Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Magazines and their conflicting messages

Right, that's it. I am TOTALLY done with womens glossy magazines, I don't care if the free gift is a naked Alexander Skaarsgard with just a small bow wrapped around his privates, I am DONE. (although if someone doesn't want their free gift....... you know the drill)

What has driven me to this act of turning my back on all magazines? To the extent of turning down a hot naked man (There's a first time for everything)

Well I am completely sick of all the mixed messages that magazines are forcing feeding down our throat like we are geese or ducks having our livers fattened up (you could say it is driving me quackers)

Most of the womens magazines out there don't want women to have their head screwed on straight. Because if we did, we wouldn't turn to them for advice any more would we?

Flick through any magazine and I guarantee you that at least one article you see will be about losing weight, getting a beach body, losing the lumps or shedding fat so that you FEEL BETTER about yourself. They tell you that you will be so much happier when you lose weight. They even give you recipes to help you lose weight. (Aren't they helpful?)

But THEN in the next issue you are told to "Embrace Your Curves" They hold up Ms Kardashian as an example to every woman how curves are IN, and then in the next edition they will show you unflattering pictures of celebrities with a double chin and weep about how they have let themselves go, and then in the next edition after that they will talk about their worry for celebrities who have got too thin.

It's enough to make me want to headbutt a chocolate layer cake (WITH MY MOUTH) Am I meant to be thin? Curvy? Fat? If these people don't know, how am I meant to know?

Let's talk 50 Shades of Grey. According to most womens magazines Porn is BAD. it exploits women, it degrades us and makes men objectify us as women.

But "Mummy porn" Well that is EMPOWERING, liberating, it is totally different obviously. So am I meant to enjoy being spanked or not? (Answers on a postcard please)

Even make-up doesn't escape, be natural, plaster it on with a trowel. Wear it for you, wear it for him, let him wear it. (live and let live)

The goal posts keep moving and they don't want us to keep up.

Take us bloggers, one minute we are "hairy-armed" nobodies and the next minute we are welcomed with open websites and our content ushered into their warm bosums (mmmmmmm snuggly, oooooh a sparkly badge? For MOI? You shouldn't have)

I'm just confused, and I think they LIKE us that way.

So I'm sticking to blogs. They are for the best part objective and if a blogger believes in something you will usually find that they stand by their opinion and their ideals through thick and thin.

And I love that.

Now has anyone seen a Blog giveaway of Alexander Skaarsgard?

I can but live in hope.

So what do you think?

Am I being fussy or are magazines changing their minds more often than Katie Price changes her husbands?

Let me know

Big Fashionista x x



  1. I find this post fascinating because I'm both a blogger and work in women's magazines. Also, I'm a huge magazine lover and can't imagine there being a time that I stop buying and reading my favourite titles when I need some 'me time'.

    In the ten years I've worked in mags, I've never once heard anyone hint that they might want readers to feel confused/messed up so that they come back to the mag for more advice - honest!

    The mags I've worked for have been staffed by people who genuinely want to create must-read content that their readers want.

    I can't speak for all mags of course but I imagine the conflicting content you mention is a case of magazines wanting to appeal to as large an audience as possible. Some women want to tone up and be healthy, while some want to eat cupcakes and stick two fingers up to the gym. Both attitudes are fine and some magazines will just want to reflect that in their pages.


    1. You raise a really interesting point about appealing to the masses.

      I suppose that's why I prefer blogs these days. They have a niche and a voice and stick to that. They don't cater for the masses they cater for their audience.

  2. I couldn't agree more! I constantly read conflicting messages in magazines and it leaves you confused as to what they actually want from us!

    From seeing cellulite on celebrities (something we will all inevitably get) and being told its bad, to seeing skinny celebs (what we presume we should be like from the articles) and being told they’re too unhealthy! Fat, thin, curvy, lumpy - nothing is good enough and we end up running round in circles chasing an ideal that doesn't seem to exist!

    If you want to eat cake, eat it. If you want to eat an apple, eat it. We don't need magazines to tell us what we should or shouldn't be doing!

