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Why Women's Magazines Suck

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A few months ago, I tried to give my mom one of my magazines so she could read an article. She abruptly declined, saying, "Why do I want to sit around reading something that makes me feel terrible about myself?" She pointed out that every magazine these days have three topics on the cover: how to organize your home better, how to lose weight, and how to improve your marriage and/or children. In other words, the message is loud and clear: "YOU ARE INADEQUATE JUST THE WAY YOU ARE."

magazine stand woman standing and reading

Since that day, I am stunned that I never picked up on this sooner. Notice that men's magazines are filled with pleasurable, mindless information. Beautiful pictures of beautiful women, the newest gadgets, and bizarre factoids, fill the pages, creating an entertaining respite. On the flip side, it is impossible for women sit in a waiting room or take a bathroom break without blatantly being told how to plan their next closet clean out.

Let's start with the organization trend. The pictures of "inspiring" work areas and craft tables make Martha Stuart look like a freaking slob. I'm referring to the teeny-tiny, fabric lined containers labeled "paper clips" in calligraphy, paisley folders that read "child #1's after school permission forms", all of that nonsense. Maybe some people like doing these projects, but I like engaging in life, thank you very much. The organizers argue that you'll ultimately save time when everything has a home. Ah, the guilt of not providing my paper clips with an appropriate home. Kill me now. I have two junk drawers and a few pen holders, so it takes me about 14 seconds to locate a paper clip in my house. I have yet to lose sleep about this.

Then there's the "Lose weight! Lose inches! Lose love handles, lose fat, lose stretch marks, lose your mind eating celery!" message. In some form it's on every cover on every women's magazine. The might as well scream, "All of your bodies suck, you lazy women! Get off your lazy asses!" Never mind what men think when they see that silly business.

Finally, the "miscellaneous" category, which is always a variety of: how to save your marriage, communicate better, save more money, be eco-friendly, raise better children, etc, etc. It all echos that same message of inadequacy, or more succinctly, "there are areas of your life that need fixing, and you, lady, are responsible for fixing all of them." Crap, crap, crap. I propose that a magazine truthfully advertises their content next time. Something like, "If you want to be an insane control freak who never has a minute to herself, develops anxiety, depression, and obsessive disorders, with some eating and sex issues thrown in, pick me up and read me."

Ahhh... now that's what I want to sit down and read the next time I have a minute to myself.

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12 comments so far | Post a comment now
birdsfly March 31, 2009, 9:57 AM

People at the grocery were looking at me like I’m insane because i busted out laughing in the check out line. I was reading the magazine covers and Cosmo actually used the line “These hot sex moves will light a fire in his pants,” I mean really?! Someone needs new writers.

Ju March 31, 2009, 6:30 PM

This is why I never read women mags. I’d rather pick the men mags, they’re much more interesting. I know how to organize my junk quite well on my own, thank you.

Meg March 31, 2009, 8:35 PM

AMEN! I always feel self concious even picking them up on line at the grocery store! I feel like whoever sees me thumbing thru is thinking “obviously her house is a mess.” or “I guess she has stretch marks.” That’s always a great way to get a date. I too read the men’s magazines, they have funny articles and advice for real people. I already know about my skeltons, I don’t need to be told how to put them in a floral box.

janie April 1, 2009, 7:44 AM

Bravo!!! This is so true! Love your honesty!

Linda April 1, 2009, 4:16 PM

I noticed the same thing about women’s magazines too, that they always offer advice on how to improve our lives. They do make feel feel bad about myself sometimes because I am far from what the advice says. But isn’t that what women want though? To improve themselves? That’s why so many women read self-help books. I don’t think a lot of men do the smae.

amomamous April 1, 2009, 5:12 PM

you go girl,

just think about how well you feel about yourself when you refuse to buy that crap. it says that your ok and your paperclips are happy.\
time for a new york times editor to p/u your talent.

Bshayukk June 28, 2009, 1:34 AM

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dion March 1, 2011, 7:19 PM

these mags are just bad. no wonder they barely stay afloat.

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mockingjay torrent pdf March 15, 2011, 11:24 PM

Very nice info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thank you :) %WEBSITE%

sleepaway camp March 27, 2011, 1:21 PM

These may be some of the funniest comments I have read in a while!

eternity band March 28, 2011, 4:56 PM

I think you are on point but is there any other information I that you have found as a reference?


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