The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Trashy magazines

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Walk into any female dorm room on campus and you will see a stack of reading material the size of a Hummer. Textbooks you might ask? Not quite.Sure, there might by a copy of “Paradise Lost” lying around, but there is no doubt what tops the reading list these days: trashy magazines.I’m talking about those glossy publications with Jessica Simpson or one of the five Desperate Housewives stars plastered across the front with some glaring question like “Feuding on the set?” blazoned in bold font.I pretend not to be caught up in the trashy magazine phenomenon. I never actually buy them myself and roll my eyes at others as they grab them off the racks at the last minute in the grocery store line. But I don’t hold myself above looking at issues that my friends have purchased and leave lying around. It’s not like I am contributing to the aggressive behavior of the paparazzi if someone else paid for it, right?Really, I don’t know why I love to reading magazines like People and In Touch as much as I do. Looking at Britney Spears’ pudge that may or may or may not be the first signs of pregnancy (apparently is was) sounds rather disgusting. And do I really care whether Jennifer Lopez’s 18th marriage is going to last more than a year?Yet I flip through them, one after the other, with great enthusiasm. I love seeing all the crazy glamorous outfits celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson sport to big entertainment events or even just walking the streets of Los Angeles. And who doesn’t want to compare the size of Paris Hilton’s $500 sunglasses to those of Mary-Kate Olsen?And purses. Seriously, Louis Vitton doesn’t even need to waste money printing a catalogue because every single style is advertised weekly on the arms of women such as Tara Reid in the pages of these publications.Trashy magazines pass from hands to hands and dorm to dorm and maybe even state to state. They are good company in airports and on long car rides. You don’t go through a trashy magazine like you would your reading assignment for history class. That is, as fast as you can. Instead, you pour over every page, every image, examining every detail of every outfit. You analyze whether that side part, loose curl hair style really works for Demi Moore or not. You and your friends make commentary on someone’s obvious plastic surgery declaring you yourselves would never go under the knife. Trashy magazines get so worn out with use that covers begin to fall off and pictures begin to fade. Yet you hold on to them and to the fantasy they contain, dreaming that someday you too can attend the Oscars on the arm of Orlando Bloom.