There is a blogger I follow on Instagram (I don’t know why, really, I don’t read her blog, but I find her – a curiosity) and she’s posted recently that she LOVES women’s magazines and how she’s obsessed with them. It reminded me of a time when I felt the same way.

I used to be a fan, too. I used to have so many teen and women’s magazines you’d laugh over the sheer volume. It got so ridiculous that I quickly learned that I could donate my zines to the local library and old folk’s homes.  I suppose you could have called me a collector because I looked them over and over again and, well, bought them in stacks and eagerly awaited new issues like a dog at the front window.

I grew up watching my mom pour over her Thai soap opera + movie star magazines that I suppose it became natural for me to seek out my own. Although, I did look through hers quite often and I can tell you that the language barrier wasn’t a problem in figuring them out. Glossy extensions of the cover were at the beginning or a middle insert, then gossip columns and interviews, beauty ads sprinkled throughout with erotic-looking romance series and horoscopes towards the end. Call *009 for a kinky chat with big breasted Japanese-looking ingénues were at the back, and why those types of things were in a women’s magazine, I’ll never know.

It started when I grabbed a Redbook out of sheer boredom on a road trip and while it was too adult for me at the time, I was hooked. The habit of flipping through the pages is akin to smoking a cigarette, it’s a ritual that gives a short high and it is an addiction. I mean, how can it not be? You are looking at beautiful women and desirable things. Sometimes, it even smells nice if you like the perfume samples between the pages. And other times there are celebrity interviews, fun stories and facts and stuff about boys – BOYS!

It took years though, certainly well after college, until I realized how reading/flipping through these magazines made me feel. Ever since I was a teen, I was aware of race. I never saw an Asian woman on the cover of Glamour, Elle, Teen, Vogue, Cosmo, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, Seventeen, Marie Claire and W. Of course, I certainly remember Jenny Shimizu, the only Asian American supermodel to go mainstream.

I used to have this very picture hanging on my college bedroom wall, along with a zillion other magazine pages that I found worthy…

But other than the exceptional Jenny, there wasn’t much for me to relate to. And for some reason, I paid close attention to women of color. There was one model that was half Asian and half white in Teen that I like the best, purely based on color and looking back at young Lani and I think, “Now there is a girl who wanted a role model.” I was actually very unhappy with the way I looked growing up and I have to wonder how much looking at fashion spreads and flawless women contributed to this.

A lot probably – it took me ages to get over being small on top, short and that I had bad skin. I considered myself too Asian-looking, as well, if you can believe it.

Even now when we’re all aware of Photoshop, and phone aps that make us look ‘beauty’, I feel like many young women (and men!) unconsciously compare themselves to an ideal industry standard. But maybe I’m wrong, it’s very easy to upload yourself on social media and make yourself into whoever you want to be these days.

But growing up when I did, being Asian didn’t feel beautiful and like most young women, I wanted to be desirable. It certainly didn’t help that I was teased for having a flat face, something that I learned later in Physical Anthropology is a rather Chinese characteristic. I must confess during that class, I felt such a startling weight leave my body. I felt relief and, for the first time, a little proud.

I also noticed how many things in these magazines were EXPENSIVE. I’d scoff at the “Under $99” page. The idea of buying a $70 blouse or bracelet seemed incredibly wasteful and outrageous, especially in my 20s when I was struggling with credit card and student loan debt. I learned to be frugal instead, going through mad coupon cutting phases and certainly falling in love with second-hand or consignment stores. I felt no shame in buying dresses at Goodwill. I couldn’t afford to.

Of course, some parts of the magazines were useful (if not ironic) like the articles on having a healthy body image or tricks to snag boys. Those articles gave me ideas on bravery and so I had no problem walking up to a boy I knew from class and asking him out on a date. They always replied, “no,” so then, I had to read the articles on rejection and boosting self-confidence. Vicious cycle.

I’m starting to sound pathetic, huh?

Women’s mags are good for learning aesthetics and studying advertisements, product placement and the psychology of these types of things. Once I started paying attention to how I felt looking at these zines, I started to wean myself off of them. This probably corresponded with figuring out how expensive this little addiction was as well. I also noticed how the British Glamour’s magazine size was half as big as the American version and I thought about environmental waste, too.

So I ended subscriptions and eventually stopped buying them all together. Then I became one of those folks who goes to Barnes & Noble and stands by the mag section perusing them for free. And the great thing was I started checking out other sections besides “Women’s Interests” and eventually learned to skip the magazines all together and study the bestsellers lists and get my hands on some books.

