Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Does This Magazine Make My Butt Look Big?

At the bookstore last weekend, something disturbing caught my eye:  Glutes, a magazine devoted entirely to what is wrong with my butt.  Really, Magazines?  Now you're going to harp on my butt?  It's not enough to tell me in general way that my body is no longer acceptable?  Must you be so specific?

I'm tired of so-called "women's magazines."  They pretend to be inspiring and helpful, but really they just make me feel like crap.  The thing is, they're unavoidable, unless you live in a magical faerie land wherein you can avoid the grocery store checkout line.

The drugstore checkout line is even worse. The cover of Cosmo trumpets "What Men Want In Bed Now!"  I am clearly past Cosmo's demographic.  Because a) my first thought was an annoyed what the hell do they want now? and b) I am old enough to have figured out that what men want in bed now is sex.  I wish I could go back in time and explain this to the 18-year-old me: duh. Save the $4 newsstand price and invest it in tech stocks.

But the worst ones aren't the fashion and beauty mags.  They at least have the decency not to pretend to be anything more than artifice.  The worst ones are the "family and lifestyle" magazines.  First, they sucker you in with a cheap price, or a free first issue, or an elementary school student who lisps at your door, "won't you please help my teacher get more books for our classroom?"  And you think, that seems reasonable.  I'm certain I will read these magazines and derive great benefit from them.  But really, who has time for reading Better Homes Than Yours when you could be doing important things like raising your children and checking Facebook?  And before you even notice that you've got piles of unread magazines all over the house, Niecy Nash is having a yard sale on your lawn.  And you're getting calls about the first-ever joint-production episode of Intervention meets Hoarders: Whatever Happened to the Recycling Bin? 

You know why else those magazines pile up?  Because they make me feel ridiculously inadequate and generally speaking, I try to avoid that feeling.  Every time I pick up Real Simple it has recipes involve making little paper envelopes in which to cook fish.  Hey, Real Simple? Yeah, when making dinner involves origami, it's not Real Simple.  It's Real Annoying.  It's also Real Unlikely my children are going to eat fillet of sole in a white wine and Meyer lemon reduction with capers en papillote.

And, oh, the family magazines.  As a rule, I am not going to sculpt major works of art with fruits and vegetables.  I am much more likely to dump a bag of baby carrots into a bowl and let them have at it.  I can't see spending 45 minutes designing a trompe-l'oeil scene out of crudite when they're going to inhale it in five seconds flat. 

Also, I swear if I see "ants on a log" depicted one more time as a cute, fresh idea, I'm going to scream.  Smearing almond butter in the celery does not make it a new snack, people.   It just makes it expensive.  And if you have a child who's allergic to peanut butter, believe me, it's already occurred to you to try the soynut butter version, too.

By far the most galling are the parenting articles.  I'm either too permissive, allowing my children to run wild, or I'm a hovering "helicopter mom."  (By the way, whoever coined that precious term is probably not actually raising children today.)  Many of the articles focus on how best to use our time.  We need to spend more time together as a family, but the children all need one-on-one time with each parent, and it's important to remember your marriage, and don't forget to spend time doing something just for you.  What kind of alien calendar are they working from?  Probably the same one that Martha Stewart uses.  (Wednesday: Deadhead roses and perennials.  Also, wash all cats.)

Not that there's any fear mongering going on, but apparently everything I'm doing is wrong.  I would, just once, like to read a magazine article about all the stuff I'm doing right.  Here are some topic suggestions to get the ball rolling over at Hearst Corporation:
  • Hey, your kids are still alive at the end of the day: Great job, mom! 
  • You gave them some food! You're a great cook! 
  • You emptied the dishwasher! Your house is gorgeous!
  • None of your neighbors have called Child Protective Services on you!  You must be raising them okay! 
  • You managed to shower today and you've tweezed your eyebrows sometime during this presidency?  You're hawt. 
  • You grew another human being inside your body, and then let your body be ripped to shreds getting it out of you, and then you kept that other human being alive by making it food from your body?  You have the most amazing body ever.

