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Caroline Flack death: Hairdressers bin gossip magazines

Caroline Flack Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Caroline Flack's death has prompted hairdressers to bin gossip magazines

Hair salons have said they have stopped stocking celebrity gossip magazines after the death of Caroline Flack.

Some hairdressers posted the decision on social media after the former Love Island host was found dead.

Among them was salon owner Anita Donoghue whose Facebook post about binning "pages of fat shaming, slut shaming, celebs without make-up" was shared thousands of times.

A press regulator said it had received complaints over headlines about Caroline Flack following her death.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) said it was investigating a number of complaints in line with its normal procedure.

Ms Flack was found dead weeks before she was due to stand trial for assaulting her boyfriend - a prosecution he did not support.

She wrote in an unpublished Instagram post: "I am suddenly on a different kind of stage and everyone is watching it happen."

Ms Donoghue, salon director of Hair Cafe in Dublin, said hairdressers had been posting about their dislike of gossip magazines for years.

"I'm by no means the first to do this," she said. "But I think I was one of the first to react in this way to the sad news about Caroline," said the 41-year-old.

Image copyright Ciara Maher
Image caption Anita Donoghue said she was proud hairdressers had boycotted gossip magazines

"I was unconsciously going out and buying these magazines because it was the norm to see them in salons, cafes, dentists' waiting rooms.

"When I thought about Caroline and the impact these magazines have had on her life I wanted to make a change."

Ms Donoghue's post has been liked and shared thousands of times and other hairdressers have composed similar messages.

"It's unbelievable how it's been picked up," she said. "It's the right thing to do. I want to cry I'm so proud," she said.

Image copyright Josie Kent
Image caption Josie Kent said seeing Caroline Flack on magazine covers prompted her to make changes in her salon

Josie Kent, salon owner of Caribou Hair Ltd in Par Cornwall, said the star's death made her rethink celebrity gossip culture.

"We came back into the salon after the news over the weekend and the first thing I did was go through our magazines," said the 28-year-old.

"Every one had horrible things across the front about what Caroline was going through. These were stories written about her private life prior to her passing.

"It seemed wrong to have them in the salon and when I thought about it that's exactly what drove her to do it."

Image copyright Josie Kent
Image caption Josie Kent and some of her team at Caribou Hair Ltd in Cornwall

Ms Kent said she swapped the magazines for health and fashion publications.

"Our clients absolutely loved having something refreshing to read instead of pointless rubbish always putting other people down," she said.


How are magazines regulated?

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) regulates newspapers and magazines under a set of rules called the Editors' Code of Practice.

All members of IPSO follow the same code whether they are a national newspaper, local paper or magazine.

Anyone can make a complaint to IPSO over a potential breach of the accuracy clause.

For most other clauses generally the person directly affected must complain.

If after investigation, IPSO's complaints committee finds that the code has been breached it can order a correction or a longer form ruling to be published.

IPSO publishes its list of members here and its rulings here.


Social media has also come under scrutiny in the search for explanations and blame since Ms Flack took her life - as have the mainstream media, and the Crown Prosecution Service for pressing ahead with a trial.

An inquest will be held in August to investigate the causes behind Ms Flack's death but the Samaritans maintain the reasons for any suicide are usually numerous and complex.

'Be kind'

Image copyright Amelia Herbert
Image caption Amelia Herbert said she needed a break from social media after Caroline Flack's death

Amelia Herbert at Watkins Wright in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, joined in after seeing other salons sharing similar statements.

"This weekend I felt really sad," she said. "I felt like I needed a break from social media so I deleted my apps on my phone.

"I didn't want to see magazines tearing celebrities down.

"If we can learn anything from this it's that you've got to be nice to other people," she said.

"It's so important in the hair and beauty industry to promote wellbeing.

"It's all well and good having your hair and make-up done but our ethos here is to make you feel good on the inside too."

Image copyright Amelia Herbert
Image caption Hairdressers at Watkins Wright in Great Ayton want to make their clients feel good

Jennie Galligan, owner of Jennifer Ashley Hair in Reddish, Stockport, said she wanted to be part of a shift in culture.

"I've never been one for gossip magazines but within hairdressers they're just a given," said the 28-year-old.

Image copyright Jennie Galligan
Image caption Jennie Galligan said she had never been into gossip magazines

"My salon ethos is all about empowering women so actually we don't want them," she said.

"Lots of our clients have said we would rather look at home and wedding magazines.

"Half of them don't even know who most of the reality TV stars in these magazines are."

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