17/12/2013 07:32 GMT | Updated 15/02/2014 05:59 GMT

An Open Letter to Lisa Burrow - Editor of Closer Magazine

During research for a recent project in which I explored the issue of Anorexia, I happened to pick up an issue of Closer magazine. I could not believe how damaging every single spread was, it is no wonder that body image concerns are becoming such a problem. If like me you believe that toxic Magazines like Closer should be removed from our shelves, please feel free to share this letter.



For a recent project I chose to explore the issue of anorexia. As I am sure you are aware, anorexia is a condition where women instantly become beautiful by simply eating a very limited amount of food. After all, whoever said food is ESSENTIAL for a healthy lifestyle. I am being sarcastic of course, Lisa. Maybe joking about the issue with you is not such a good idea. After browsing through an issue of Closer it is quite clear that you are not aware of how severe this issue is for women as a result of excessive exposure to media.

Let me list the front cover 'headlines' from one of your November issues;


'My surgeon dad did my first cosmetic op at 10' 'Jordan's facelift riddle'

'The lipo's working but it's a struggle staying slim'

'I'm not confident naked - I have sex with the lights off'

Are you beginning to sense a theme? You have created a magazine that solely bases its content around weight loss and a desire for an artificial image. It leaves me deliberating whether your main sponsors are plastic surgeons and gyms? Or are your views truly so misguided that you honestly believe the idealistic skeletal figures that you promote, alongside your school-like bullying system, help to form a new, confident, self praising woman?

To put my point of view into perspective, I am a man. "Why does this affect you?," I hear you ask? It affects me because I honestly can not name a single female that could confidently tell me that she feels good about her own body. In my opinion that is quite a terrifying thought, that makes me feel like something has gone drastically wrong within our culture. Any male reading this is aware of how the 'compliment conversation' goes, Male: 'You look nice!' Female: 'No I don't, my **insert body part here** looks fat'. In no way am I saying that you individually are the sole cause of anorexia, but the image your magazine puts forward is clearly toxic to young women, and clearly part of the problem rather than the solution.

I chose to photocopy every single page of an issue of Closer that remotely related to concerns with body image. I was expecting the worst and you still managed to shock me. 77 pages out of 117 (not including your television guide) contained information that surrounded body image. The vast majority of articles discussed female body image in a negative light. My favourite quotes surrounded 'baby weight', how dare women gain weight during/after pregnancy. It is a time when they need to be looking tip top to attract a new man. I am right there with you Lisa! Again, I must state, I am being sarcastic. The mind-set that you are subliminally creating is damaging, toxic and misconstrued. The 'stories' that you publish need to be eradicated to put an end to the damage you are causing on a daily basis.

After reading further issues of Closer, I decided to look you up personally, expecting none other than the skinniest, prettiest, least pregnant, biggest breasted, lipo loaded woman in the world. As a response I chose to make my own cover of Closer magazine, with you as the main star! How exciting! Just as a suggestion for future issues. Please do let me know what you think.

At one point in your life someone may have told you, 'I am not angry, I am just disappointed.' Well Lisa,

I am both angry and extremely disappointed in you.

Wil Colquhoun

The proposal for the new cover:


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