I think i never liked chocolate [at least not that much] till women’s magazines taught me that women are supposed 2 crave for them.
This is exactly what makes me crazy about women’s magazines, books, advertising and TV shows like (do I really need to say it?) Oprah. Women are constantly being told the who, what, why, and hows of being a woman/human being.
Here are the top 10 best-selling women’s magazines.
- Woman’s Day
- Ladies Home Journal
- O, The Oprah Magazine
- Glamour Magazine
- InStyle Magazine
- Woman’s World
- First for Women
- Self Magazine
Because I’m dedicated, I went out and did some field research. What women apparently need to know about on a regular basis are:
- Fashion: Women do not know how to dress, that much is clear. They need to be told at least 12 times a year by various sources what colours are “in”; what clothes will best hide their unnatural body shape; what they need to buy if they want to look like a real women like the celebrity flavours-of- the- month.
- Beauty: Lots and lots and lots of make-up. And sometimes surgery. With the right collection of products and the skills to apply products like a pro, women can do anything from catching a man, keeping a man, disciplining their children and even getting a dream job. My favourite article on beauty is in this month’s Cosmo: How to Pimp a Boring Ponytail.
- Health: This always means weight loss. There are usually at least 3 articles in each magazine on how to lose weight and/or secret techniques or surgery to help you get your dream body. The other thing that “health”means in women’s magazines is articles on mysterious syndromes with vague symptoms which you could possibly have and which you should check with your doctor about.
- Sex: We’re doing everything wrong, all the time. There is so much to know that it’s probably best if women just stop having sex altogether until all the tests, polls, surveys and new pop-scientific data is in. We could damage ourselves and our relationships forever if we just plunge in and enjoy plain, non-psychologically evaluated sex. My favourite article on sex is in this month’s Glamour: “What’s better than his O face? His O line…”7 things He Says When He’s Just… About..To….” (I don’t think they’re talking about Oprah)
- Celebrities: Every magazine features some celebrity every month (except O, which only features Oprah every month and really, she’s like 50 celebrities rolled into one anyway.) These celebrities are always hotter, smarter, more successful, more courageous, more spiritual, more generous, more savvy, more everything than any ordinary woman could ever hope to be. The celebrities are held up as inspirations for us all so we can try our humble best to emulate them and then in next month’s issue of the magazine, related articles will help you on your journey. Next month’s Self, for instance features Taylor Swift’s Playlist. Can’t wait.
- Makeovers: All of the above can be resolved with the ubiquitous MAKEOVER. No women’s magazine can go to print without a makeover feature. Out with the old, in with the new.
- Quizzes: Then there are scattered articles on how messed up your kids, spouses, home décor, career, and cooking skills are and how you can easily fix everything by taking a quiz and following the 10 steps recommended by the quiz. Quizzes contain much ancient wisdom.
The real problem with these magazines is that they give the impression they’re educating and empowering women, when to me, they’re doing exactly the opposite. They tell women month after month that they’re not good enough in pretty much all aspects of their lives. And then show them in the most patronizing manner possible how they could turn that around if only they were better and applied themselves. Why do all these magazines read like they’re written for 14-year-olds? (No offense intended toward 14-year-olds).
Next month they start all over again.
This month on top of all our other problems it’s quite evident that women aren’t happy because almost all of the magazines feature articles on how to enhance your gloomy mood, how to “get happy”, how less sex or more sex or a hot bath or some chocolate or whatever will make you feel better.
This month women also all want to know how stretch their household budget in these scary economic times while still dressing, looking, skinnying-up, eating, exercising, thinking, smelling and shopping like Oscar winners.
So, hearkening back to my wise young friend‘s comment: How do women know that we’re supposed to love and crave chocolate; that it’s not only our right, but our obligation to be bitches for one week every month; that we’re too fat and droopy; that we’re suffering from stress; that our hair’s a disaster; that we’re emotional eaters; that our spouses are not doing everything they should be doing to make us happy; what we should and should not be buying/reading/wearing/feeling; or how and what to think about stuff?
How much of what you think you know, think or feel has been influenced by this propoganda? Can any woman, no matter how intelligent, no matter how much they avoid popular media, be completely free of its influence?
 The top selling men’s magazines are:
- Sports Illustrated
- Playboy Magazine
- Maxim Magazine
- ESPN The Magazine
- Men’s Health
- Field & Stream
- Popular Science
- Car and Driver
- Rolling Stone
- Motor Trend