I read this article with earnest. In one hand I feel I should reply. After all, my house is full of the magazines mentioned, and I’ve got posters with pictures of the ‘best breasts’ and women with very little clothing.
On the other hand, I agree with almost all of what she says.
I’ve actually seen the effect on so many people. The article says “With readers as young as 10- to 12-year-old boys, according to some surveys, what type of men will result?”. I can tell you what type of men result. A few months ago when I worked in the Zoo I was working with kids usually a lot younger than me. One of them was exactly the “lad” type that is meantioned in the article. I was going through my breakup with Sarah, and – although I rarely let it be known on my blog – I was miserable. I meantioned this to somebody who probably opitimises the kind of “lad” brought up with reading Daily Star and FHM at bedtime. “Oh, I’ve split up with my girlfriend.”, I said. Being the sensitive soul that he was, he said that I was an “idiot”, and I should of kept her as a “fuck buddy”.
Of course, he was the worse case scenario, and the article does talk about kids reading them at 11 and growing up too quickly, which I perfectly agree with. Kids do grow up far too quickly (I was 18 when I bought my first FHM, and I generally just stuck to Computer & Video Games Magazine, and Match magazine). There are also aspects of the magazine I don’t agree with (I felt the “win a boob job for your girlfriend” was enormously bad taste). But there’s a lot that I do enjoy reading (a few have a “blog watch”, which looks at blogs which would appeal to young males – quite why I haven’t been featured is unbelievable).
I suppose that’s why they’re so popular. Lads mag generally aim for those people who are interested in beer, fashion, cars, girls, facts, the Premiership and Abi Titmuss. With the exception of the Premiership (which I’m a bit indifferent to), fashion (as I’m not fashionable) and Abi Titmuss (who I can not stand), I read everything in the magazines. Why? I suppose it’s escapism, like a Mills & Boon novel, or a computer game. I mean, half of it is pure fantasy, be it sexual or otherwise (such as anything mentioned about England’s world cup chances). With a discussion with my mate we do agree that some parts are just stupid, and we are quick to moan about parts we don’t like (the fact that this weeks Nuts has no “Real Life Story” has angered me.
These magazines are popular and will continue to be. Not only with men though, but also with women. Admittedly most women who I know who read it read it because their boyfriends/housemates/I have it, but I know a few who legitimately buy it every week. I spoke to a few of them asking them if they would ever pose in those magazines. Most say they would, but just for the money. Some would do it for an ego boost, and a couple who said they wouldn’t.
Admittedly it is just a straw poll, but I’m throwing this out to my readers (especially female), if FHM, for example offered you a chance to be in a photoshoot, would you take it? If so, how much for (if anything), and if you don’t, why not?