REVIVAL: Behind the times

Recently, while reading about Mischa Barton causing upheaval on the set of The Beautiful Life, I thought to myself, “Why on earth are they still going on about this?” Then it hit me, and I turned to the front of the magazine. Ah, it was a year old.

Yes, I’ll confess: I sometimes read year-old magazines. And the reason for this is because I buy my magazines at op shops. Normally, I’m quite careful about buying only relatively recent issues that are also in pretty pristine condition, but this one must have slipped through the cracks.

Once upon a time, I thought there was nothing more thrilling that the sight of a latest-issue magazine, and nothing more deflating than the sight of an old one - especially the ones languishing in waiting rooms or take-away shops. Is there something to be said about a product that dates so absolutely?

I generally have a favourite high-end cover girl for years at a time (Winona Ryder in my teens, Gwyneth Paltrow in my twenties, Eva Green in my thirties). But I understand that the pleasure of a magazine, like my fixation with my favourite cover girls, is skin-deep.

I once visited an acquaintance at her home and was surprised to discover that she bought at least four different gossip magazines each and every week. This meant there were so many of them they were piled up on chairs and tables in every room of the house.

This acquaintance had never given any indication that she was so well-versed in the lives of celebrities, and my overriding thought was not that she was having a jolly old time reading about the lives of the rich and famous. My overriding thought was that maybe she was a little bit lonely.

Amy Choi grew up in the family business (a Chinese take-away) and is a three-time university dropout. She was once a finalist in the Vogue Talent Contest and flew all the way to London for lunch at Vogue House. She has worked in customer service, as an usher, foster carer, freelance writer and columnist, most recently for The Age. Her first book will be published next year. She's still dating her first boyfriend and they live in country Victoria with their two daughters. Keep track of Amy's op-shopping adventures at her Revival blog... and at GWAS each fortnight.


Angela said...

Loving this today...I too am a sucker for a new mag..and often find myself reading issues months old, sometimes years.. and wondering how I missed it..then looking around at the overflowing stacks..thinking "fire hazard" "crazy cat lady" thoughts..