The Lasting Impact of Toxic Tabloid Culture

To this day clickbait headlines about celebrities ravage the internet and tabloid newspapers line grocery store checkouts and newsstands. In the late 90s, the Spice Girls were equally beloved and smeared by headlines. In the 00s, headlines storied the downfall of pop stars like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, treating them as objects rather than humans. But when did the lasting impact of toxic tabloid culture truly begin?

This week we’re diving into the history of headlines, the way it feeds into human voyeurism, and the ethics of it all. Plus, we examine how the peak of tabloid cultures in the 00s continues to impact pop culture today.

Enjoy this episode? Join our Patreon community or leave us a tip on PayPal

Want to talk more? Find us: @name3songs | @sara_feigin | @jenna_million

Other episodes of Name 3 Songs we think you’ll enjoy: Maligned Women of the 00s: From Your Screen to Your Stereo & The Disney Star to Burn Out Pipeline

Sources for The Lasting Impact of Toxic Tabloid Culture

A History of the Tabloid Newspaper (Historic Newspapers, Gary Hughes, 2021)


Scandal! The extended history of the tabloid (Manchester Historian, Charlotte Johnson, 2014)

Here’s How Ridiculous It Would Look If Tabloids Treated Men The Way They Treat Women (HuffPost, Amanda Scherker and Sara Boboltz, 2017)

Women’s Magazines Objectify Women Just as Much as Men’s Magazines Do (The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky, 2013)

British tabloids’ objectification of women is a step back from gender equality in the UK (The Tempest, Tilly Brogan, 2021)

The Not-So-Golden Noughties: The Evolution of Celebrity Culture (Fashion Industry Broadcast, Zoe Dela Plana, 2020)

‘Reading the story today makes me cringe’: Female stars and the media machine of the early 2000s (Washington Post, Jessica M. Goldstein, 2021

Nostalgia, remorse, and terrible tabloids: Why we’re all suddenly talking about the Noughties (The Independent, Micha Frazer-Carroll, 2021)

Speaking of Britney … What About All Those Other Women? (New York Times, Jessica Bennett, 2021)

Girls Gone Bad: Celebs and Kids (Newsweek, Kathleen Deveny, 2007)

How the 90s Tricked Women into Thinking They’d Gained Gender Equality (Time, Allison Yarrow, 2018)

How the Supermarket Tabloids Stay Out of Court (New York Times Archive, 1991)

From Carol Burnett and Paris Jackson to the Enquirer and TMZ: The Enduring Celebrity v. Tabloid Dilemma (The Fashion Law, 2019)

Duchess Meghan wins legal fees from tabloid in privacy lawsuit; judge rejects publisher’s appeal (USA Today, Maria Puente, 2021)

4 Replies to “The Lasting Impact of Toxic Tabloid Culture”

Leave a Reply