Heat vs. Look: Magazinageddon 2013

Ladies and gents, it’s the weekend - and this week you have been subjected to an absolute onslaught of mundanity, courtesy of Heat and Look magazine. I bought them both so I could pit them against one another, but I have to say that Heat wins hands-down on the cover, which was so brilliant that I decided to illustrate this article with it. ‘What we REALLY eat: They [the celebs, of course] tell Heat the TRUTH about their eating habits,’ cackles the front page, which is charmingly illustrated with unflattering pictures of Cheryl Cole, Nicole Scherzinger, Mel B, and some woman apparently called Lauren tucking into such disgusting pigswill as a sandwich, a plate of spinach, and spaghetti bolognese. If you’re thinking, ‘Oh my God, who the hell cares?’, Peter Griffin style, then you’re WRONG. Whoever ‘secretly scoffs Nando’s’ should be named and shamed in time for the new year, before everyone starts eating food. 

In the classic Heat way, a box-out at the top then suggests that you can get a ‘tum like mine in 10 minutes’, in the 'words' of Jessica Ennis. So if you have actually let something calorific pass your lips (like, ew), then it’s all fixable when you follow a ten minute routine put together by journalists and sponsored by an Olympic athlete, who obvs hadn’t spent years training for hours every day to reach the most prestigious sporting event of all time. It was, like, ten minutes. And then she told Heat about it, so you can be in the Olympics next time, too! So long as you don’t eat Nando’s.

Inside, there’s a full breakdown of what any celebrity they could dredge up for a fee eats in a day, with their age, height, weight and dress size listed next to bowls of what they snack on (Cheryl loves Percy Pigs, Nicola McLean eats Haribo, and Lauren has cleverly claimed that she ‘snacks’ on wine. A woman after my own heart.) Most poignantly, one of the teenage frontgirls of X Factor band Little Mix is part of this motley crew. She’s a dress size eight, according to Heat, but in her interview she says, ‘I’m scared that in two years I’m gonna wake up and be absolutely massive, but I’ll just have to deal with it.’ This quotation is juxtaposed with the breakdown of her daily meals: an omelette for breakfast, chicken and vegetables for lunch, and mince with dumplings for dinner.

But let’s take ourselves over to Look magazine for a teensy tiny minute. This week, they went with ‘distress in a dress’ (a term actually mentioned to us by a tabloid writer), where the main feature on the front cover was ‘CHERYL’S BABY HEARTACHE! Her emotional week with Tre.’ Then there’s an opportune photo of her where her hand is kind of near her stomach and she’s standing next to her boyfriend (or maybe the boyfriend part is speculation? I can’t keep up.) Look Logic has really been put to work here: picture - hand - stomach - boyfriend - baby? - HEARTACHE - EMOTION - ROLLERCOASTER - HYSTERIA - DISTRESS.IN.A.DRESS! Of course, there’s ‘the new 8-hour diet that REALLY works’ as well, which isn’t perhaps as quick a fix as Jessica Ennis’s promise to transform your hangover stomach into an Olympian frame, but we’ll take it.

A few pages in, both magazines do a gushing feature on the Beckhams as a (Look’s words) ‘First Family of Fashion.’ Heat has zoomed in on Romeo, with pervy pics of the little boy in various attires and the headline: ‘Romeo Beckham’s AMAZING Burberry wardrobe!’ Look has gone with a breakdown of each child in the Beckham brood, including claims that nappy-wearing Harper has ‘carved out a signature look of her own, showcasing an endless parade of pretty frocks.’ CARVED OUT A SIGNATURE LOOK OF HER OWN. ‘Someone’s inherited Mummy’s expensive tastes!’ gushes Look, while the photo of the baby being carried around by her father renders the whole thing weirdly surreal. Needless to say, Romeo has been identified as ‘the fashion one’ by both mags, which also feature the same picture and a big mention of Burberry to back it up. Burberry PR, anyone?

Onwards and upwards: the mysterious Lauren makes an appearance in Look after giving her diet breakdown in Heat, claiming that ‘Dancing On Ice will get me my dream body - and man!’ More entertainingly, Heat goes with ‘THE CURSE OF K-STEW’, which they claim infects every professional endeavour that Kristen Stewart involves herself with after cheating on that vampire dude. Ben Affleck dropped out of a movie where he was due to play her love interest, it’s claimed, and that’s probably because Kristen is a lying, cheating witch with magical powers. Who the hell cares if she’s only twenty-two? Heat knows a curse when it sees one.

Both mags delve into how ‘Harry and Taylor’ (er, One Direction teen heartthrob and Taylor Swift, duh) are going to ‘make it work’ (answer: with lots of expensive gifts), which is a relief because I was really wondering. Heat then gets stuck in with stalking Kate Moss on her latest fashion shoot, where they claim she lit up ‘while posing for a fashion shoot. And then... again. And again. (And again - we didn’t have room for all the pictures.)’ God, maybe that’s, like, totally a sign that you should stop taking pictures or whatever. Stay classy, ladies.

Both magazines then talk about Rihanna’s new mansion. It's almost as if they're all peddling the exact same content. Hot on the heels of that, Look features a massive three-page breakdown on diets and all the diet books that you have to buy right now. Then there’s a load of bollocks on how to ‘rock’ a jumper with leather and fur panels, which I personally won’t be rocking any day soon. The rest of Look is basically a fuckload of gym PR, with workout kits, trainers, gym memberships, and diet plans galore. The guide to your post-party hangover even suggests that you start drinking daily protein shakes, which could lend you an entirely different ‘2013 bod’ than the one you were expecting, but at least they’ll be able to sell you another kind of diet in six months’ time.

Back to Heat, there’s a ‘HUGE NEW YEAR ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE’, so the rest of the magazine is taken up with whatever’s on TV nowadays (clue: it’s an X Factor reject in the Big Brother house, grinding with Heidi Montag, thus proving everything we always knew about Channel Five all along.) But none of this is before ‘What Were You Thinking?’, the especially kind guide to eight female celebrities (and one token male) and what they dared to wear to various events of late. As if you hadn’t already guessed, it’s totes bitchy, including the claim against twenty-two year old Helen Flanagan that, ‘Malibu Barbie’s cast-off isn’t exactly the best outfit to go with patchy fake tan and a serious case of side-boob.’ Ouch. How do I know her age? Because Heat has started putting the ages after the names of their victims, and so I know that Mischa B - whose outfit is helpfully captioned ‘Pass the paper bag’ - is only twenty years old, a hell of a lot younger than the average age of the journalists who are publicly slagging her off for financial gain. That’s the part that makes me need a paper bag, but then I do have a sensitive stomach when it comes to women’s magazines.

At this point, I am going to close the magazines, set them all on fire, and ‘secretly scoff’ some Nando’s. Here’s to another uphill struggle in 2013, gals. Anyone care to join me?