On the television show Good Morning Britain yesterday left wing activist Ash Sarkar rebutted claims from presenter Piers Morgan that her hero was Barack Obama, by saying “he’s not my hero! I’m a communist you idiot.” This morning ELLE magazine ran a story calling Ash Sarkar “today’s hero.” The closing line reads: “Literally a communist and literally our hero.”
This is confusing coming from ELLE, a glossy women’s magazine owned by mass media conglomerate Hearst Communications Inc. Hearst also owns Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Seventeen Magazine, Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar to name just a few.
Hearst made a revenue of $10.8 billion dollars in 2016.
Not sounding very communist so far. And, the first thing that hits you when you visit ELLE.com is a sidebar advertisement for Prada, a luxury fashion brand where a simple dress will set you back £1,115.
Flicking through the magazine itself you’re faced with ads for Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Fendi, Dior, Lancome and TAG Heuer all before you even get to the table of contents on page 17.
A story they’re running on the site at the moment titled “9 Of The Best Lip Oils For Glossy Lips Minus The Stickiness” is essentially a long form ad for lip products that range in price between £7.50 and £22. The Beauty section alone is a collection of these articles: “17 festival beauty essentials you need this summer,” “15 Of The Best Anti-Frizz Hair Products To Humidity-Proof Your ‘Do.”
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It’s not a particularly astute observation to say that the literal modus operandi of ELLE UK is to sell products, and create an environment where massive fashion and beauty conglomerations can advertise. But its certainly pertinent when they’ve just declared – “our hero” – for communism, an ideology dedicated to the destruction of markets and economic freedom.
Anyone who’s ever picked up a women’s glossy mag will find this all too familiar. ELLE UK is not alone in weaponising women’s insecurities for commercial gain, to sell more magazines, to get more advertising revenue.
So what’s with their cynical self-styling as communist now? The entire industry is predicated on a successful capitalist model of selling anything they can to consumers. There’s a reason that nearly half their magazine is advertising in some form or another.
There’s something sinister about taking on a political ideology as quickly as they do with seasonal trends. And this goes deeper than simple hypocrisy, there seems to be a complete cognitive dissonance between what they say and how they are able exist.
So if Ash – literally a Communist – Sarkar is literally your corporate hero you probably won’t be in business much longer.