Womens Magazines: The Serpent of Eden?

I used to like to read Cosmo and Marie Claire and Better Homes&Gardens until I realized that they weren’t reflective of my reality at all. According to Cosmo (and its ilk) life should be all about my body type, where I’m out on weekends at least 2xs a month and be having rip-roaring, toe-curling orgasms and have at least one LBD in my closet.

Whereas for working women and working mothers those things aren’t always viable nor always on our radars either. Even for the SAHMs, there’s so much to be done on a regular basis that while you may not feel like Cinderella, self-grooming can take a backseat and at times you do wonder if the gloss you used to sport has gone for good.

But the difference isn’t in the missing gloss, it’s in the new vision. Things change when you grow older. Midnight marathons of Evil Dead or Police Academy don’t usually provide the  fun factor. Going to a lounge can be fun for the first 30 minutes doing shots; but then you do want something cozier, less noisy and wine along with it. Dressing up to go out and eat seems tougher than dressing down to eat at home with the kid you try to get to sit in one place for more than 5 minutes at a time. Add veggies that the kid needs to eat and dinner time is one big negotiation fit for the corporate boardrooms.

And while calling women’s magazines as fluff is making a rather big generalization, it’s genuinely not all that realistic either. Sure, I get to know about couture, keeping fit and having a good time but the underlying glamor that seems to run through it all isn’t what most women’s lives are about.

For most of the working moms I know, and I know quite a few; getting their kids ready and off to school, maybe getting an hour’s worth of physical exercise and also using a hot iron on their hair is a pretty big achievement in the 2 hours you have in the morning. What a lot of these mags do is make us wistful for the life we think is not only possible, but is actually held up to our faces to emulate from. Sure, I’d like to be nicely made up whenever I step out of the house. I would also like be able to do decent eye make-up for a change instead of having lines that resemble a seismogram but is that it?

Having an exotic drink while sitting in Bora-Bora or knowing the right kind of Hermes scarf to pair with a power suit shouldn’t be the zenith of my aspirations. Or should it? But we also do yearn for that little elusive element in our lives. The one that comes with thoughts of lazing back on a tropical island or living in the lap of luxury somewhere, getting all whims and fancies catered to. And for me, most women’s magazines do provide that. Just up to us to choose what to grab and how much. And I’m pretty sure that I’m the wrong demographic for them because all I want to do is grab a book most of the times and curl up somewhere to read! I doubt I’ll be getting a french manicure anything this century.

 

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