It’s old news that photoshopped images in magazines can often make women feel bad about themselves, I’m going to give women some credit though; most pepole are completely aware that these images are highly fabricated. I’m going to stick my neck out and say that these photos are really not the worst part of women’s magazines.
It doesn’t take long to find a women’s lifestyle magazine amongst the shelves of your local newsagents. They often have “grabbing” headlines on the cover somewhere in the region of “WHATS YOUR SEX STYLE?”,“12 STEPS TO MAKE HIM LOVE YOU”, “267 NEW STYLES!”, “IS THERE SUCH A THING AS PERFECT BOOBS?”, accompanied by a flawless photo of the latest “hot celeb”. Magazine to magazine there is little variation.
On occasion I’ve found myself delayed at a train station; maybe I won’t feel like reading something too taxing, or in a fleeting moment I’ll actually want to know what the “latest lipstick trend” is. Within minutes of buying one of these magazines, I regret it. I’ll have just spent £2 or £3 on something that has no substance. Between the pages and pages of adverts lie articles that have been recycled so many times I feel like I can recite them line for line. There is no polite way of saying it, these articles are boring. I don’t mean to personally attack the writers, but the whole world of women’s magazines just seems so dull.
I’m always taken aback by how contradictory they can be. Some articles are on “how to make him fall in love with you” whilst others reflect upon “how to be a confident, single lady”. Dieting is the same, for every inspiring story of how to be happy with your body is another telling you how to get killer abs like Cameron Diaz by following a simple diet of dust bunnies and kelp.
Women need more magazines that aren’t belittling and contradictory, we get enough of that already. There are exceptions of course, fringe magazine is gaining popularity, often they are fashion magazines with a feminist backbone, but the following just isn’t big enough for them to be on the shelves of most newsagents. Talk to your newsagent about ordering in some copies of alternatives. If you’re more proactive (and have the time!) try making your own, perhaps just start with a zine if a whole magazine seems intimidating. Women are never going to know there is an alternative to conventional, contradictory magazines if they never have access to them.