To be clear, I used to read books and magazines, but now I don’t read women’s magazines. Occasionally, I’ll look at them at airports or when a friend has a copy, but I don’t feel the pull like I did and the magic has certainly worn off. It’s made it easier to not covet unnecessary beauty products, designer brands, feel nonexistent and that the world revolves around celebrities.

It hasn’t made me less girly though, just more myself.

Asian beauty magazines
The perks of living in Asia. Seeing yourself. Represent!

Do you read fashion magazines? What do you think?

50 replies on “Why I stopped looking at women’s magazines

  1. Even white teens like myself never found girls we could relate to in those magazines–it’s all part of the magazine industry–make the average woman feel inadequate without the expensive cosmetics and clothes. Some of the sex advice in those magazines I carried for years–and all of it was wrong if you wanted a healthy ‘normal” relationship with a man. LOL.

    The funny thing is that women’s magazines in the US were and are often edited by women. Men often get blamed for objectifying women–but it’s other women who set the ridiculous standards. Men like to look at all kinds of women. Women like to look at super thin tall expensively dressed women

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true! I was explaining to the b/f that these mags are run by women! Do they really want their daughters reading what they put out? God forbid if you’re a little different, quirky – or goth (hahhaaha).

      OMG. The sex advice. I remember standing in line at the grocers and reading one of Cosmos headlines, “How to be more bedable.” Yeaaaahhhh. Bedable. I laughed and looked around, like check this out! If I had a camera phone (if they had them back then), I would have taken a picture. Ridiculous.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I certainly never read a fashion magazine or similar…
    Anyways, in the west it can be really annoying to see all this whitewashing. Even in Asia it is spreading more and more as in magazines my wife reads here on holidays more western models pop up. Sure it is nice to have diversity but to take a certain “race” as a role model is plain stupid.
    I am really wondering how our son/ future children will grow up in Germany as it is pretty much the same there as in the USA (except, somehow there ain’t really a race problem in Germany but till everywhere only white models re featured as a beauty role model)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping my next post will be about this whitewashing in Asia – cause it’s insane, right? So good and astute of you to notice these things. I think it matters and it would be good if men spoke up, too!

      Since I’m sort of plugged in to the Asian American community in the US, I will say that everyone is talking about these things more, so maybe things will start to change.

      Asia, though, as you are well aware, is a whole different bunch of bananas…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah I know what you mean…Asia is a whole different matter once again.
        One thing I found curious is that my mother in law was always pointing out how pretty Indians are and that they are above the Asian lvl. Okay once she showed us those movies and pictures we understood as those there also kind of whitewashed movies and pics with actors being either completly white or mixed….she did not even realize that the people next to her in the plane with us to Finland were Indians!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Right, she liked were more Western looking and fair-skinned Indians, which pretty much dominate Indian TV and movies. If there is a dark-skinned one, they are probably the bad guy or possibly male. Ug. So over this b.s. in Asia.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You know, it was bad enough to be a white girl and look at SEVENTEEN and think, “Wow, she’s pretty. So much prettier than me…” It’s like the old, deformed Barbie dolls — I can’t get over how much product and media we masochistically consume without thinking. Then companies, having funded magazines that create such an inferiority complex, can pretty on female insecurities: “You’ll be prettier if you use/ wear/ try this makeup/ dress/ razor!” There are times I’m glad I grew up in a poor household without TV for many years.

    It must be even worse to be a person of color with almost no representation. Ugh. I’m impressed that you were able to outgrow the insanity. I live in place that always pursues youth+beauty=happiness model. Ironically, it’s quite ugly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Such an excellent point. So. Cal can be really bad about the Hollywood-let’s-be-young-4-ever obsession. In fact, Southern California has got to be the WORST place in the US…Southern States just slap on an extra layer of makeup and NYC – well, it’s about $$$, yo.

      I never understood why women’s mags tried to make you feel good about yourself by showing you products you can’t afford and models that look nothing like the average woman.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. When I was 13ish, my sister gave me her stash: YEARS of Seventeen and Teen Magazine. I’ve always been a reader and I was just falling into that vicious cycle of makeup/boys/insecurity…so I read all of the old issues. And my mom had gotten me a current subscription to both magazines. But when you have years of nonsense, supplemented by newer nonsense, you really can’t avoid seeing how it’s all the same. The style advice was cyclical and just not meant for me – and those were the days when the Internet was the new frontier, and I remember futilely surfing for good Asian makeup tips. I searched those magazines for Asian faces too, and I can only remember seeing three. All the lifestyle advice about boys and embarrassing periods made me wonder if the editors got desperate and made it up. And I just thought, THIS is what people think is the epitome of teenage girls, and/or what they expect them to like/be like? The first and only thing I ever gave up for Lent, about a year after that, was teen magazines and I never regretted it.

