Why Magazines May Make You Feel Gross

Yesterday I was on 89.5 here in Chicago, for Feminist Wednesdays. (Listen Here)

I brought in a few of my women’s magazines and we discussed the messages many of these magazines send to women. I’ve always been very passionate about the media’s effect on people, women especially, so I was very excited to discuss this.

Before I explain why magazines may make you feel gross, I’d first like to say that I do feel there is some valuable information in mainstream women’s magazines – workouts, new snack ideas, articles about new health findings, etc. However, I do have a problem with the way in which these magazines present this information to women.

Here’s a recap of some of the messages I discussed on air yesterday, and why I am appalled by them:

– Things You Should Never Stop Doing in a Relationship: “Wearing cute little lounge clothes on Sundays. C’mon, yoga pants are just as comfy as sweats…and they won’t shrink his boner.My interpretation: So, even when you are relaxing, you should be conscious of what your man is most attracted to. If you’re not, he won’t be so attracted to you. And that’s your fault. (And P.S., baggy sweatpants are more comfortable!!)

– “Sucking it in and strutting your stuff when he’s watching.My interpretation: Your stomach isn’t flat enough, so you need to suck it in. But just when he is watching, because heaven forbid your man see you with your stomach sticking out.

– Advertisement for Altoids: “When you lean in, make sure he doesn’t lean out.My interpretation: We all want good breath! Who doesn’t? Don’t ruin a kiss with bad breath. If you do, he won’t kiss you. So make sure you have good breath so you can attract a guy.

– “There’s a reason runners can get away with wearing nothing but short shorts and sports bras: their bodies!” My interpretation: If you have a great, slim body, you can “get away with” wearing less clothes. But if you don’t have a “runner’s body”, don’t even think twice about not covering up your body.

Basically, my biggest beef with women’s magazines is that the twist on losing weight, dieting, and looking good is all about how you need to do these things to fit into some society norm (skinny jeans, calorie counting, and buying tons of beauty products) or why you need to do these things in order to attract or impress a man.

I’m barely skimming the surface here, but what do you think? Do you agree with me, or do you think these articles and ads are harmless? Leave me a comment below!

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11 thoughts on “Why Magazines May Make You Feel Gross

  1. I TOTALLY agree with you and BRAVO for pointing it out! I try to look my best because I want to FEEL my best. When women are confident and feeling their best, guys flock to them whether they’re in skinny jeans, yoga pants or comfy, baggy, stained sweats.

    And feeling your best shouldn’t be about attracting a guy anyway – it’s because feeling good feels good! 🙂

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