Sunday, July 29, 2012

Women, Fat, and Magazine Mythology

A few months ago a friend of mine gave me a big stack of women's magazines to read as a way to pass the time.

I got a Family Circle, a Woman's World Weekly, and a Woman's Day.

Each magazine was replete with helpful hints, inspiring articles, and tips aimed toward making me a better woman:

"Remake your shape in six easy moves"
"The No-Time-To-Clean Cleaning Guide"
"Slow Cooker Recipes for a Mom on the Go!"

And my personal favourite

"How Not to Feel Like a Stuffed Turkey this Thanksgiving."

It's interesting when you start paying attention to the ways in which women are marketed.

At present, I find myself in an age bracket where the powers that be want to sell me things like Tide, Swiffer Wet Jet Mops, Lavender Scented Pine Sol, and Dove Pro Age, instead of Lavendar mascara or push up bras.

A time where people assume I'm more interested in "The Top Five Ways to Spice up a PoundCake,"than the Top Five Ways to Spice up my Man."

A time I like to think of as: The "Over Forty Zone."

You'll know you're there when your hair goes to grey like clockwork every four to six weeks, you prefer taking a bubble bath on a Saturday night over going to the club, and that strange crackling sound you hear isn't coming from an open fire, but rather your knees as you bend to pick something up.

Not to mention the fact that people begin to call you Ma'am.

In our society the ma'ams and the moms get lumped into one big sexless, cake eating, carb and calorie counting entity.


The world of women's magazines assumes that we're all on a quest to look younger, be thinner, and cook the perfect souflee - both in the bedroom, and in the kitchen.

All in a desperate attempt to please...



I was at the pool the other morning, listening in as I often do to the conversations going on around me.

That being said, what do you think women talk about the most?

If you said weight, you win a big slab of cake.

With icing.

Start to pay attention and listen when women get together.

Then go it a step further and try to stay out of a conversation about weight.

Seriously, give it a try.

Because I'm here to tell you, it won't be easy.

And why would it be?

I went onto Google Images tonight and grabbed a random sampling of recent Women's magazine covers.

I copied covers that would represent women of all ages.

Starting with Seventeen Magazine.

Thank God the teenaged girls of today are learning perfect skin tips, why school is making them fat, how to kiss, and how to get their best butt and flat abs.

Here's some random covers of Cosmo and Redbook...

It looks like the primary issues on the minds of women in their 20's and early 30's are tight abs and other "sexposes" along with the standard lose weight, and look younger type fare.

And now, let's head into the Ma'am/Mom zone...
Just once I'd like to see a magazine not have a big slab of cake on the cover followed by the latest diet.

You think I'm making this stuff up?

Pathetic isn't it?

This was just a randomn sample of the hundreds of magazines I perused.

Every cover had a weight loss component, a "Look younger component" (in the teen magazines it was a "clear skin component") and a "how to keep him satisfied" component.

With the exception of magazines aimed at the Ma'ams/Moms.

You'll notice beween Cosmo and Woman's Day there is a transition.

Where we were once wowing him in bed, we're now wowing him with cheesecake.

As opposed to wowing OURSELVES with the indesputable evidence of our power, intelligence, capability, and the right to choose all things that are in our best interest.

Me, I just keep fighting the good fight.

Encouraging women to follow their own bliss and not subscribe to the status quo.

Whether that be driving a race car or baking really good bread.

And that' the blog.

Happy Monday all!

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  1. I'm sharing this all over facebook!

    1. Thank you Andra! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

  2. this is so true, I'm 56, I feel the change in attitude towards this age of women, I think as we hit 60 and over we become the invisible women, people forget we are here or just don't feel we are worthy of articles that might actually be of interest.

  3. Oh, so, soooo true! Every single magazine is lose weight, make this cake. lol
    And my daughter will be locked her her room until then too, goodness, can't believe the 'seventeen' content, yikes!

  4. I used to read Red Book, then somewhere along the line it turned into every issue being mostly centered around sex. Mind you, I am all for great sex, but I don't think that Red Book is really going to teach me anything in that area. I cancelled my subscription several years ago and told them why I was cancelling, guess they didn't really care. Any of you ever read More magazine? It is marketed to the over 50 woman, I enjoyed that magazine, although I don't get it anymore. I have had to cut way back on magazines, I spend too much time reading blogs like yours, while my magazine stack gets higher and higher from not getting to them.