    I sometimes flipped through them at a salon or a friend’s house, but it just made me remember why I made that decision.

    Now, I’m just that person who occasionally buys craft magazines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! The makeup – OMG – I completely forgot. Fuck. Hahahahhaa. What a nightmare. Here you were all ready to try the new look, the tutorials and they NEVER worked on Asian eyes. They made your eyes look smaller (what every woman wants, right?) or you’d stare at the picture in frustration, then realize that you don’t have the same eyes as the models!

      Yeah, I learned to not even bother. There were a few or two makeup books that addressed Asian faces and those were helpful. But to be honest I’ve never mastered eye makeup, coupled with dating a guy who said Asian women don’t look good w/ eye makeup just made me give it up for years. (I’m okay now, sort of.)

      They are “same same, but different,” too. I completely agree. After a while, you just roll your eyes and I do remember when they added those mean + embarassing stories from the readers…bizaare and sad.


  5. I honestly don’t think I have ever bought a beauty magazine in my life. When I was a teenager though, I often borrowed teen magazines from the local library. I remember that the librarian once let me keep one that I had for years – it included a step-by-step how-to guide to properly apply make-up.

    I have a really pale complexion and I always envied those who had amazing tans [like the ones often featured in beauty magazines.] Since moving to Taiwan, however, people constantly compliment my skin tone and I have realized that the standards of beauty are different everywhere you go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. Well, you are lucky to have never gotten into the women’s magazines trap. It’s not a good one for young ladies and if I had a daughter, I’d caution her against them. I imagine it is a rather cuthroat and depressing industry, too.


  6. I seem to remember that when I was a teenager, the women’s magazines had styles that gave me and my mom ideas for things we might sew or buy. Now the only time I read those magazines is when I’m waiting to get my hair cut, and I’m always disappointed that the clothes are too weird or expensive or suited only for fashion models. Sometimes I find a good article, though.

    I get worn out just glancing through some of those magazines. They give you seventeen steps for taking care of your skin, and another 17 for applying makeup. Then there are all the rules for exercise and finding the best job and relationship advice and decorating your house and coordinating your wardrobe and on and on. Just follow all these rules and you’ll be PERFECT … if you don’t drop dead first from lack of sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are rather exhaustive, aren’t they? It is true, sometimes you find something useful, but something that I discovered is you could get a real dud of an issue and then a great one. It got kind of annoying after a whlie because you’re wanting bang for your buck.

      Every once in a while, they are fine, but as we continue to march into the future I have to wonder what what we are exposing ourselves to…


    2. I really agree with this. I was going through some of my grandmother’s old magazines and they had heaps of useful stuff in them – life hacks before there was the internet I guess! Now they seem to be mostly glossy ads and I can’t understand why you would pay money to look at ads.

      This is slightly unrelated but I found when I was living in Japan and got over my initial discomfort of getting naked with strangers and using the onsens I got a whole new perspective on female bodies. Of course I had seen plenty of naked people before but it was either family, partners or images on TV/in magazines etc. I’d never seen so many different people of all ages and body types comfortably naked together and it really made me comfortable in my own skin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always say, “If you want to feel better about your body, go to the gym!” 😀 Locker rooms are so great to seeing what everyone looks like, and really, what wonderous variety.

        Thanks for stopping by, Cat!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Again, we have more in common, Lani. My mum bought quite a few of these women’s magazines as I was growing up in Malaysia. There would be Women’s Weekly and Marie Claire lying around the house. “I never saw an Asian woman on the cover of…” You are so right on that. Practically every one that I flipped through featured tall and thin Western models – but many of my fellow Asian classmates never questioned it. I often wonder why my mum never questioned it, and she had no problem with me reading them.

    There was always a sex-ed section in the magazines my mum bought. Those were the pages where I never really understood what was being talked about but were of most interest to me…yeah, I was really young back then 😀

    I don’t buy these kinds of magazines with my money today. Don’t even think of browsing them in the supermarket aisle. The whole notion of “celebrity” leaves a bad taste in my mouth in general 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this is what bothers me, “the not questioning it” thing. I understand that body image and size has been sort of pushed into the limelight, but race is always about black vs white and Asians don’t count or something and get pushed to the back of the line.

