I've loved magazines since I was a child. All my pocket money, when I wasn't buying Pokémon card etc, went on them. I subscribed to NME and Mojo for a few years, currently a subscriber to the Wire and blah blah blah. But one strand of magazines I've ever read is the lads mag. Not being the most obviously macho person ever throughout my teens I held the view that the likes of Nuts, Zoo, FHM etc were for idiots. I'd descirbe certain drinks, films, clubs, bands as 'something for Nuts readers', a stereotype I'd created that fitted boys who celebrated tits, nasty tackles and WKD and seemingly nothing else. The idea of this blog is to examine aspects of 'lads' culture from the position of young men outside this world, so it seemed reasonable to buy a lads mag and take a look at it, examining how it displays its ideology and if it reflects what this writer thinks it will.
I walked into my local branch of Tesco metro armed with a few quid and came out with a copy of Nuts and a tin of own brand baked beans. It was one of my bleakest purchases ever, a horrifying flashforward into a life on unrelenting lonliness punctuated by half-hearted wanks over semi naked soap stars.
I picked Nuts up by accident, thinking I'd grabbed Zoo instead which boasted of "100 Naked Women Inside!", which was an offer too good to refuse. But Nuts was going to offer me "Britain's Sexiest Bums" an attractive proposition that was slightly soured by the fact it was, somewhat ambiguously, 'presented' by WAG/Big Brother racist Danielle Lloyd.
I've decided to break my exploration of Nuts down in to a page-by-page analysis. Here it goes:
Front page: Visually unappealing mess of garish colours, cheap fonts and airbrushed arses.
Pages 4-5: This is 'Nuts News' apparently, and this weeks news is that the actress Megan Fox has done an advert for Armani and she stands around in her underwear in it. I'm not entirely sure how this is news and/or deserving of a double page spread but there you go. There's one photo involving her standing with her right arm straight up in the air and the left grabbing it at the elbow which comes with the slightly odd caption, 'Bloody Circle Line!' I think the reader is meant to laugh at the juxtaposition of a famous Hollywood actress and the mundaneness of the tube line. It's either that or a reference to periods.
Pages 6-7: 'Plane eats plane!' screams the headline but in reality it's just a picture of an Airbus Beluga, a plane that carries other parts of plane around. I'm not sure who's going to be impressed by this. The captions are reminiscent of the ones I used to piss myself laughing about in Cub Scout annuals when I was eight but now seem embarrassing. Sample: "Buuurrrrrrrrrrrp! Oooh, pardon my manners" goes alongside a photo of the plane. You'd be hard pressed to even smirk at this after eight WKDs.
Pages 8-9: Some bird from the Twilight films is starring in an advert that involves her having her boobs painted to look like scales. Cue hilarious jokes about trying to use paint thinner to see some tits.
Pages 10-11: WOAHHHHH A CAR! A BIG, SHINY, EXPENSIVE CAR! This one is an Audi that produces an e-torque of 1955 lb/ft! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!
Pages 12-13: This is a double spread entitled 'Rude News' and it features some girls going sledging in their bikinis, a glamour model holding her chest in the sea, a very blurry picture of Billie Piper pretending to have sex with someone in a TV show and, this is the highlight, Xena Warrior Princess showing off one of her baps in profile. OH and Lucy Pinder allowing her nipples to slip between her fingers resulting in her breasts looking like the eyes of a sleep deprived mother.
Page 14: Just an advery for Brylcreem. Does anyone use Brylcreem? I only ever see it in Poundland.
Page 15: The funniest page in the magazine. It's all about Nuts 'signing' the 3D animated football comic 'Striker' from The Sun. Striker looks like a badly rendered Playstation one cut-scene. But you've gotta love a comic including characters like 'bonkers Haitian keeper Rufus Lebonque' and my favourite, 'tough-tackling (but gay!) defender Phil "Hello Boys" Austin'. Glad homophobia is still alive and kicking. LOL GEDDIT.
Page 16: Throw away section about a man who lip reads footballers swearing. Nuts then obscure the swear words rendering the section obsolete.
Page 17: an advert for fucking Sky1
Pages 18-21: these are all about CRAZY new gadgets that will: allow you to Skype in HD, shout 'RADIO ONE' in your car and be subjected to a load of twats playing awful music, AND sexy robots who actually look like Cat Power if she'd been smashed with a hammer repeatedly mid-blowjob.
Pages 22 -23: An advert for chlamydia testing featuring, strangely, two floating cushions at a train station talking to one another/a badly written piece about some twat who got his foot shredded by a propeller. Any suspense as to his safety is shattered by a large text box saying 'HE'S OK NOW!!!' in huge letters.
