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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The different between upmarket and downmarket magazines

The story in the current Vanity Fair about at least some of Tiger Woods's women once again proves that the only difference between upmarket and downmarket magazines (or "upscale" and "tabloid" as the Americans prefer it) is how many stylists are involved.

Mark Seal's immensely readable piece is based on an interview with one former associate of the golfer's and a bunch of women, at least one of whom is in the prostitution business, who have ministered to his apparently limitless appetite. It hints that his father was a nasty piece of work and that his marriage was a show put on for the sponsors and that he was "enabled" by all manner of people who should have known better, but the bulk of it is a standard bedroom shag'n'tell. I loved it.

When the News of The World do this sort of thing it's usually "he was an animal" or "he liked to wear a Liverpool shirt when we did it". When Vanity Fair do sin they do it in the way their readership prefers it. It's full of unblushing references to penis size and the precise cost of hotel suites at Las Vegas hotels. It is however the very same thing, ministering to exactly the same prurient desire to catch the mighty with their trousers down.

But most of all it's about the pictures. The highly-styled Marc Seliger shots of four of the women in the midst of five star luxury have the effect of turning the events into the stuff of a Jackie Collins airport novel. The women themselves, having been primped, preened and digitally smoothed by some of the finest specialists in the world, look as if they can't believe their good fortune.

Meanwhile Woods returns to golf, VF smuggles a bit of smut past its advertisers, Nike sell a few more gym pumps, world turns.