I am addicted to magazines. I cannot resist any offer for 75% off the newsstand price. There, I said it.
The problem with magazines is that they all somehow make me feel bad. And I’m not talking about advertising – which has been actually proven to make people feel shitty – I’m talking about editorial.
Last night, I was reading an article in ELLE by some nutso who had a life-long hang-up about being short. She would answer her door in platforms, worked at a gym but would not take advantage of the free membership because co workers would see her in sneakers, you get the picture. Yeah. She’d be in the midst of a hot date when the dude would exclaim, “you’re so short.” Oh, the horror. As usual, I’m buried in page 3 of this nonsense by the time the author actually states her height. You guessed it. She’s taller than me.
This always happens; I should know better. I’ll be reading this story about someone who experienced XYZ and how horrible it was/is, and it will always turn out that whatever XYZ was/is – I have it worse. Since I read predominately “women’s” magazines, these are almost always issues of physical appearance (you know the one about the woman who “struggled with her weight all her life,” whose “rock bottom” was like being 150 at 5’7). On occasion, I get to read about health issues, income and education. Fun, fun, fun!
At one point, this observation led me to add non female-centered publications to my subscription list. Enter Car & Driver, Old Cars Weekly, and Tricycle (the Buddhist review – how’s that for backlash?). But even these gave me grief. Yesterday, after reading some very entertaining reviews of vehicles I’ll never own, I decided to check out C/D online to see what they had to say about my car. The first search result? “The Greatest Automotive Flops of the Last 25 Years.”
C’mon, man, come the fuck on.
We’ve all heard the clichés about cars being extensions of ourselves, so I wasn’t all that surprised by this. Not that I’m calling myself a “flop,” but the author’s description of the Crossfire Coupe as a “bright-eyed hunk of weirdness” did hit a little close to home.
As usual, I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say (after all, that article on the “Yoga of Creativity” in Tricycle has totally got me doubting my talent as a writer – and a yogini, for what it’s worth) but I do know this: it really doesn’t matter which magazines I read. So much in this world is intended to make us feel bad about ourselves for one reason or another. So, whether it’s ELLE making women feel bad about floppy boobs or C/D making me feel bad about my floppy car, I just got to keep telling myself that it’s all by design.
Ads, editorial, it doesn’t matter. They’re all selling something...and at a mere fraction of the newsstand price, I'm sure they'll sell me another subscription.