My salad dressing days

Dirty little secret #43
February 14, 2006, 12:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

**looks surreptitiously over both shoulders and whispers**

I like to read the glossy magazines that come with right-wing Saturday and Sunday newspapers.

Ooh, give me The Sunday Times ‘Style’* or (*deep breath*) The Mail On Sunday’s ‘You’ magazine. Or anything shiny that falls out of The Daily or Sunday Telegraph.

C’mon, people! A gal can only do so much Worthy.

Harrowing pieces about war-torn, dictator-ridden countries whose names suffer from a distinct lack of vowels. Over-long exposes of hideous miscarriages of justice. In-depth psychological profiles of obscure foreign left-wing political activists. Ouch. My brain starts to hurt.

I try. I really do. I read the first two paragraphs and I flick through the accompanying gut-wrenching black and white photos but once I discover that the article runs to ten pages, well, I flick straight on to the piddly half page of fashion tips (‘Organically farmed mohair is this season’s new acrylic!’).

Whereas the right-wing press tells us the stuff we really need to know, like who out of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles has the most kids and by whom! Brilliant! (Though it came as no surprise to learn that it’s Mick Jagger.)

A piece about women who have ‘walkers’. Confused? Well, these are the men with whom they have a platonic relationship who accompany them to film premieres and wotnot. Fascinating! Dale Winton is Cilla Black’s walker, apparently. And Nicole Kidman once used Russell Crowe (although I’m not convinced that was in the platonic category). And lots of super photos of said celebrities with their ‘walkers’. Marvellous.

And there’s always the chance to ogle at seven pages of photos of the inside of a C-list celebrity’s Hertfordshire mansion (‘Peter and I love to munch breakfast at our sleek marble breakfast bar every morning!’ – cue: posed shot of Peter poised on the brink of spooning Alpen into his lover’s lipsticked mouth, as they gaze lovingly into each other’s twinkling eyes).

[OK, so you get this sort of thing in The Grauniad, but it’s comes under the highfalutin’ title of ‘Architecture’ and it’s usually the house or flat of an, um, architect. Every flaming week.]

And then there are the women-attacking-women bitchfests and the pieces with unpleasant racist overtones and the unreconstructed no-nonsense-tell-it-like-it-is opinion pieces by ‘our very own Victor Meldrew!’.


Which is why, as a matter of principle, I utterly refuse to line the pockets of Mr Murdoch or (*spits in disgust*) Mr Dacre…

and instead wait until I find a copy which has been abandoned by its owner on the train or in the dentist’s waiting room.


* edited with correction – style, body, soul – whatever! s’all tittle-tattle innit?


12 Comments so far
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Ah, your lefty credentials are still firmly intact. I don’t know when the Times came with Body and Soul, but it’s been Style as long as I can remember… 😉

Comment by Hannah

Well spotted, Hannah. Body and Soul comes with the Saturday Times. UC’s brain has obviously gone to fudge. The problem page at the back is a must – although it can be tad confusing. Last week’s was about middle-aged couples enjoying “swinging” and I was on my way to Toys-R-Us to buy us a swing when the penny dropped. Euch.

Comment by motherhen

I too struggle to read more than a couple of pages of real-life grit, politics and hardship.

However, I think there’s a gay gene that prevents me from getting anything other than irritated by glossies. I turn to the personals and marvel at all the weirdos, instead.

Comment by funny thing

Your secret is safe with us UC.

One of the great appeals to going to my hairdresser every six weeks is so I can
a) spend 1.5 hours without children
b) read “People” and “Us”, and catch up on the lives of the ‘beautiful’ people.

Comment by Kyahgirl

p.s. I forgot to leave these earlier….

Comment by Kyahgirl


I only read YOU Magazine*. Nothing else. I like to look at the pretty pictures. I want to be one of those women who start businesses selling old French linen with their banker husbands’ money.

*Bet you think I’m joking.

Comment by Bela

A walker? Yet another accessory that I’m lacking. Pah.

Comment by Tabby Rabbit

I am so with you there, UC. But I now have a lving room full of commemerative plates of Aidensfield and ceramic models of Greyfriars Bobby and gold coins featuring the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. so reading the supplements come at a price.

Comment by Wyndham

They can’t compare with the Review. I have fond memories of the early days on the IoS, when it was a rare and beautiful thing and we all slaved over it willingly.

Comment by Dave F

Every Sunday I buy the Observer and Flatmate buys the NoTW. I always read the Slebs bit of the trashy paper first of course.

I hate the ST Style section, it’s just so po-faced. And full of stuff I can’t afford.

Comment by Spinsterella

I do the exact same thing with dodgy gossip mags. I never buy them obviously but if they’re lying there on the table at work and I’ve got a cup of tea… They’re evil!

Comment by belladona

“Walkers” is a very polite name for these useful appendages. But in America they are called “beards”. Not sure of the origin. But it has an air of cynicism.

Comment by Dave F

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