Sunday, January 11, 2009

Column 7: Literary Poison

I know this has been covered a million times but I have to rant.
Every time I open a magazine, supermodels are being praised for their style sense & timeless beauty. This irks me.
1. They are sickly thin; their bones jut out & their breasts are mere nipples. I like Androgyny as much as the next person. I mix my boyfriend jeans with wife beaters & heels, I recently got a boy cut & I did borrow my X’s belt from time to time. But I also like being able to discern whether I’m hitting on a boy or a girl. That’s just a personal preference.
Granted, some of us are thin naturally. I don’t have huge breasts but that’s genetics & not the result of calculated starvation...
2. Why are we so obsessed with youth? Apart from the rare exception, a supermodel’s career expires in her mid 20’s. Many brands that cater to women over their 30’s, hire girls who are not representative of that age class. Yet, the products sell because of the enhanced youth appeal.
My friend, Special K & I went to New York in August. She models in Montreal, while juggling Law studies & a job at a movie theatre. She decided to check out some modeling agencies before the start of the semester.
I tagged along. It was tiring as some of the agencies have the same drop-in audition times, while being far away from each other. It was hot & the agencies didn’t bother having AC in their waiting rooms. We only had 3 days for business & pleasure, so we were running around, jumping in & out of taxis, only to be surrounded by hundreds of New York’s most ‘beautiful’ people.
Needless to say, I felt like a midget. :)
During the fruitless adventure, Special K pretended to be 20. She explained that 22 was too old. With models being recruited as young as 14, she was already considered old meat.
3. Yes. Models have great style. Their careers are all about looking good. They get dibs at the hottest fashions & accessories. They mingle with designers. They date heirs, actors & top notch business me. They also have stylists, make up artists, fitness trainers & nutritionists. Wouldn’t YOU have amazing style if you had access to similar resources?

So, let’s stop talking about them, ok?

When I pick up my Vogue, I would like to be welcomed by the average woman. Someone I can identify with, after all, we all come in different shapes, sizes & colors.
Instead of focalizing on one look & making it a beauty standard, we should bask in our diversity.
I must admit I’m not made of stone. When I flip through Vogue’s pages & all I see are thin models, smiling at me & rocking the hottest clothes, I feel pressured to lose weight, whiten my teeth & get my nails done. Most of today’s women magazines are literary poison. They make us feel inadequate financially, emotionally & physically. Although, they do have helpful hints & fun reads, editors should lighten up. I think there are several answers to beauty standardization. Abstinence, thick skin or alternative magazines such as
Bitch! (A self proclaimed ‘feminist response to pop culture’).
You won’t find an article about winter trends or the top 5 lipsticks you NEED right now but I think I’m ready to trade pictures of bags & shoes I will never be able to afford (or would never be CRAZY enough to buy) for a good read.

But that’s just me.


apricot tea. said...

I definitely think you're reading the wrong magazine. That is one of the reasons I never read high fashion magazines like Vogue & Elle; they are seemingly shallow & haven't much heart. I also hate that I have constantly flip through ads, just to read an "article" that wasn't really an article at all... just a few sentences.

Magazines, to me, do more damage on women than good. I've read them all, & I've never walked away feeling rejuvenated, or confident. If anything, I feel melancholy because the subliminal messages in those pages have got me criticizing my own body. It's disgusting... & that's why I don't read women's magazines.

Now, books... that I can do. But I don't touch women's magazines, for every reason you listed here.

(good post, btw!)

Billie said...

woman of great destiny

Nana said...

Thx u! & You are right. Some of these magazines are just advertizing pamphlets for make up, clothes & other things most people can't afford. It's funny people pay 5-6$ to be sold a dream.
I reccomend reading GQ magazine. I love it, it's my fave magz at the moment. As well, Zink & Strut are very good as well.
Thank you, Honey, I'm so glad you like! I can't wait until you come down from Paris!!!