It's a girl thing
Why don't magazines like it when women get along? Is a girl's worst enemy really another girl?
Trends in celebrity magazines seem to come and go, but one which has prevailed over the years of Victoria Beckham interviews, features on fat or skinny beach bodies and breathless articles about the latest reality TV stud is the art of turning female against female.
Now that newspapers are relying less on world events and more on Charlotte Church falling drunk out a taxi and slagging off Cheryl Tweedy, we appear to be stuck in an endless cycle of female celebs mouthing off about each other and it's becoming most unsavoury.
I'm not a woman, so won't pretend to know anything about the female inner psyche, but I have had for many years a little theory, which when I tell women about it, they tend to agree. The theory? Deep down, all women, er, hate each other. Now, I know, I know, how to explain the endless hen parties, 'girlie' nights, sleepovers, "best friends for ever" pledges of allegiance etc? Well, like I said, this innate hatred is deep and can, for the most part, lay dormant, but I reckon that a woman's worst enemy is another woman. Whether it's that women bear grudges or men are just too stupid and laidback to have feelings about anyone else other than themselves I don't know and, anyway, it's just a theory and not an entirely serious one at that, but it's starting to look like I'm not the only one that's noticed this. The press as a whole has latched onto it and they are feeding that fire so fast that if it were an actual fire as opposed to a theoretic one, there'd not be a single tree on the planet left to burn.
There are too many examples of magazines made for women by women who hate women to list here, but the stories featured in them are almost all the same. Size 12 women are branded as fat cows while their size 6 counterparts are accused of all manner of eating disorders; articles in teenage magazines tell you how to 'spot the bitch that's after your man/ clothes/ life; gossip columns invent or instigate spats between prominent female celebrities in an attempt to encourage the participants to have a full-on bitchfight across their pages. It happens all the time.
One example is the recent, much-publicised alleged incident between Lily Allen and Peaches Geldof at a music festival. These two particular young ladies have been fantastic tabloid fodder lately: both daughters of very famous men, one has had a number one hit single and has got a bit of a reputation for being outspoken in interviews, the other is attempting to carve out a career in TV and journalism and, er, DJing. Papers, magazines and websites were screaming with the news that Lily Allen had approached Peaches Geldof and spat on her at the V festival. Apparently Geldof had called Allen a cokehead on a previous occasion and the two girls hated the sight of each other. The story ran for a while, clearly doing neither girl much harm and yet rather than letting the story die, Allen posted on her blog that the story was rubbish: a journalist had approached her and relayed the name-calling claim, which Allen then dismissed as being untrue because the girls knew each other well enough to know that no such thing would be said. Now, I'm not stupid enough to believe that either girl was eager to dismiss such publicity- after all, there's no such thing as bad publicity except child porn and murder, and even then that can be spun out to your advantage- but it was refreshing to see a denial made public: a denial which I believe has yet to be widely reported in the press.
So why do women hate each other on the quiet? I imagine it's all men's fault somewhere down the line, but magazines and newspapers can also help to spread the message of insecurity that might make a woman look more unfavourably on her fellow female. I don't have all the answers. That I work in the very industry which propagates this message may well be to my eternal shame, but hey, that's business. Before I get lots of angry comments from women, I must admit I am starting to notice this hate culture's presence in the male press as well. It looks like only a matter of time before we're all ripping each other's hair out, like one great big worldwide lilypond fight between an army of Alexis Colbys and Krystle Carringtons.