22 comments:

  1. AMEN!!Another one I always seethed over was Women's Day. Like women EVER really get a 'Day'?? Usually the medical articles were hand-me-downs from Reader's Digest, which had hand-me-downs from 'Prevention' which had information from some obscure health class textbook from the '80s. I cannot believe there is a whole magazine dedicated to 'glutes'.....

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  2. B sent me this link yesterday - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/health/13mind.html?_r=1&emc=eta1. Not sure what he was trying to say...

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  3. I love it! I am guilty of having several of the magazines, all in the vain hope that my house could ever look like that with the Tasmanian Devil in autistic form as a child.

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  4. Hi! I just found your blog a few days ago and it has quickly become my favorite blog ever! You are awesome!:)

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  5. *Love* the screaming pepper.

    And, at a guess, your butt looks fine. (Not that I'm looking, mind you.)

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  6. Amen from me, too. Then there are the shows like "What Not To Wear" ... like I'm going to wear nice clothes for my kids to use as their own personal kleenex.

    Great post !!

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  7. My favorite post yet. If I want to know what I'm doing wrong, I'll sit down and have a chat with my mother-in-law.....costs less than a magazine and has the extra added bonus of those special sounds she makes that let me know how annoying I am!

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  8. Love this post. Love the screaming pepper. I often feel like that by the end of the day. When my house gets included in Better Homes & Gardens, it'll be as the "don't" picture. But I'll bet my kids and I have a lot more fun daily than people living in perfect houses have in a week!

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  9. My butt is the only part of my body I'm happy with. Any chance they have a mag called "Boobs You'll Never Have Without Surgery"?

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  10. @Meagan, yes, but they're in the Men's Interests section.

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  11. I used to spend a small fortune on Cosmo trying to learn about the sex I wasn't having. Then I got the internet. Everything I didn't need to know was right there for free.
    I'm only slightly scarred from that experience.

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  12. The red pepper picture was great! Why don't they ever have that in Parents magazine? LOL

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  13. oh my gosh, this is awesome! i am new to your blog but have become a huge fan. love it. i love your article suggestions. PERFECT! thanks for writing...i am a fan.

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  14. I've been telling my mom for years that no, thank you, I don't want a gift subscription to Better Homes and Gardens because the magazine just makes me feel bad about myself. I don't think she really understands. But someone else does! Thank you.

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  15. What else can I say, but been there, done that, got the t-shirt & ROFL!! Also, love the screaming pepper **snort**

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  16. Well, I am hooked! Love this because it's all so true. Sadly. The last time I bought a Cosmo it was too late. I didn't realize this until after the fact. It sucked. I'm currently trying to comment whilst yelling "JUST A SECOND" at my kid. How do you think a parenting magazine would feel about that?

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  17. OMG! I have only just got this blog... and now have read 2 of the articles? I LOVE IT!

    I've never subscribed before but I AM NOW! And, I shared it to facebook, and hope everyone I know starts reading too!

    Funny, Insightful, Thoughtful, an F-U to the Rags... I couldn't ask for more!

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  18. I love you. Seriously. But not in a creepy, stalker'ish way - just an honest, innocent love from one mother trying to survive the day to another.

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  19. I just found your blog thanks to the Dora post and...I think I love you. I seriously need to go to bed but I can't stop reading and laughing. It's silent laughing mind you, because I've got 2/3 of my family sleeping next to/on me, but still lots of laughing.

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  20. I love the pepper picture! But my absolutely favorite part of this was the last bullet point... Heck yeah, we have amazing bodies! Except with me, you can replace "let your body be ripped to shreds getting it out of you," with "let layers of fascia be sliced open pushed and pulled around, and then sewed back up to get it out of you,"!

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  21. I think those are going to be my new mantras.

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