WE’RE at the end of what was really a very newsy week.
Just as the papers were cracking their knuckles and sitting down for a session of prime punning on their “Johnson-out-Balls-in”-style headlines, the world decided to throw a bit more (decidedly less punnable) news at them.
Then a bit more. Then a bit more.
But amid all the resignations and stepping downs and bowing outs, there was one demise I’m afraid will go unnoticed.
Except by a clutch of under-informed 13-year-old girls looking for torso pictures of One Direction to put in their lockers.
Yes, Sugar magazine is going to that great wastepaper basket* in the sky.
A large proportion of you won’t appreciate what a sad loss that is.
Because, obviously, nobody reads magazines any more! Do they?
Not the yoof, anyway, who we all know get all their information from weekly podcasts transmitted directly into their brains from speakers in the Topshop changing rooms.
But for any female alive before 1992, the loss of teen mags is a cause for lamentation.
Coming from a family of averagely strict principles (yes, to the hair dye, no, to the Faliraki holiday), I graduated through a well-worn chronology of girls’ mags.
I started on Girl Talk, but wasn’t allowed Shout! because it talked about training bras.
Then I moved onto Shout! but wasn’t allowed Mizz, because it talked about periods.
Then I was allowed Mizz, but wasn’t allowed Sugar because it talked about kissing boys.
By the time I was allowed Sugar, I had realised far juicier titbits could be got out of my mum’s Woman’s Weekly, albeit with a side portion of menopause and hair thinning.
There was one gloriously libertine phase where a dog-eared copy of More found its way into the waiting room magazine pile at my dancing school, leading us all to race to ballet early for a sacred 10 minutes’ poring, goggle-eyed, over the pages.
I still consider More a bit too racy for me now, if I’m honest. There’s no pets corner, for one.
But the joy of girls’ magazines wasn’t just down to their information, it was also about the participation.
I spent a significant portion of my tweens staging humiliating accidents in front of boys (in girl-mag-speak, “lush lads”, “gorge guys” or “fit fellas”, always alliterative) outside McDonald’s, just so I could sell the story to the Cringe page for a £10 Tammy voucher.
Aside from flavoured lipgloss, embarrassment was essentially the currency of these publications.
Then, of course, there was the crowning glory of the girls’ mag – the problem page.
This was where we learned to outwardly say “eww, what a freak,” while inwardly going “phew, glad that’s normal”.
But the saddest thing of all about Sugar folding? I’ll never work there now.
And I had a whole folder of Cringe stories saved up, just in case.
*Recycling box, I mean. Sorry.