I picked up a fat glossy women's magazine last week from a street vendor. To be honest, I've never been big on magazines. I read some Cosmopolitan back in college but then that's almost mandatory in that age, and it is never terminal. I of course recovered and now I only pick up a Marie Claire, a Femina or a Good Homes only when I'm waiting my turn for a haircut, at a dentist or in the loo where there’s nothing else to read.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the concept of a Women's Magazine per se. Infact, they can be great fun at times - Latest gossip to keep you well informed, pages and pages of alluring beauty products that make you drool and sometimes even half a good article or something to stir your thoughts. My point is - Its all good and sugary only until you weigh your time and money spent against the supposed Women’s Wisdom you’ve gained through these innocent looking pages. Let me explain.
“Sure Shot Way To Win Your Man Over”
· Cook Sushi for him
· Look him in the eye and tilt your head to your side, just a little
· Give him a blow job
See my point? I mean what self respecting woman in a right frame of mind would, first of all, want relationship advice from a magazine, and second of all, believe the pointers they give?
"50 Great Things To Do With Your Breasts"
These 'great' things are on the general line of Stick-you-ID-and-Credit-Card-In-Your-Cleavage-To-Go-Purse-Free and, beat this, Go-Bra-Less-On-A-Night-Out-And-Wear-A-Low-Cut-Shirt-To-Make-It-Obvious. I kid you not, these are word to word tips from a magazine I downloaded online.
What's interesting is that most of the magazines focus on sex as their life depended on us having sex, and even then their sex moves are old recycled rubbish from – I assume – their own older editions. Seriously, leather lingerie and whipped cream? Yawn.
Here are a few sections that the entire hundred and forty eight Women’s Magazines in the country feature regularly and which of course are of little use to any real women with half an ounce of dignity.
Editor’s Note: Believe it or not, this is often a rich piece of content in a magazine. Or should be. In reality, these Editor’s Notes are not-so-subtle reminders of the good old Table of Content with nothing but a list of the Cover Story on How to Find Out If Your Man is Cheating on You, the Star Interview claiming to give you a ‘never seen before’ aspect of Sonam Kapoor’s life, the Diet of the Month for you to fail at (yet again), and other such unoriginal junk. Completely blah.
Special Edition: These editions are fatter, glossier, and more expensive than your plain Jane regular ones. Reason for a special edition are numerous - Anniversary of the Mag? Yes! Milestone year for the publication group? Hell Yes! Country’s Independence Day? Of course! Womens’ Day? Bring it on! Editors’ birthday? What the hell, WHY NOT? This only means a bigger star on the cover, more full-page ads from Brands that have a store only in Mumbai (or sometimes Delhi), a fifteen page collection of photographs of ‘The Years Gone By’ and a series of lame articles or interviews that you quit reading half way.
Full-Page Ads: They are the essence of every Woman’s Magazine I’ve seen recently. Brands advertise uncontrollably – Makeup giants, discreet Plastic Surgery clinics, Hair Care / Skin Care ranges, Clothes and accessories that nudge you in the ribs to chase the elusive ‘in’ feeling. These ads occupy a good 75% of the magazine. Come Special Editions and it goes up to 80%. But don’t blame the mag staff, this is probably how they are earning their revenue, poor things.
Must-Haves for The Season: This section is often the biggest, next only to the full page ads. This will have attractive, tugging-at-your-heart display of the latest range of Dresses, Handbags, Fragrances, Shoes, Makeup Items and other carp you can’t afford. I mean, who goes out shopping every three months to replace everything (clothes to makeup) with new stuff that’s supposedly chic? I know I don’t. (But then, that’s maybe because I don’t have money and I’m not size zero. Are you?) It gets really funny when on the next page is a wise article written in a stern tone telling you to de-clutter your wardrobe in order to gain spirituality. Some of them do have a sense of humor after all, I think.
Regular (lame) features: This has a list of interesting stuff like Astrology readings, Quizzes, a Guy’s Corner and Reader’s Letters who swear by the magazine’s influence on their life. Most fun is the Confession (or Sex Advice in some) where a dubious girl who slept with her cousin’s fiancée but is actually a lesbian is confessing to having relationship troubles. Jeez! I’m still holding hope for some mag-insider to tell me they have a job profile exclusively for coming up with such bizarre things. I’m applying!
Cover Story: A cover story, generally flaunted to no end on the cover page, claiming to be super original and ground breaking, is generally something on the theme of “What Not To Say To A Man” – answers are ‘I missed my period’ or ‘What’s your ATM pin?’ - or ‘“How To Know He’s Into You For The Long Run” with clever pointers like ‘He ditches his male friends for you’ and ‘His eyes widen when he looks at you.’ Pffftttt! Next time a guy looks at you with wide eyes – maybe because you said something like missing your period – you snap your fingers and say “Hey you! Wide eyes, mister. Gotcha!” Then start preparing for your wedding.
I’m kidding. Don’t ever do that. Telling you in case you’re that woman who reads and believes these magazines. WHAT? There has to be somebody who believes them! How else do you explain the slow fall of newspapers but the steady growth of such Magazines?
And if you are a self confessed lover of the magazines, stop wasting your money and just write to me. I can give you your monthly – okay fortnight if you insist – dose of suffering by telling you how you suck in life if you don’t have a clue about the season’s hottest eye makeup, by bullying you to perform better at work by wearing empowering work-attire and the right accessories, by giving you tips to be a sexpot at home (Feathers and cleavage, right?) and by encouraging you to stop eating to become fabulously skinny for the world. Brilliant, I think.
So. Who’s game?