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  ozarks Life Published Saturday, November 4, 2006  
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Finding fun in tabloids has become slim pickings

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Enough is enough.

I can no longer engage in my current passion of reading trash-zines in the grocery store line.

Used to be, scanning was a pleasure. There was an insatiable need to read as the Wal-Mart redhead rang up my Oil of Olay and Neosporin. One buying Campbell's Chicken and Rice must know whether or not Farrah's overdone nose was going to fall into her soup, or if Jen, Brad and Angelina were planning to settle out of court or hash it out in the mud wrestling pit.

What was the point of even waiting in long lines if one couldn't find out if Tom and Kate were ever going to marry? Or if their baby was a wooly booger from Planet Claire.

Will they marry, or won't they? Who gives a flying saucer, which is where some assumed baby Suri originated?

I did. We did. Those were the good old days of tabbing out and zoning on some real neuron reducers. These days, we can't read or stare at covers without gasping in utter boneyard horror.

What's out there now is so sickening I turn my eyes from the stands and make sure my third-grader does not see it.

"Eat! eat! eat!" I want to scream at the tabs featuring cadavers in Versace, their undernourished bodies giving them that watermelon-head look.

I felt my blood pressure rise upon seeing the frightening likes of Victoria Beckman, Nicole Richie, Keira Knightley, Kate Bosworth and "Anna-rexic" Kournikova, the once healthy tennis star. The Olsen twins were bad enough, and now every starlet is dead set on becoming a living, breathing double-zero who can exist on air, compliments and Starbucks.

These girls positively make Ally McBeal and Kate Moss look like a swamp sows.

I was hoping beauties such as Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with other curvy queens like J. Lo and Kate Winslet, had tipped Hollywood's scales in favor of healthy bodies.

This lasted a few years. Then thin was in again, along with the constant media images of actresses barely alive on the red carpets during their movie premiers.

What's the deal? Does one need to be 5-foot-8-inches and weigh 80 pounds to slink around at these premiers? Get some popcorn, Lindsay Lohan. Eat a Butterfinger, Keira.

I knew it was bad the day my daughter, only 8, stood in front of the mirror and said, "My figure looks cute in this. I think I have four-pack abs."

This, people, is cause for alarm and evidence of what the entertainment industry is doing to our babies.

Let's boycott the bones and vote in gals who know their way around a Duncan Hines factory.

Susan Reinhardt is a columnist and feature writer for the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times. She can be reached at

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