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Of all the publications in the magazine world, gossip titles tend to be saddled with a bad rep. Words like shallow, tacky and superficial hover around them, descriptions that wouldn’t be used to describe the glossier titles.
Even so… I’m not at all ashamed to say I love Heat magazine, and that I’ve barely missed an issue since it first launched. The witty, acerbic tone of the writing, and the way Heat is simultaneously fond of celebrity culture whilst mocking it definitely sets it apart from other titles in its genre. It’s a laugh out loud title that has moved with the times to also include large lifestyle and popular culture sections. It’s a testament to Heat’s content that it’s continued to excel in a digital world where gossip is largely sought online.
However, sometimes my enjoyment of this weekly lol-a-thon is interrupted by people who say things along the lines of “Oh, you don’t read gossip do you?” I’ve even had a family member, who shall remain nameless, tell me that reading Heat is making me lose brain cells.
Au contraire. Not only has the inventive verbal humour, and the tone and pace of Heat’s writing affected my own over the years, I’ve also learnt a lot about what makes a punchy interview and a hilarious photo caption, not to mention a ton about celebrities and the best films, books and TV. In my heart I know it shouldn’t matter who Rhianna is sleeping with, or what Jennifer Lawrence is scheming in a bid for total world domination, but I don’t care. I enjoy being entertained and finding out news and secrets about the famous, just as much as I enjoy having a good old gossip about people I know with a friend (probably over a prosecco or two).
According to university professor types, not only is gossiping on any level completely normal human behaviour, it’s actually good for our mental health. It’s a method for making connections with new people we meet; we can bond over knowledge exchanges about a mutual acquaintance or someone in the public eye.
Being in the know about gossip can make us feel included in a group, and being the one to reveal gossip that others don’t know gives a person a temporary sense of power and usefulness. Gossip teaches us lessons about life, and helps us work out what’s right from wrong – from cautionary tales as much as from successes. It can also boost our self-esteem, our drive to succeed in life, and gives us a shared vocabulary as phrases and words are passed on through conversations, gossip websites and publications. And you thought gossip magazines were just about what One Direction did on their holiday, or who Taylor Swift is dating now!?
So next time someone suggests your gossip mag is too low-brow, tell them it’s improving your communication skills, sense of community, personal drive and moral compass more than any other type of magazine could. Then theatrically hold it up in front of your face so that they’re left reeling from your amazing put-down and having to stare at whoever’s on the front cover that week. That’s what I’d do, anyway.
Are you convinced? If so, check out our great range of celebrity gossip mags.