Dissecting women magazines

I used to buy magazines by the truckload. Cosmo, Fairlady, Glamour, Shape, Elle, Marie, Heat, etc. To say I had an unhealthy obsession would be an understatement. Every month I would anxiously await the latest issues of my favorites. I loved the glossy feel and the smell of freshly printed paper. When I realised my addiction was costing me on average R200 per month I had to decide if it was really worth it. Deep down I knew it wasn’t so I went cold turkey and stopped buying them.

Over the past couple of years I would occasionally buy me one especially when there is an added bonus of a free lipstick or pair of sunglasses. Magazines do not however have the hold over as it once did. So recently I was lured into buying a glossy, I mean hello I could not say no to a new shade of berry lipstick. Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. It ended up being a thoroughly disappointing and anti-climactic event. As I was paging through the magazine I started wondering if this drivel is meant to entertain and enlighten me.  Is this what consumes women on a daily basis? If so, then it is a sad state of affairs. So I decided to dissect this magazine page by page and blog about it. This is how we are being brainwashed:

Pages 1 – 30: It all starts out subtle enough, ads for perfume, designer bags and watches paired with photo-shopped beauties sometimes the new it girl actress is thrown into the mix. This continues for about 30 pages interspersed with other useless information like how to rock it like Rihanna before the magazine actually starts. Why can’t I rock my own look? What happened to individuality? This is then followed up by awesome do’s and don’ts and every second page we still have perfume, designer bags and watch ads. Again why are we letting these magazines tell us what we should or shouldn’t wear or what we should buy?

Pages 31 – 53: Ten pages of how to do denim as if you don’t know how to pair a denim jeans with a top. Wait! What? Dungarees are in again? Last season you wouldn’t have wanted to be seen dead in a pair of these but now all of a sudden we’re given the green light. Let’s not forget our prints and neon. You heard it here first, paisley prints and canary yellow is back on the palette. A feature on how to dress for different body shapes and the body shapes covered are petite, long and lean, hourglass and pear shape. The strange part? Surprise, surprise all models used are so skinny the shapes all end up looking the same. In an attempt to keep it real you feature one of your staff members and ask her for her fashion opinions and what her perfect day and night look is and how to seamlessly transition from the one to the other. Insert 8 page brand promotion, urgh could you be more obvious?

Page 54 – 64: Beauty regiments and make up colours none of which suits my skin tone. Hair products that are completely useless to me and hair styles which are not even possible with my hair type.  Insert: obligatory Dark and Lovely ad. Age defying creams that just does not work. Trust me nothing is going to get rid of the bags under my eyes, I never leave home without them. Seriously guys, I feel like you’re not even trying.

Pages 64 – 68: More ads.

Pages 69 – 81 : Single page articles on How to be fearless, How to lose weight, How to co-habit, How to get your dream job, One ‘real-life’ story. The opposite page of each article is filled with more advertisements for skin care products. Double page spread of GET YOUR SUBSCRIPTION NOW!!

Pages 82 -83: Double page spread advertisement.

Pages: 84 – 87: In-depth and intimate interview with model/actress/singer on cover including her fashion choices.

Pages: 88 – 91: A-Z of sex. If you’re don’t know how to have sex by now then you’ve got bigger issues. Ladies when it comes to sex you don’t need 101 positions which all end up looking the same anyway. Just remember to have fun, laugh, be curious and don’t be selfish or insensitive.

Pages 92 – 93: Double page spread advertisement.

Pages 94 – 95: Heart-wrenching true story. Finally, something worth reading.

Pages 96 – 98: Yet another awards evening, you never hear about these events until after the fact. Where was my invite?

Pages 99 – 100: Do’s and don’ts according to a celeb i.e. more unsolicited advice.

Pages 101 – 104: Advertisements (car, jeans, alcohol, soap)

Pages 105 – 112: Exclusive designer promotion so that we can all aspire to own shoes which cost R16,000 and handbags which cost R30,000.

Pages 113 – 120: Evening wear photo-shoot for above awards that I did not get an invite for.

Pages 121 – 129: Sigh! More denim.

Pages: 130 – 142: Sigh! More make-up, skin care and hair

Pages 143 – 144: Hard hitting journalism at its best, important health warning article.

Pages 145 – 150: Movies – what to watch, books – what to read, events – where to go, restaurants – where to eat.

Pages 151 – 152: Next month and stockists.

Pages 153 – 154: Horoscopes.

Page 155: Weight-loss advertisement.

Page 156: Can you believe it more do’s and don’ts. Denim do’s and don’ts.

Last page: Silly, useless, tongue-in-cheek advice.

So there you have it, this is what is being fed to us monthly. I am not impressed.  There was a time when magazines covered important topics and the fashion stuff was just a bonus. Now it seems to be all about brand promotion and not much else.

Exercise and yoga

10 Things I learnt about bikram yoga this week

1. You will feel dizzy or nauseous or faint or all three at the same time.

2. You will become a human waterfall which means you will have sweat running in your eyes, nose and mouth.

3. You, your clothes, the towel on your mat will be completely soaked with the aforementioned sweat.

4. You will learn not to apply any moisturizer before class, it stings when it melts and runs into your eyes.

5. You will fantasize about ice cold showers, ice cubes, Iceland, the Antarctica, polar bears.

6. You will become a pretzel and bend yourself into positions you didn’t think possible.

7. You will wonder where that awful odor is coming from, only to realize it is coming for yourself.

8. You will forget what fresh oxygen entering your lungs feels like.

9. You will experience a sense of accomplishment like no other.

10. You will feel absolutely amazing afterwards and you will look forward to your next 90 minute session.



10 Things I have learnt this week

The board I call the boat

1.Murphy’s Law decided to test me this week and see how I would survive with the hottest weather on my week off. I failed.

2. I missed Italian class more than I thought I would.

3. We’ll complain about the heat, humidity, wind, ran, cold – there’s always something.

4. A study timetable actually does work.

5. Not surfing for months was not a good idea – must surf in winter.

6. Doing touristy things in your home city is fun.

7. It’s rare that a sequel is better.

8. We do not always appreciate what is right in front of us.

9. Flights to South America is expensive.

10. Bonding with my brother turned out to be not the worst thing in the world.


the devil reads vogue

So I love reading right. Will read almost anything. This would be what I would look like whilst in the thrall of reading (not my legs by the way)

But aren’t magazines just the funnest (yes I’m allowed to make up my own words, this is my blog dammit). Glossies are easy reading for when I’m in between books but had to give up the habit because at +/- R30 each it was becoming way too expensive to sustain. My monthly purchases included: Elle, Marie Claire and Glamour. A cheap fix is usually a People or Heat, a bi-weekly dose of crazy celebs. If I’m really greedy I might also buy the Cosmo or Fairlady. And if I do have some extra cash to spare I would buy the Vogue which is almost R100 inSA. After that I’m broke for the rest of the month, good thing I like PB & J.