I’m sorry magazines, but I think our love affair has ended. I remember the days when you excited me. I would look forward to when you would release a new issue and browse through it with much anticipation, pawing over the latest clothes, gasping over celebrity gossip (or chuckling depending on what the story may be) and dreaming of looking like the gorgeous celebrities or models you printed.
But that was then. I was younger, more innocent and very naïve. I didn’t like myself and thought the solution could be found within the pages of magazines. I thought it relatively normal to weigh around 8 stone, wear a size 8, follow a restrictive diet and exercise most days. That’s what I saw in the magazines and celebrities were congratulated for it. I wanted to wear the outfits the way they were worn in the magazines. And eventually I did – but at a huge cost.
Now when I open some magazines, I tut, sigh and fill with rage. Never before as a society have we been more obsessed with celebrity, fame, looks, career – the list is endless but in basic terms- ‘having it all’. At the same time we are riddled with addictions, eating disorders and other mental health problems. Yet it is hard to pick up a magazine without being bombarded with images of supposed physical perfection, instructions on how to achieve it and what to wear. Not to mention fabulous insights into the supposedly flawless lives of those who have it all and ridicule aimed at those who proved to be simply human and in many cases, not very well.
While magazines aren’t the sole cause of such problems, they certainly haven’t helped. And while they continue to be judgemental, degrading and provoke feelings of inadequacy, they can only be exacerbating such problems. Surely it’s time for a reality check within the industry? It needs to change along with the times, aim to instil feelings of worth within its readers and reignite the joy of picking up a new issue.