Friday, September 01, 2006

When Humor isn't Funny

I admit it, I have a guilty pleasure. I like to read celebrity mags. I like to look at the pictures and dream about what it would be like to dress like a princess for one night. I look at shoes-my big weakness. I look at dresses and hair and makeup...the whole girl thing. When I read them, I don't believe them because you know you can't. I don't agree with a colume all tabloids have, though they present it differently in each. They will show 2 celebs wearing the same thing and then poll 100 people on the street to see which celeb wore it better. Each tabloid also has it's own Hall of Shame, where they show a celeb wearing an outfit and then tear them to shreds for doing so.

Last week in Us Weekly, one of the cover stories was Nicole Richie. Her weight has been a tabloid magnet for over a year. They write about her health concerns and anorexia. Last week, the article was much of the same. Pick her to death for weighing 80 something pounds, then cheering her on to a cure and some sort of gain. On the back page of the magazine is their Hall of Shame. It shows a photo of Richie with what appears to be a baby bump, but obviously something due to the wind blowing. The caption under the photo says "Leave her alone! She finally gained a pound." This outraged me so much that I sent a letter to the tabloid and also to the comedian that was responsible for this nit-pick caption. I wrote:

The Sept. 4th issue had an article in regards to Nicole Richie and her weight/health concerns. Then, on the back page, is a photo of her with your caption "Leave her alone! She finally gained a pound."

I'm all for comedy and I think to laugh at ourselves is keeping things in proper perspective. However, to print a comment like this in the same issue as a story regarding her health is just plain in bad taste. Some jokes just aren't funny. This is the exact kind of thing said that makes a person in Richie's shoes further her disregard for food. Well done. You have become part of the problem instead of the answer.

I am feeling somewhat guilty that I support such meanness through patronage of the tabloid. But I also feel sad for anyone who is the victim of a joke that makes fun of them. Sometimes, jokes aren't funny. Especially if it hurts or makes fun of people's weaknesses. I probably shouldn't buy this tabloid-or any for that matter-again. I won't make promises. But I will try.