to comment on ones stomach regardless of it’s size during pregnancy. It’s a worrying trend. As is the current fashion for implying that it’s brave or right to not take maternity leave and carry on working cos you’re too busy (Victoria beckham – daily mail). We have an awful attitude to pregnancy in this country.

    • 27/06/2011 1:54 pm

      I agree, this represents an appalling attitude towards pregnancy. Being pregnant should be one of the proudest times of a woman’s life. I know that was definitely the case for my mother who has told me in the past that being pregnant with me was the happiest time of her life.

      To be sending the message out to impressionables that you should be anything but proud of your pregant body is simply abhorent.

  2. 27/06/2011 1:04 pm

    Well said Rich

  3. Heather Scratcher permalink
    27/06/2011 1:17 pm

    Rich, I couldn’t agree more. Both women have beautiful figures and ones that should be celebrated if at all discussed en mass. I do, however, ( and at the risk if digressing off the point) have to ask you, what is the thing in the top left if your picture??

  4. 27/06/2011 1:42 pm

    Thanks for your responses. Here’s hoping there’s some action taken. Can’t help but think we’re swimming against the tide of corporate gain here though.

    Hetty, the top right is a badly captured bit of finger. I’ve now edited it out for the sake of decency.
    ;)
    xR

  5. drfizzy permalink
    27/06/2011 2:17 pm

    “Body fascism” targetted at women is sadly institutional in some sections of the media as witnessed by the recent “size zero” scandal and the extensively “photoshopped” model picture “ideal” that no woman could ever achieve. To extend this attitude to pregnancy is totally irresponsible and diametrically opposed to “promoting public health and safety” in line with the Code.

  6. 30/06/2011 1:21 pm

    Got a reply from the PCC.

    It would appear that the press can justify publishing articles which they feel are in the public interest, but articles which are against the public interest do not qualify for further investigation according to the Code of Conduct.

    I’ll hopefully have more on this soon if the PCC are happy to have the discussion in public.
    ;)
    xR

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