[My friend Peter Sheridan is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for British national newspapers. He has covered revolutions, civil wars, riots, wildfires, and Hollywood celebrity misdeeds for longer than he cares to remember. As part of his job, he must read all the weekly tabloids. For the past couple of years, he's been posting terrific weekly tabloid recaps on Facebook and has graciously given us permission to run them on Boing Boing. Enjoy! – Mark]
Weighty topics fill this week's fact-lite tabloids, dedicated to bringing you a healthier, happier life – unless you're a celebrity.
Angelina Jolie weighs only 83 lbs and faces a "new cancer battle," the Duchess of Cambridge weighs 99 lbs and is "wasting away," and "skeletal" Sharknado actress Tara Reid weighs only 80 lbs, claim the flesh-obsessed rags.
After years of fat-shaming headlines – "Diet or Die, Docs Warn (insert celebrity name here)" – the tabloids have decided that thin can kill too, which must confuse readers who also digest this week's tabloid ads for weight-loss supplements, weight reduction drinks and diet pills.
Fortunately we have the tabloids' and celebrity mags' full investigative powers to tell us that Kim Kardashian wore it best (though comparing her with Kanye West is hardly a fair fight), that pregnant model Chrissy Teigen craves Fruity Pebbles and Cap'n Crunch cereals, and that the stars are just like us: they check their cells, take fitness classes, browse jewelry and sweeten tea (Isn't that fattening, Ed?.)
Us magazine breaks the news that pop singer Demi Lovato carries cuticle oil in her handbag because she's trying to repair damaged fingernails (hopefully she's eating them for their nutritional value) and presumably for Angelina, Duchess Kate and Reid, People magazine offers "The 5 best Thanksgiving Pies!" followed by the obligatory exclamation mark, because if Jeb! Bush can use one, surely five pies deserve one.
We learn that 100 people in NYC prefer Adam Levine, Toni Collette and James Franco with longer hair, and that Heidi Klum "won Halloween," because People mag knows that every social event is really a competition. Us mag gives us "25 things you don't know about" actress Erika Christensen, revealing that she loves garlic, etymology and takes a two-minute cold shower daily, but fails to tell us who the heck Erika Christensen is.
But what of this week's real tabloid news? Is Angelina Jolie truly facing a "new cancer battle" after 2013's precautionary double mastectomy and this March removing her ovaries, as the National Enquirer claims? There's absolutely nothing in the two-page article suggesting that Jolie has cancer or even faces an increased cancer risk. They simply found a doctor saying that early menopause can raise the chance of cardiovascular and neurological disease and osteoporosis – but not cancer. It just makes a better headline.
Is the "scary-skinny" Duchess of Cambridge "wasting away" as the Globe asserts? Tara Reid might call her overweight, but evidently Prince William "is worried his wife won't be able to conceive if she doesn't turn things around." Because the Prince always calls the Globe to discuss his deepest fears. Don't we all? "Kate's always been slim," an "insider" tells the Globe. Well, duh.
Tara Reid "looks like driftwood," says the Enquirer, but she reportedly insists: "I'm just a skinny girl and I do eat!" And presumably, she floats quite nicely.
Actress Leah Remini's "escape from Scientology" is People mag's cover, and she explains why cleaning hotel rooms for the church as a child, grueling interrogations and Tom Cruise's "weird" estate made her leave the so-called religion after more than 30 years. Fortunately we have Erika Christensen to tell us: "I've been a Scientologist for years. I am all the good things I am because of it." She also claims to make a "pesto-chimichurri sauce that's good on everything," so perhaps her concept of "good things" is open to question.
Halle Berry's divorce suit against third husband Olivier Martinez attracts mass tabloid coverage, though opinion is divided. Halle was the "wife from hell" whose "rages and outbursts" destroyed her marriage, according to the Enquirer. But it was Martinez's "anger issues" that sparked the split, according to People mag. "Halle swears off men – and marriage" claims the Globe, proposing that the couple "fought like cats and dogs until the bitter end."
What more could anyone ask from a celebrity marriage? At least neither of them are accused of being too thin.
Onwards and downwards . . .