Glossy Talk: Dear SHOP Til You Drop... can we drop the Body Talk?
When I am lounging around the house on the weekend between various activities, like cleaning the toilets and buying groceries (such is the glamour of my 'real life'), I often like to read a magazine and pretend that my life does not involve cleaning toilets and buying groceries. One such time occurred last weekend, as my husband and I were scorched from a morning in the sun and felt like doing nothing but lying around in front of a fan (with clothes on).
As there are many magazines lying about my home office, I am also spoilt for choice. I didn't feel like anything high-brow and didn't feel like imbibing a bunch of unnecessary female angst via a "women's magazine": what I wanted was an easy-breezy, visually engaging read. You were my go-to girl!
So, I flicked and mentally shopped through your March issue, enjoying the Lea Michele cover story and instructions on how to wear a below-the-knee skirt (who ever new there was such technical skill involved?). I thought about how all those lovely wide-leg pants would make me look like a stumpy midget with wide legs, chuckled along with Megan Moir Pardy (no, Megan, guys don't get fashion irony), 'shopped the shows' (Glee, Mad Men, The Kardashians, Gossip Girl and True Blood), and was feeling thoroughly educated about what to wear this winter if I'm to be "au currant" (namely an aviator jacket, camel coat, knee-length leather skirt, winter shorts, chunky knitwear and hiking boots, presumably not all at once unless you are Olivia Palermo), as well as how to replicate the season's key beauty trends (check out my fuchsia pout!). Then I got to the end of the book...
What's this 'Body Talk' business about? I realise you are a magazine about buying stuff, but diet yoghurts, books like Losing the last 5 Kilos and pedometers? Seriously. And coveting "that elusive dancer's body we've been crazy for ever since Natalie Portman flaunted her Black Swan bod in the film's amazing Rodarte wardrobe"? Have you lost your mind?
You are the magazine that gave us Megan Moir Pardy. You are supposed to be the diet-talk-free glossy safe-house. Even if you think it, even if advertisers want it, please don't write it. I can get it elsewhere. Like in a health magazine. Or CLEO.
What sets you apart is what you don't do. And that's remind us about diets, exercise and food calories. Yes, we can skip it, yes, we can choose not to buy into the talk, but it's there and it has influence on your readers (as if we weren't loaded up with enough body angst when entering the change room and already comparing ourselves to the models you feature, like the ones who supplement your 'real-life' staff in the 'Behind the Gloss' shoot).
It would be great if you could be more like your cover girl, who says, "I think in high school, kids can get caught up in what people think is cool, and what I love about Rachel is that she knows what she wants and she's sticking with that."
Girl With a Satchel