As I child I saw my two older sister reading magazines, and I wondered what was in them. As a small kid I wanted to learn to read, so I could read anything written in these mags. I used to look at the fashion pages, look at the outfits, look at the women wearing them. There were some stuff I liked, and some stuff I found totally ugly. When my sisters didn’t need these magazines anymore, they always gave them to my mom, who worked as a self-employed dressmaker, so her customers could go through them too, and maybe get some ideas for new clothes. My mom had a sewing room at home, where her customers were visiting her, getting some clothes sewn. I spent a lot of time there, listening to what her customers (mainly women) were talking about, and reading these magazines. When somebody told me that I shouldn’t read something, I wanted to read it even more. Basically I learnt to read by reading magazines, and the topics weren’t always appropriate. For example, I remember reading about FGM when I was 8, or I remember reading about the problem of the rights of women in third world countries. I was shocked, but still, there was at least something educational in these mags. Or at least it was educational for me, as a child.
The older I got, the less I was interested in these magazines. When I bought a women’s magazine last time, I had a feeling they are all the same, and they can’t come up with anything new. The fashion changes, there are always some new crazy trends, there are always some new celebrities, there is always new gossip, but the topics are the same. (Like if all women should follow the same fashion trends, like if all women were interested in the same things.)
Let’s check an average women’s magazine. There is a celebrity on the cover. Next to her shoulder stands “HOW XY SURVIVED THE BREAKUP WITH ZY”, under it stands “HOW TO GET THE PERFECT BEACH BODY IN ONE MONTH”, just right below it stands “69 SEX TIPS”. On the other side I can see “LOVE YOURSELF THE WAY YOU ARE” and “TOP 20 FASHION TRENDS OF 2017”, and finally “15 THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T DO IF YOU WANT TO KEEP HIM”.
I open the magazine, and the first thing I see is an advertisement of tampons on the whole page. Next page is a table of contents, with a lot of pictures, so it gets your attention. I turn some pages, and I get to some fashion topics. “15 THINGS YOU MUST HAVE THIS SUMMER” Seriously? Why do I MUST have anything? Who tells me I must have it? What if I don’t even like it? Fine, whatever.
I turn a page, and I see photos of celebrities whom I don’t even know, and some of their favourites products, or things they can’t live without, or so. I see photos of perfume bottles, make up products, like mascara and lipstick and so on, a smartphone, and some other gadgets (so it doesn’t look like women only want make up, but they also use some electronics). I find this totally cringe. Why would I care about the content of the handbag of somebody I don’t even know. Anyways they are just usual things, like make up, phone, headphones etc. It would be much more fun if they had something weird in their bag. Like LSD for example.
I turn a page again, and I see a topic about plastic surgery of celebrities. Who cares? It’s their life, their body. If they want to look like an ugly plastic doll, let them look like an ugly plastic doll. The whole article is written about how bad they look now, how unnatural is it, etc. by an author who has fake tits herself.
I turn a page, and I see another ad, this time it’s a perfume ad. Next to it I see “TOP FASHION TRENDS OF 2017” and some photos of extremely skinny, probably anorexic women wearing ugly clothes, that probably nobody would wear in public. I see a photo of a woman in ugly make up, wearing a dress which looks like it’s made of plastic bags and tin foil, and another woman who looks like she just killed a bear, and now she is wearing it as a coat. Ok, whatever, let’s turn another page, this is plain bullshit.
Now I’m at “HOW TO GET THE PERFECT BEACH BODY IN 1 MONTH” I see a smiling woman with an athletic body, probably an illustration photo, diet tips, an illustration of a woman exercising etc.
Now I’m in the middle of the mag, I’m at the sex topic. Illustration of sex positions, penises, whatever, that were already written some years ago in other mags. Sex tips for people who lack creativity, and some stories which maybe aren’t even true, sent by the readers (or made up, or copied from the internet).
I am getting bored with the magazine, I turn some pages, and I find an article about accepting yourself the way you are. Hmm weren’t there some diet tips 10 pages before?
Then I see another 3 pages of commercials, mixed with some beauty tips, then I come to another article about what not to do if you want to keep your boyfriend. Hmm nice, but if there are so many tips about how to get a boyfriend, how to keep a boyfriend, how to fuck, then why do we have so many unhappy people? We have so much instructions, so many manuals about how to do things, and still our world is not perfect.
I’m at the last pages of the magazine, and I see career tips, what not to do on social media (like if there weren’t enough articles about it on the internet), horoscopes and of course cooking tips, because you will stay fat anyways, say goodbye to the perfect beach body.
So let’s sum i up:
- There is nothing new in these mags, it’s always the same topics, just differently written.
- Ads on every page.
- You MUST have this, you MUST have that. Why?
- How to get a boyfriend, keep a boyfriend, how to make him enjoy sex, how to please him. Why? Why should I bother picking up somebody who doesn’t give a shit about me? What if I told you, I’m fine without your stupid advice.
- What to wear. How to be cool, how to be in, how to be stylish. Who decides what is trendy? Why should I wear something, only because a celebrity does?
- How to lose weight vs. accept yourself. So what? Accept yourself as a fat lazy couch potato or stop eating anything normal?
- Celebrity gossip. Why would I care about their life? Who are they?
- Each year there is less text and more commercial, more pictures.
- Why are these called WOMEN’S MAGAZINES? What if I am a woman, and I’m not interested in these topics? What if I don’t use a lipstick, I don’t want to be trendy, I don’t need to lose weight, I don’t need sex tips, I have already accepted myself the way I am, and I don’t post my food to instagram and to facebook, so you don’t need to tell me how to behave on social media? And what if I am a man, and I’m crazy about fashion and beauty, because I work in fashion industry?