It was pointed out to me recently that I spend almost $12 a week on magazines, which is pretty sad when you think about it. And as much as I would like to, I just can’t stop. I love tabloid magazines. It is a sick obsession. I truly do want to know why Jessica Simpson didn’t wear her wedding ring to the grocery store. I mean, doesn’t she know that this is just going to create more hype about her supposedly failing marriage to Nick Lachey?

On any given week, my magazine collection will include such esteemed publications as People, In Touch, US Weekly and, if I am really desperate, even Star magazine. I, of course, also have my intellectual magazine collection and sophisticated magazines that also function as great paper weights. I am probably solely responsible for the extinction of an entire forest.

What is really sad is I don’t even really read the articles. I really just look at the pictures a few times and then throw the magazines away. I mean, the articles aren’t exactly full of any important content. If you simply read the headline and look at the picture, you pretty much get the gist of the story, and yet I still often spend more money on these magazines than food during the course of a week.

The habit is also putting a bit of a strain on my social life. There are the people who think my extensive knowledge of Kirsten Dunst’s and Jake Gyllenhall’s epic relationship is really quite absurd. Then there are my friends who come over, sit on my bed, grab the magazine and ignore me.

The root of the problem is really that I am completely star-struck and I like to see candid pictures of celebrities performing regular human endeavors. I am not really sure why I have this avid and weird interest, but until I figure it out, I am going to keep contributing to the tabloids’ business. I find these tabloids refreshing and relaxing from the surrounding stressful environment.

But it was quite depressing when, while watching a news special on the tabloid business, a reporter asked, “What kind of people buy these magazines?” and the tabloid marketing expert answered, “We appeal to a market of people who have miserable lives and live in a fantasy world where they aspire to be these celebrities.”

Everyone else watching thought that this was quite funny except, of course, for me and this event was immediately followed by self-doubting and a loud, crying session about being a miserable human.

Looking back at it though, I am 90 percent sure that I am not one of those miserable people. Those magazines are simply a diversion from the humdrum business of real life.

Plus, now I know Gwyneth Paltrow and I have the same shoe size. How cool is that?

Lepore can be reached at mlepore@campustimes.org.



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