Nuts and Zoo Weekly

K* Harknett has the uneviable task of reviewing two new weekly lads mags.

, 16 February 2004

Women! Don’t expect any help on a Thursday.

‘Cos, apparently, your ‘bloke’ will be filling it’s head with recycled, puerile trash. Yep, with such titles as Loaded, FHM, Front, Ice, and various others, what the over-saturated lad-rag market really needs is not one, but two more. And, like, every week?!

Does the over-saturated lad-rag market really need not one, but two more titles?

I’d heard on the radio a survey for one of the new titles, Nuts, said men were fed up being portrayed as leering, unintelligent neanderthals – this admittedly raised my hopes before actually seeing the magazine. But the only effect the survey could’ve had on their editorship was: “Shit! This survey could undermine our sales! How can we make sure our readers stay leering, unintelligent neanderthals?”

And so, Nuts gave birth to their pathetic ad campaign. So, ladies – you’ve gotta do the DIY, fix the car, and use maps yourselves now, with no help from your bloke. Heck, at least it’d get done. And since when did you know any bloke to use a map?

The Editor of The F-Word gave me, a 27 year old male more into Feminism than Page 3 and the pros & cons of Thierry Henry & Ruud van Nistelrooy, the unenviable task of reviewing this and Zoo Weekly. I’ve never, ever got ‘Lad’ ‘Culture’- why subscribe to a school of thought that encourages you to act like a complete retard? Discreetly sandwiching them between a folded NME, I make my embarassing purchases and set about attempting to wax lyrical on them. And initially, I feel as uninspired as these sad excuses for entertainment. The ‘babes’ featured on the cover each have an insipid article based around repeated (mis)quotes, accompanied by seen-them-all-before tabloid fodder photos. Of the two, Zoo is the most puerile, reminiscent of the bloke who’s always down the pub, gobbing off about how many ‘birds’ he’s ‘shagged’ in the past ‘week’, and cracking tasteless gags about women, and any atrocities currently occuring (Harold Shipman appears to be Flavour Of The Weak), all in a laughable Mockney accent. Even though it was free, I still consider myself robbed. But! There is a Reader’s Survey! Which gives you the opportunity to say it’s Boring, Juvenile, Tasteless, and – Woo hoo! – Sexist. It’s almost worth picking it up, just to inundate them with surveys claiming it to be all these.

Nuts, however, is a different kind of ‘lad’ – the one who seems nice, with his smart shirt (ironed by mum) and Westlife hair, sipping from his bottled beer, ’til you see the insidious smirk, and the eyes drifting downwards only interested in what your tits have to say. But underneath, it’s still the same; tabloid photos, recycled quotes, an interview with a Page 3 Girl saying what the bloke wants to hear, cars, gadgets, football, yaddayaddayadda… Yawn. But, to give it a tiny amount of credit, as you can see below, there’s no exposed breasts. But how long will that last, I wonder?

Here’s a brief breakdown of the contents:

  Nuts Zoo Weekly
Breasts: Bare 0 11
Breasts: Partially exposed 15 14
Sexist jokes/captions/articles 13 35
Sexist ads 1 1
Photos of Jordan 1 3
“Gross” photos/articles 11 12*

(*Includes photo of Chris Moyles)

Trashy, insipid, sexist, plain tiresome… They’ll sell in their droves. Sigh. (Oh, and any blokes who might’ve been offended by my remarks demeaning your DIY, mechanics, and map-reading abilities; I’m being ironic, okay?)

K* Harknett is 27, lives in a small Essex village, and spends most of his time writing Juicy fanzine (juicy_zine@yahoo.com) and playing guitar. He was on on the “Men In Feminism” panel at Ladyfest London 2002.

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