Hair salons around the country are boycotting celebrity gossip magazines in order to “stop fuelling toxic publications” in the wake of Caroline Flack’s suicide.
Dozens of salons from London to Edinburgh and Chorley to Colchester are joining a growing movement to stop providing showbiz mags to customers and are replacing them with more positive material instead.
Nicky Thompson, owner of Nix Hair and Beauty in south London, is one of the businesses to get on board. She said: “I think the whole Caroline Flack thing has been a shock for all of us really. Then when I came in and had a look at the magazines we were stocking here, you look at the gossip ones and the messages on the front are just so negative.
“I feel very passionately about the mental health and wellbeing of my staff and clients and we don’t want that kind of message in here, so we decided to get on board with this and support it.
“I just hope it might make those publications think a little bit more about what they’re writing and the messages people are getting from them.”
She said they’ll offer lifestyle, home, travel, hair and beauty magazines instead, and she’s going to have a look around for more positive publications to introduce.
Tabloid newspapers and showbiz publications have come under criticism over their coverage of Caroline Flack on the run up to her death, with the Sun newspaper deleting an article which mocked the TV presenter over her assault charge.
Danielle Simm, manager of Kolo Hair and Beauty Boutique in Chorley, has subscribed to Happy News, set up a book swapping scheme and provided adult therapy colouring books instead.
“I think Caroline’s death has shocked everyone,” she said. “There’s just so much negativity in the world and so many people judging others, and I think a lot of it is to do with social media. But with the gossip magazines, I don’t agree with them, so I’ve decided to get rid of them all.
“There are always two sides to a story but what people read they just take as gospel and it’s unfair.”
The salon has received hundreds of positive comments from customers, with one Facebook response to the announcement reading: “This is brilliant. It’s about time we all take a stand. We are all beautiful in our own ways. And we need to stop media telling us that we are not beautiful if we don’t conform with their idea of perfection! This is the way forward. A revolution in the making.”
Thompson also said she had been inundated with supportive feedback after making the announcement: “The response has been amazing – we do a fair bit on social media and I don’t think I’ve ever had such a reaction.
“The customers absolutely love it, they’re really positive about it. I think this has really hit home to a lot of people that what we’re reading isn’t good for our mental health.”
Salons have been joining the movement by sharing a post on Facebook which reads: “As many of you will agree after the recent sad news of Caroline Flack, the unfair press, the negativity bred in these magazines is not healthy. Pages and pages of negativity, fat shaming, shaming celebs with no make-up and much more.
“We will only supply positive magazines providing personal growth, decor, food, fashion, hair inspiration, health and wellbeing.”
The salons said they are happy for customers to bring their own gossip magazines if that is what they choose to read but will not be providing them for customers.
“We know this doesn’t stop online nasty comments and trolling. However, we want to help. We want the best for our clients and our staff,” the post continues. “We stand by other salons and businesses that have decided to stop fuelling toxic publications.”
Mental health author Matt Haig praised the growing boycott, tweeting: “It is not about closing magazines. It’s about getting them to think about the health of their subject and readers.”
Others responded saying the movement could be rolled out across other industries, such as in dental practices.
In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected]. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
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