As part of New Years Resolution #1 (Write More), I find myself talking about New Years Resolution #2: No more glossy/women’s magazines.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with magazines for years, from reading the old Bellas my mum had lying about, to passing away early morning shifts in my first job with NOW to buying Cosmo/Glamour &Marie Claire for train journeys and more recently buying Look & Grazia on a close to weekly basis. And I didn’t really have a problem with it before but since my big feminist awakening every purchase has left me riddled with guilt, to the point where I nearly have a recurring nightmare that I’ll get ‘papped’ buying one and the headline will read ‘supposed feminist organiser buys glossy magazine.’
It is just one of the many dilemmas I go through when need and want for popular culture meets the ethics of my beliefs. I tried even justifying my purchases by classifying the magazines – Heat Magazine & Now – really bad (hate on other women and their bodies); Cosmo/Glamour – next in line – while it may have some useful tips – it’s generally more about girls pleasing boys than boys pleasing girls; Marie Claire – I actually like in that every so often it has a few articles that actually use the word feminism and they run a mentoring programme in the UK so I’m down with that and then there’s Look & Grazia – my recent reads which are mainly about clothes and pretty things with gossip thrown in for good measure. Then we have the Irish owned U which is a recent read and one which I’m more than partial to as the products they feature you can actually buy in Ireland.
BUT – Baz Luhrman had it right – these magazines just make you feel bad. Studies actually prove it and I find myself afterwards, being not impervious to the world around me, wondering should I lose weight, is my hair nice, do I need a better wardrobe. While they may be fleeting thoughts, I think they are ones I can do without. And at the end of the day, the money I pay for these magazine is just feeding an industry which portrays the ideal woman as a blonde, buxom size zero. So it’s time to choose ethics. New Years resolution #2 is going well. 8 days in – and not only have I cleansed my house of magazines, I haven’t bought one either! And I’m pretty sure I’m not even going to miss them.