      Of course, maybe things are changing. I haven’t been in the States in ages (well, a year ago for a couple of weeks was too short). Many Asians take to social media and create their own identity and find many role models.

      But I think the diversity of the States is not represented in mainstream media (or Congress for that matter) and it’s a missed opportunity to say, you matter, we care.

      Oh, yeah, those sex tips in those are – yeah – ’nuff said. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “It hasn’t made me less girly, just more myself.” Those words underline the point you’re making, Lani. It’s great how you gradually weaned yourself off this fix (slow awareness, not subscribing, looking at in bookstores, then not at all) & replaced it with better things to read.

    I stopped reading women’s magazines two years ago & finally fashion blogs a few months ago. I can relate to how you felt disconnected from the women in them & realized they were making us want so many things.

    Thanks for sharing & making me think about this topic. 🙂 Will share on Twitter soon!

    p.s. And thanks for stopping by my blog! You left really thoughtful comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!

      I feel weird about fashion blogs because they are mini/wannabe fashion mags, but they are independent. But the same probs are still there, unless they are representing minorities or regular-sized ladies. I guess it’s the product pushing that makes it feel less authentic.

      Consumerism. Bleh. Minimalism. Good.


  9. I used to be completely addicted to fashion magazines (and later fashion blogs.) I discovered fashion magazines pretty early too, maybe 9 or 10, and I became obsessed.

    I don’t think I ever consciously thought “there are no Asian women in these magazines” – I don’t think I was that self aware – but in reflection I’m sure it influenced how I thought about myself. I was very self conscious about my looks, especially my Asian features, until at least my late twenties. (And to be 100% honest, I’m sure if it was a case of me accepting myself, or if society changed – half Asian girls suddenly became ‘fashionable’.)

    I also stopped reading fashion mags/blogs around that same time – mostly because I had a shopping addiction – but I’m sure that limiting my exposure to this type of media helped me a lot with my self confidence.

    These days, I’d never buy a fashion mag, but I’ll flip through one if I see one around. I can still find enjoyment in them but for the most part they feel so superficial and silly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “When half Asians became fashionable” – what a quote and so true.

      A shopping addiction, eh? Yeah, I hear you. I think I bought more makeup than I ever wore. You want the things they advertise, of course! It’s also extremely temping to follow the trends which seem to be cropping up every 3rd issue.

      No, thank you. Yes, now I can pick one up and see it for what it is.


  10. I used to buy teen magazines when I was around 14, but I don’t think I have ever bought a fashion or beauty magazine. I am not interested in those topics, haha. I was never a big fan of magazines anyway because I read them super fast and they seemed a waste of money.

    Now that I think about it YES, I bought a cosmopolitan a couple of times. Because of the gifts, haha (a bag and a nail polish). I don’t think I read the magazines though…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re lucky. They are addicting little buggars and I don’t think they did much for my soul or spirit. I think they are simply ways to make you want things and buy more things. Yup. That’s about it. Sometimes I think the articles are for the adverts and not the other way around…


  11. Unless a magazine has a catchy article like 10 best camping spots in California or best National Parks I will seldom pick one up. I had to chuckle though, when a daughter got a job at 15 she spent all of her money on magazine subscriptions until I put a stop to it! I can’t imagine doing that in today’s world with so many options.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder how long they will last? With the Internet and all, I’m surprised how many print publications have lasted. Confirming my theory that mags are an addiction, flip, flip, flip.


  12. I used to. But then I realized if you paid attention to six consecutive issues, you will have read basically the same thing at least twice. I used to get them, circle things I wanted, try to find them and of course never could find the knock off or cheap version like they said I could. I guess as I’ve gotten older I wonder why anyone really gives a damn which face wash you’re using? I mean, so long as it cleans your face, what’s the big deal? But books… I can’t stop. I can’t even pretend I could stop. HA!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Books feed your mind. So much better than beauty products. Yes. No one should care which face wash you are using, right? 🙂 And you’re probably right, I didn’t think about that, recycling the same articles, lists and must-haves. I rather hate that these kinds of things are considered ‘women’s interests’ and this is the direction where many girls focus their energies.


  13. What a conversation starter! You always pick such great topics to write about Lani!

    My friends had subscriptions to these magazines and I would go to their house and flip through Cosmo/Glamour/Seventeen, read the articles, and blush a very bright pink when reading male/sex/relationship columns (wow, talk about riskay!).

