How many days have I got left?

Wasting my life away, one day at a time...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ranting on a tuesday afternoon.

So, I'm walking home after revision this morning, I've got some extra money, and I think "hey, maybe I'll buy a magazine". I used to be an avid magazine reader, buying one per month was like a ritual to me, but I gradually got bored of them, and spent my time doing other stuff. Now, don't get my wrong, I don't assume a teen magazine to be one of the most intellecually solid things you can buy, but when I opened it up, I was apalled.

Have I turned into a snobby "mature" young person, or have I just figured out that these things are full of shit? I never used to take any of the content too seriously, but some of the articles were reletivley ok-it was generally just something I'd read if I had nothing better to do. But today, I turn the pages, and realise that the whole thing is just ONE BIG CONTRADICTION. On a first glance, the whole magazine reeks of confidence (you could almost call it pop feminism). "Be confident, be cool, be smart, be sexy", that kind of thing. 'My' expected role model is portrayed by these magazines as a beautiful, clever, streetwise girl, who doesn't let anyone tell her what to do, and thinks for her self.

While they are trying to convince us to be "happy with our bodies", they have stick thin teenage models parading around their fashion pages, and diets (renamed "health plans") which will help us "get that toned body in just a week!" Instead of making us more healthy, these magazines are making us diet freaks by replacing one word with another. Chocolate, bread, pizza-NO! Crackers,nuts, spinach-YES! Magazines argue that they are trying to make the nation's teenage girls more aware of what they are eating, and target obesity, but this simply doesn't work. People don't read the article, they just look at the food lists and note that down as the basis of next week's diet. I go to a girls school, and trust me, I hear the line "I'm eating nothing but dried fruit and sunflower seeds for a week" too often.

The next thing that's wrong with magazines is the whole thing about BOYS. Again, the articles continually contradict themselves. Telling us to think for outselves, and at the same time, bombarding us with information on what boys "like in a girl". There was even an article with boys rating some readers on their attractiveness. Now if that's not pressure to look "perfect", then I don't know what is.

Pulling power
Just be YOU. That's when you'll become really irresistable. Plenty of people love you already...Why should he be any different?
Then, later on in the magazine, there's tips on "how to score your perfect guy". Do I speak for everyone when I say, WTF?

Here are some little gems that I just had to include:
"This girl just came up to me and started playfully pulling my cheeks. It was a bit weird, but I went along with it. I love it when girls come up to me". -- Trust me, Charlie, that was a one off. I don't know why anyone would want to pull your fucking cheeks.
"When I first met my ex, she showed such an interest, listening intently to everything I was telling her." -- Uh, maybe thats because SHE WANTED TO GET OFF WITH YOU.
"Aaargh! This was the worst day of them all. I had no time to dry my hair, so it was bushy all day. I was in such a rush, I forgot my phone, ate my breakfast in the car and had to put on my makeup in the loos at school. How do lads do it?!" -- It's a puzzling concept, but it might have something to do with the fact that boys don't usually need to do their hair and makeup.
"I used to love borrowing mum's makeup, but I'm not allowed to anymore after I lost her mascara on holiday." -- I just thought that one was rather funny.

Anyway, rant over now. I guess that's just the way I feel...


  • At 5:28 pm, Blogger Emlyn said…

    Yes, Girl magazines are terrible... I'd hate to have a daughter and have her subjected to that stuff. It's unfortunate, really... at a time when people need to be more media-savvy than ever before (I'd argue), the curriculum guts media studies and reduces it to writing film reviews--instead of giving students the skills they need to disect how those magazines are trying to manipulate how... how adds in general try to do the same.

    For what it's worth: the guy magazines have a lot of the same going on. Though things like Maxim are a bit cleverer, I think. They don't take themselves too seriously.

  • At 9:52 pm, Blogger Miss Waffle said…

    You know what, you've just made my day. A huge rant and not one fricken' comment (for a while, anyway). Thanks :D

    Oh, and I did happen to read Maxim once, when it was being given out free near Finsbury Park (my mum wouldn't usually let my then 11 year old brother own that kind of material.) It wasn't too bad actually, kinda humourus. I just had to rip out a few of the pages to "protect the innocent."


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