  3. You're spot on as usual Kellie - this is why I DO NOT read magazines unless I'm bored out of my skull in the hospital waiting room and have forgotten to bring my book. Oh, and I'm afraid Alexander is at my place at the moment and won't be available for the foreseeable future...

  4. I gave up womens magazines years ago for this exact reason. Its been going on for years. Not just womens shape but the how to get a man/its great to be single thing as well.

    As for 50 Shades of Gray, I find it somewhat embarrassing that this is the success that it is. It reads like porn written by a 15 year old for 15 year olds. I read better in the 1990's. Any one remember Black Lace novels?!

    1. Oh I didn't even start on the relationship advice! That drives me insane.

      Ooooh Black Lace,

      *starts humming agadoo

    I stopped buying magazines (glossies) a while ago now, I only pick them up for the products now as it works out cheaper BUT the magazine? Goes straight in the bin. The one that did it? Marie Claire. How to ''Fix'' your shape. I thought well hang on a minute here piss off. It's still sitting in the bathroom mind but I think that's more for Lee than me :P
    At least blogs are personal, thought (A lot of thought) goes into the body of material. Glossies? Well now, they're just for advertising and making money. It's safe to say they do not have our best interests at heart......
    Great post - great to have you back xx

    1. I agree that these days a lot of glossies are just shiny advertorials with some articles put in between.

      As I said above I think it's why I prefer blogs these days

  6. i completely agree i haven't read a magazine other than vintage life (its amazing no diets, no you should be this, it embraces individuality and shows you how to do victory rolls whats not to love?!) in about 3 years and i really don't feel like I'm missing anything. I'm sick of walking past them in the supermarket and seing some one with a red ing because they have a bit of cellulite! or how i must lose 4 lobs to get into a bikini. you express everything i think about these "womens" magazines xx

  7. Big Fash – I hear ya, and I agree it’s totally annoying the way a lot of mags switch between curvy/thin ideals, but I can sort of see the dilemma they are having. The fact is, there are thin people in the world, and there are… not so thin people. If someone wants to lose weight and aim for the perfect figure, they have to be realistic about what they can achieve. I, for instance, am fully aware that my hips and amble bosom mean that I will never be Kate Moss, but for every thinspirational picture I see of La Moss or someone equally as spindelly, there’s Kelly Brook or someone equally as buxom to make me feel better the next week. Personally, I’d find it worse if one year it was ‘in’ to be ‘thin’, as a person who is never going to pull off hot pants and a tube top.

    I’m also shallow as fuck and quite enjoy laughing at famous people’s cellulite. I’m human, so sue me!


  8. I agree with Agoraphobic Fashionista - it's all about the money.

    In the age of the internet, where you have all the information and opinions you could ever need at your fingertips, and an astonishingly ever-increasing amount of competition for attention, it is pretty hard to get out there and sell, if that is your business. So you go for the hard sell - make them feel bad, build them up, bring them down, show them the perfect images and promise that yours is The Only Way. It's like a religion - buy our magazine religiously, be one of our followers! But you know that Genesis song? Jesus He Knows Me? It's like that - on the face of it, they are evangelists, but basically they just want your money...and magazines just want to increase circulation.

    Same with 50 Shades - is it art done for the sake of art? Or is it selling sex - getting your name out there by creating a stir, working that marketing machine - that's a new angle, 'mummy porn' that will get them talking (and buying).

    So there you go. Best not to trust anything that is big business. :)

  9. Unfortunately you're right! It makes me sad that they're so inconsistent when it comes to empowering women (PROPERLY)- and it makes me sad that I like to read the fashion bits and bobs in some of them. Glossies are such a waste of money though, as well as a totally depressive read!

  10. Couldn't agree more, I wrote a very similar post to this 6 months ago because they were driving me up the wall with the rampant mixed messages and I stopped any subscriptions at that point. I'd find the magazine would arrive at my door, I'd aimlessly flick through not be interested in any of it and then log on to my favourite blogs. Genuinely they were becoming really pointless. At least bloggers have an opinion! I'm just so bored of the too thin too fat too big too small, body obsession that they cultivate. No thank you!