    Even though I wasn’t subscribed to these magazines I knew one thing was for certain: It made me feel so terrible about myself. I used to compare myself to the girls in the magazine and think about how fat I was, how terrible at make up I was, my terrible taste in dress. Those magazines don’t do anything but create inferiority complexes in young women. It pressures young women to have unrealistic expectations about themselves.

    Instead of Cosmo or Seventeen I had a subscription to TIME. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the daughter of a former journalist (our house had the news on 24/7). I was teased for it in high school, but now I’m proud!

    Now I can’t even bring myself to read women’s magazines…Too shallow for my tastes! As for magazines in general, I started subscribing to them again (but I read T&L and Afar, travel magazines). I know it’s terrible for the environment, but there’s something wonderful about not looking at a screen, feeling nice paper at my fingertips, and reading some well-written stuff mixed with some stunning photography. Magazines have become really therapeutic for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Magazines are a lovely medium and there are plenty of ways to recycle and reuse them. It’s just kind of crazy HOW MANY of them there are. I don’t think I could subscribe to travel mags, reading travel blogs are bad enough – I feel like I haven’t been anywhere and since I have to work for a living, I feel my travel budget is quite limited. Now I know, I live abroad, but you know, it’s not the same as traveling.

      I do feel much better having weaned myself off of them. How can you be happy with what you have and who you are when you’re constantly bombared with messages of ‘more, more, more’ and unrealistic and often strange ideals of beauty. If we all looked like we stepped out of these magazines, what a boring place the world would be.

      Thanks Mary! xxoo


  14. Yea, my interest for women’s magazine has wound down to free browsing at bookshops and airports, like you. 🙂

    I never subscribed to women’s magazines, but did buy several issues per year for a few years in my 20’s to early 30’s. I do enjoy looking at fashion because I see some of it as a form of art and craftsmanship since I used to sew 80% of my wardrobe for before cycling passion latched onto me after 32 yrs. old.

    The sex, flirtation columns were just sooooo tiring. I found the non-sex, more relationship, social issues or workplace stuff more interesting.

    I don’t have lovely face skin but I have also stopped wearing makeup for over the past 8 yrs. I gave up mascara in my 20’s because my eyes felt tired.

    I literally go to work and business meetings with no makeup. None. I work with men who see me up close in bright office lights.

    What is more important to me in terms of “beauty” treatment is getting a good haircut often enough, staying health. I argue that being fit /healthy is the best fashion statement that one can make

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wholeheartedly agree. I used to watch Project Runway for the creativity and the magic of making something out of a bolt of fabric! It’s a talent I truly admire. I think this is why I said magazines are aestically pleasing. They are setup to showcase the clothes just right and some of it is definitely art.

      But these mags are definitely outdated, very old-fashioned: buy, buy, buy mentality, climb the corporate ladder type articles, celebrity worship (they’re on every cover!) and how to please your man or any man. Seriously, they are still working under a 1950s model.

      Beauty is good health! My goodness, you really don’t realize how vital this is until you get older. I mean you know it intellectually, but you don’t really know it until you get older…when you FEEL it and do something about it!


      Liked by 1 person

      1. “used to watch Project Runway for the creativity and the magic of making something out of a bolt of fabric! It’s a talent I truly admire. I think this is why I said magazines are aestically pleasing. They are setup to showcase the clothes just right and some of it is definitely art.”

        I actually found it fascinating to watch the designers behind the scenes, whip up their creations under 24-48 hrs. Just incredible…and exhausting! (Maybe they sneaked off-stage for a nap. 😉

        Yea, for good health = beauty!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Once upon a time I did. But I had to fight with my mum pretty hard to let me buy my first ever teen magazine. She was totally against it, worried about the potential adult content in the magazine. So I said it’s for teenagers (I was 13) and there’s stuff there about health and all that! Eventually she caved.

    My fling with teen magazines ended pretty sharply though. I just couldn’t relate to half the stuff in there. Not to mention it was eating away at my pocket money! Though when I did read them, I did often have similar thoughts to you – small boobs, short, wide in the hips, I didn’t look anything like any of the girls in the magazines.

    I was a geek/nerd. My subscriptions were for Empire film magazine and SFX (a UK sci-fi/fantastic tv/film/comic book magazine). I had TONNES of SFX magazines. Think they all got recycled during a move.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think for independent thinkers and even well-read women, these kinds of magazines eventually get pushed out of our systems. It’s an inevitability. Otherwise you live with this “I’m not good enough” or “I want/need this…” and that conflict wears down your pocketbook and self-esteem/self-worth.