Pages 24-25: a picture of a fish being bitten by a seal/an advert for blockbuster. The issues low point.
the next two pages are really shit adverts. skip them.
Pages 28-29: This is the letters section. I was looking forward to this actually, wondering what delights the Nuts readership would send in, what knowledge they wanted to impart to their fellow man. I was saddened, then, to see two pages of snow penises, men vomiting and funny foreign signs. Oh and one very odd section called 'Stealth Bumming Corner' where Tom "The Original Stealth Bummer" told people off for copying his schtick of walking up to unsuspecting men and pretending to bum them. Har har har, bumming is funny!
Pages 30-31: BIG PAGE OF JOKES, except I failed to find a single one that was even vaguely amusing. Jeremy Clarkson slagged off poor people though, so i'm sure the Nuts demographic loved that one. And somehow I don't think Rich Hall is a 'mate' of Nuts'.
Page 32: I was promised 'Camera Phone Comedy'... and well, someone sent in a photo of some sweet and sour chicken that looked like a bad drawing of an erect penis so I think it lived up to its title. Can you guess what the person who sent it in suggests the item on the menu SHOULD have been called?
Page 35: This one actually made me laugh out loud, but for the wrong reasons. It's a section called 'Pop Out in Public' so the premise is simple. But there was one photo that had me crying with laughter. A woman who looked EXACTLY like me, topless, in the snow, wearing a dodgy hat. She looks like a terminally ill me. hahaahahahahahahahah. There was also a photo of two girls with really pert bums with the letters' N U' and 'T S' written on them, which was kinda cool.
Page 36: Photos of people who got shitty (literally in the case of the Asian/New Zealander Stacie Fernando, who got a tattoo of a pile of shit because his friends often told him he was 'poo coloured'. charming) tattoos. My favourite was Martin Edmunds' one. He got Mickey Mouse sporting a comically large boner tattood on his stomach. 'The women seem to love it!' he lies to us.
Pages 38-39: This was an interview with Ray Winstone, an actor who's been in one good film but has attained legendary lad status. The interview tells us nothing interesting really, but is peppered with boring annecdotes that might might some idiots laugh. SMRIK at the time Ray's friend went swimming and everyone saw one of his balls ("It was hilarious but horrific!")! CHORTLE as Ray breaks his ribs on the set of Beowulf ("Silly as a bag of bollocks!"). SINK INTO A MILD DEPRESSION as you realise people actually idolise this talentless wanker.
Pages 40-41: reminded me of Match magazine, it's literally just photos of footballers nearly hurting each other.
the section about shooting pirates was skipped over.
Pages 44-55: AWWWW YEAHH, this is it, this is BRITAIN'S! BEST! BUMS! Does what it says on the tin, thick looking girls pose for us with their bums out and nipples obscured. There's nothing sexual about any of these photos in the slightest and I'd worry if anyone over the age of 14 was busting nuts over this. You learn some good stuff though, if Danielle Lloyd was made PM for the day she'd sack Gordon Brown and then cut taxes. "Takes are sh*t - make sure you put that in!". She's a wise old owl, this Lloyd bird. The other girls in the photo shoot drone on and on about rubbing cocoa butter all over their arses/doing ballet in the nude/staring at their own bums post-shower like some narcissistic cunt/sunbathing nude - all stuff designed to get men drooling/blatting over the pages.
Then there was some stuff about snow sports/Chris Kamara. I love Kammy so i'm not commenting. In fact, all the football stuff was boring as fuck. We got back to girls pretty quick tho:
Pages 68-70: Man, these are Bedroom Babes? No. No. Just no, unless you like square-jawed, squashed-faced versions of Aleisha Dixon with nipples the size of Smarties, staring vacantly down the camera.
Page 74: This contained photos of SEXY LOCAL GIRLS ON YOUR MOBILE. Except they all looked like harrowing photos of women forced into prostitution, begging the reader to pay a few quid for a blurry shot of their partially obscured slot.
Page 75: This is a page where ladies confess sexy secrets, none of which are sexy. I did laugh hard at a story simply being titled: 'My man slid his fingers in me', wherein, well, a man fingers his bird at the local pool. Classy couple.
Page 77: The, frankly bizarrely named 'Babes of Mynuts", (is this meant to be a pun? am i being outwitted by the Nuts staff?) page featured a girl who looked like someone I went to school with (who looked like a divorced 40 year old anyway) posing with a lolly, looking uncomfortable, baps out. There was a haunted look in her eye.
The rest of the magazine was TV listings/DVD reviews.
So, what did I learn? Well, the people the Nuts stuff write for are obviously idiots. The standard of writing is dreadful, but this wasn't surprising. The girls aren't my type. I don't think gross photos are funny. I think I wasted £1.70