Tabloid Magazines are Valued Literacy, Too!

By Jill

I am tired of my husband telling me my “trash magazine” has arrived each weekend when I receive my People magazine! As I tell him, at least I’m reading something! I think so-called tabloid magazines such as People, US Weekly, Star, etc., are wrongly judged as being “meaningless” or for “uneducated” people. There are so many glorious benefits to reading these types of magazines!

Reading is an event to be enjoyed, and that is exactly what I’m doing as I sit and read my People late at night when the house is quiet. While I understand how sections such as “Who Wore It Best?” may be seen as trivial or superficial, it takes a great deal of analysis and critique to decide just this! Can you see all the brainwork involved yet?

While celebrities and sports stars usually grace the covers of these magazines, People magazine, for example, makes space for heart-felt articles such as ‘Heroes Among Us.’ Within these articles, we learn about everyday people doing extraordinary things that are both genuine and inspiring.

Also, as a personal generally uninterested in politics, I will occasionally learn a thing or two about a Senator or Congressman who has been behaving badly. Then, at least, I recognize their names when my husband is watching CNN. I feel impressed with myself that I’m continually learning from my dear tabloid magazines.

Adding to the surplus of skills I’m attaining when reading tabloid magazines, is the exposure to different textual structures. These magazines use a format different from the standard left-to- right-reading novel, and one that all people need to become familiar with. Texts come in numerous different formats and we, as readers, need to learn how to navigate around these passages and pictures to find just the information we’re looking for. Who cares if that information is “Who is Dating Who?”

Finally, I truly appreciate the “Letters to the Editor” section that many of these magazines incorporate. Being able to express our thoughts and feelings on any subject and then being published is a feeling of importance and validation. And for those uninterested in expressing yourselves, just being able to read and appreciate other people’s opinions is a lesson we want all children and adults, alike, to learn.

So, THANK YOU, “trashy” tabloid magazines for teaching me to be such a skilled reader! You are a valuable part of my continual literacy experiences! What’s more, you bring such happiness to my life and I look forward to our many years spent together.

P.S. I see you, hubby, reading my People when you think I’m in the other room! 


9 thoughts on “Tabloid Magazines are Valued Literacy, Too!

  1. mybigfattriathlon June 22, 2010 / 6:48 pm


    As someone who just finished off the most recent issue of US Weekly with relish, I’m with you on this one. I love this magazine (my favorite parts being Who Wore It Best and They’re Just Like Us where stars are shown buying groceries, etc.). You raise a good point here–we all need to give ourselves credit as readers! Whether it’s US Weekly, the New Yorker, Great Expectations, or the latest Star Wars fan fiction, we’re reading, and we should value ALL of it!

    • Jill B. June 30, 2010 / 10:49 pm

      Oh, Joanna, no need to explain the “They’re just Like Us” section to me! I love seeing my favorite celebs shopping at Target…just like ME! It is true!

  2. mybigfattriathlon June 22, 2010 / 6:49 pm

    PS- I loved your graphics & the PS about your hubby at the end. Ha!

  3. Anne June 22, 2010 / 10:16 pm

    All literacy is important, including magazines. I agree with you so keep on reading your People magazines and I will keep reading my Enterainment Weekly magazines!

  4. Sarah Alvarez June 28, 2010 / 2:40 am

    Oh Jill I wish I was in this class with you because I’m so on your team! Kevin also thinks what I read is trash or non sense but I too see the benefits in reading them, as it is reading after all.

    p.s. kevin reads my US weekly when he thinks i’m not paying attention, haha 🙂

  5. Anita Castillo June 28, 2010 / 8:24 pm

    I totally agree with every word you mentioned. These magazines are a great form of literacy. Most importantly, it keeps us up-to-date with our favorite (and not so favorite) celebrities! My daughter (13-year-old) is hooked with reading her teen magazines as well. As long as she’s reading and enjoying what she reads – I, too, will support tabloid magazines!

  6. Holly Meisel June 30, 2010 / 7:35 pm

    This really made me chuckle! Love it!

  7. Rica July 1, 2010 / 1:12 pm

    I loved your article! I love to read “trashy” magazines… I don’t know if I would call InStyle a “trashy” magazine but I love to read it. I think reading magazines are a great way to practice a form of literacy. You’re reading, right? Why not read something that is entertaining to read!

  8. Sonia July 1, 2010 / 4:47 pm

    Your statement “At least I’m reading something!” reminded me of a time I went with my sixteen year old nephew to HEB. We were standing in line at the checkout line n I bought him a Wrestling magazine he was eyeing. My exact thoughts were “At least he wants to read!!!!”
    I myself have to have every months issue of Cosmopolitan! And yes, my boyfriend reads them, too!

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