      It’s kind of sad when you see a small-breasted girl and think, “She’s just like me!” in any attempt to relate to the people on the glossy pages. And when they chose everyday people for their features, somehow those were misses, too.

      History will look back at these magazines and connect bullying, self-loathing and consumerism with the culture it creates. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but I’m playing psychologist/sociologist here and I can’t help but wonder of the impact of these kinds of things.

      Always glad to connect with another nerd/geek. Firefly forever! xxoo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not harsh at all. It’s like us looking back at the print ads and magazine from the 40s and 50s, saying what women should be doing for their men around the house and how they should be good housewives – things we wouldn’t even imagine broadcasting right now in the media. It was acceptable then. Just like all this stuff we find in alleged womens magazines, it’s totally negative, but it won’t be truly seen as negative for another few decades, I think.

        Man, it has been AGES since I last saw Firefly. I feel like a rewatch is needed. Yes… it is!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooooo! Ooooo! Firefly! Loved, loved, loved it! I’m such a sci-fi geek/nerd. I was six when the original Star Trek series came out and I can vividly remember sitting on the braided rug in the living room with my dad, both of us with our eyes practically glued to the TV set! There was nothing else like it on TV……it boldly went where no TV series had gone before! I became a sci-fi/ fantasy fan for life because of that show. When the first Star Trek movie was announced I almost wept for joy.

        I know others will disagree with me and point out all the racial and gender biases that were in the original series but if everyone could just see it through the eyes of a six year old girl growing up in the 60s….my eyes……and see it the way that six year old saw it……wow! What a message it sent to a young mind. To my six year old mind the show said that the genders were equally capable, race didn’t matter since we were all earthlings, planet of origin didn’t matter because we all belonged to the same universe, freedom was the foundation of a decent society and that exploring new ideas and ways of thinking was a good thing. I did however, always wonder why the female crew members wore those ridiculous short uniforms with matching panties and stockings. Even six year old me thought that was stupid, lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The original Star Trek was indeed groundbreaking. But yes, we still like our men and women to wear different outfits, ur, costumes 😉

        Firefly forever!


  16. Like you, I went through the phase of reading the magazines and buying stacks of them. The magazines no longer hold the same interest for me.

    I smiled, laughed even as I read your description of vicious circle. But there’s truth in that.


  17. I used to read the teen magazines and would occasionally buy a cosmo or something in my 20’s. I never had a subscription to them though.
    On a different but kind of same note, I used to read all the teen romance books and I think that actually really messed with my head in some of the same ways you describe with the magazine. I had a completely distorted view of what life should be like for a teenager because of Sweet Valley High and the like. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 555+ SVH! I loved those books, but I know what you mean. Mainstream media (inclu popular books) do mess with your ideal of love and romance and what its supposed to be like. I think I’m still trying to undo those little ideals and fantasies.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. 56 year old here. Never subscribed to those kinds of magazines but I will admit to buying one off the shelf occasionally. I’d pick up a fashion magazine about twice a year when I was working with the public so I could make sure that I wasn’t too far out of style. But on the whole, I’ve always found them to be a good way to make most women feel bad about themselves. And, if you can make a woman feel bad about herself, you can sell her all kinds of snake oil with the promise that it will make her beautiful, skinny, sexy, grow bigger breasts…..sigh. It’s an unhealthy pastime this reading of “women’s magazines”.

    Men don’t spend hours on hair and makeup and they don’t wear three and a half inch heels that screw their feet up and, as a rule, don’t run around in uncomfortable, constrictive clothing because it’s “all the rage this season” and they certainly don’t spend a hundred dollars on an undergarment to suck it in or pad ’em out and shove ’em up. So. Why do we, as women, feel we must do these things? Don’t get me wrong, I like to look pretty and semi-current. I like a nice hairstyle, some makeup when I’m going somewhere, a pretty outfit. But I don’t want my worth defined by my hairstyle, makeup or clothes that I wear.

    Anywho, just stumbled across your site and will be back. You’re interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bring up a very good point: a woman who feels bad about herself is an easily manipulated woman. And the industry knows this, they know women will buy and buy until they think they are better and then buy some more. It’s a bit of competition play, pitting us against each other, but pretending we all ‘sisters’.

      Guys, on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered with all that dress-up (except in S.Korea).

      Glad you liked the post and site. Thanks so much.


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