“Most women’s magazines simply try to mold women into bigger and better consumers.” Gloria Steinem.
It does seem this way. Even those who try to rise above the consumerism become caught up in it when they want to make money. How can they not? Our economy is geared into making women consumers.
When you read women’s magazine the basic sections (health/ fitness, beauty/fashion, parenting, home/garden) are full of glossy, full paged ads and the articles themselves show large photos of products. The text articles, the ones about heartbreak, loss and health tips don’t get the big, mouth watering photos to illustrate them. After all, there are no products to focus on, nothing to sell. However, they do sell the woman we should be, the perfect one who does all the responsible green planet saving stuff, the one who knows which foods her kids are safe eating and the one who still has time to do her make up before she leaves the house. (Of course it’s a house, it’s always a house in those ads and the illustrations for articles). There are the token articles about great things some woman is doing somewhere. The magazines may even have a career section still, most don’t, though some did in the past.
Full, glossy ad pages are devoted to displaying nail polish, salad dressing and other things available at a mall near you. There are few car ads places in women’s magazines. I’ve yet to see an ad for sports equipment in a woman’s magazine, unless it is an ad for a spa, gym or weight loss clinic type of thing. We are still consumers who look after the family while looking pretty. Even the great Cosmo has long since fallen. Last time I picked one up I was sickened by it’s focus on looking after your man. It’s long lost track of the independent woman who was strong and looked after herself, first.
Do you read women’s magazines? I do. I admit the glossy pages appeal to me. I want to dream about this great life on display between it’s glamorous pages. I sneak them into my purse so no one sees me bring them into the house. My Mother buys them too, for the recipes. I think we actually did use one of the recipes, in the past two years. For me they are wishful thinking. Yet, I am angry too. I try to limit myself to not buying any at times. I would like them to change. I would like them to represent my reality. But, they can’t. I just don’t make enough money to buy all that stuff.