As I type this on my phone keyboard, I stand in the checkout aisle of the grocery store, holding this stupid magazine. Every headline makes me cringe. I could go on and on about how magazines aimed at teenagers are just page after page of thinspo and vapid advertisements—but that topic has been done to death and I don’t have anything even remotely original to say. However, this isn’t just a teen magazine, this is Women’s World.
Every tag line smacks of idiocy. It’s all about kids and homemaking and losing weight. You’d be hard-pressed to find a “men’s” magazine (besides one that is marketed specifically for parents) that deals in any of this stuff in such detail.
No, really. I dare you. If someone can find me one then I’ll pay them with all the money I have.*
The taglines just get more hilarious as you read them. If I became “100 Lbs Slimmer” because of some miracle diet, I’d weigh ten pounds. If I lost 25 pounds every thirty days or so, as the headline so proudly proclaims, then at the end of six months I would weigh negative 15 pounds.
Also, does anyone know why is says “God Bless America” up at the top?
Then there’s the stuff to do with shopping and saving money on shopping, followed by the tagline for an article about fun back-to-school snacks for your kids, because we live in Mad Men where a bored housewife has nothing better to do than go grocery shopping and feed her two children.
Okay, I’m being unfair. I know we don’t really live in the 1960s. And I know that being a housewife can be a valid life choice. And I know that it’s probably physically impossible for me to lose 100 pounds.
Wanna hear what else I know?
This magazine is damn stupid.
I skimmed through it, and while I could be wrong, I’m about 99% certain that there was nothing relating to working or finances or (god forbid) some sort of outdoor sports. There wasn’t anything, really, besides kids and shopping and personal health.
I wouldn’t have any problem if this was specifically a parenting magazine, but what this magazine cover (and plenty of others of the same type) seems to be implying is that parent and woman are synonymous.
And yes, we now have American women at high levels of business, academia, and government—you name it. But, as we’ve seen in recent months, we’re still asking age-old questions about how to make women’s way in male-dominated fields, how to balance the demands of work and family.
Sure, this magazine cover is meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but it points to a bigger problem. Culturally, we can accept that women are valuable members of society for more reasons than just our functioning reproductive systems—it’s just that those reasons still have to include our functioning reproductive systems. It forces us to internalize the idea that while we can have some other purpose in life, our primary purpose hasto be for the production of children.
On the bright side, now I know how to make some really cool back to school snacks.
*”All the money I have” is a grand total of zero dollars.