  11. Glossies are overpriced now, all the advertising inside you'd think the price would be a tad lower.

    As for conflicting messages, if I want to diet I will do so. Oddly I stopped dieting and lost 2 stone, so go me!

    Last time I read a glossy I was supposed to be a full blown chef to keep my man, be curvaceous and skinny at the same time, also to keep my man and have a full time job, be a stay at home mumma and various other things, allllll at the same time and mostly to keep my man.

    I keep my man cos he loves me, he doesn't care what shape I am, how badly I burn dinner or that I work part time. As he keeps telling me he loves me cos of who I am, not what I'm supposed to be.

    I need glossies like a need a third leg tbh, they really are just that much help to me.

  12. you may have seen this already, but I think you'd really like this blog

  13. i have completely stopped reading magazines (except on the occasion, although i buy it because it's something to buy, i flick at the pictures and then i put it in my toilet magazine rack, for someone else to find good use too - maybe even toilet paper?!)
    magazines for me, like you said, just confuse us. and i think they do this, because they think we'll follow along, like we always want to join the crowd, so ooh we must lose weight, ooh we must get curves, ooh get rid of double chin with them, oooh buy this and that. i just don't get it. at all.
    for me, it is all about blogs. i don't see a size 0 blogger (well there are some out there, but i choose not to read it otherwise i will find myself crying into my bag of chocolate that i want to be slimmer like them).. who looks uncomfortable in what she's wearing in a studio. nope i see them in their bedroom, or their tidy garden or a fantastic brick wall. and that's when you see the real deal. not so much their flaws, but yeah i happily put a picture up where my eye may be half shut, because i am not perfect. but i'm still rocking those shoes, so what does it matter if my eye is wonky?!
    anywayz, i've completely gone off subject for no apparent reason, that i don't even know what i am talking about.. oh except that i wipe my bum with a magazine, well i personally don't. i leave that to the guests, i want the nice stuff..
    hence why i chose blog over mag anyday!x

  14. I stopped buying magazines around a year ago. I used to spend about £10 a week (!) on mags to read through at lunch time from the CoOp. Their choice was limited, so it was Heat, Look, More, OK, that sort of thing. I would read 2 of them in my lunch hour, drool over the shoes, and then leave them for the other girls. Instant gratification. To be honest, those mags could have held the secret to eternal life in the back pages, and I wouldn't have noticed, because I was too busy getting steadily more angry at the utter bullshit they were shoving in my face.
    They'd do a plus size feature and say the girl was a size 18, when she was so clearly a 22 or a 14. They'll print the most ridiculous headlines 'Katie and Peter Back Together' and then the article explains (for this article)
    They'll have the worst pictures of the prettiest people and this is supposed to make us feel better?
    They all love L'Oreal and Mulberry and New Look, you know, to show how street they are. They speak to noone about nothing apart from other mag/pr/media employees.
    When I have a long train journey I'll treat myself to Tatler or Harpers Bazaar because they are genuinely readable from cover to cover, a fair amount of escapism and beautiful shoes, interesting articles well written and beautifully shot photos.
    But the blogs have taken over completely from trash mags. I've built up through Google Reader, a perfect daily or weekly reading list. I have a billion nail art blogs, always first with the latest must have or must avoid nail products, the makeup blogs with exciting news and a personal slant, my ranty blogs which I love, and the topical comment ones which keep me informed and entertained. And I save a fortune.
    I totally made a longer comment than K-Fed!

  15. I gave up mags years ago too. Mainly because the fashion content was aimed at slim, young women that could wear the skimpy, see-through gorgeous clothes (but likely couldn't afford them)

    It was a total waste of money, I had a small scandanavian forest sitting in my front room with the promise that I'd collage my ideas (thanks to Polyvore I don't need to any more)

    I finally threw in the towel when I heard that a lot of the beauty reviews/roundups were advertising lead. Shame on you big mags. I'd only ever heard of the big name brands and a few of the cult ones. Since doing my own mag I've discovered a whole world of little cottage industry brands, organics and true movers and shakers.

    The message is clear to the magazines! Promote a healthy lifestyle for readers (not skinny or fat is bad) and just be honest?


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