People that know me are aware of my love for fashion magazines and clothing in general. I’ve been told I’m a great shopping partner, as I like to give advice in a not so pretentious way. I make constructive remarks, I pay attention to the trends and I think I’m a good critic. Personally, I tend to be simple/old-fashioned, as I usually go for the basics and try to keep it classy with a twist. But this entry is not about me, it’s about fashion magazines.
I’m a HUGE consumer of fashion magazines. And before you judge me or say I’m shallow or materialistic, let me explain. Fashion magazines with their pretty colors, make-up, clothes and sceneries have always been a huge inspiration to me. When I was younger (14-15), I loved buying teen magazines, but somehow I found it wasn’t enough and started buying fashion magazines: Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire -never Cosmo- and, occasionally, Harper’s Bazaar. The thing is, I loved seeing street-style pictures with rad girls wearing the latest trends, their OWN interpretation. Editorials have always been fascinating to me, and I’ve usually loved reading the columns of remarkable women who I had no idea who they were but whose words I loved reading. I kept being a critic both at their words and their clothes, but I think that built up my fashion sense and style -and hell, even my personality.
I have a huge trunk full of old issues of my favorites, and every once in a while, I loved making collages (with scissors, glue and imagination, in real life, not with Photoshop or any other tool online). Then, it evolved to my polyvore account, where I love diving into the zillion of items and imagine I’m creating my own fashion magazine.
The problem with fashion magazines is the reader’s background. Fashion magazines are influential. I don’t 100% agree with their point of view most of the time, and I find myself eye-rolling every once in a while when flipping through their pages. I like to believe that, in spite of being a huge consumer, I understand the risks of fashion magazines. I understand how the stereotypes shown on their pages are perjudicial for young minds, but I still believe they can help you if you’re able to notice the problems they convey. Fashion magazines can build your opinion on such issues as feminism, stereotypes and social diversity. For example, I constantly find these magazines patronising how to “properly dress for work while being a modern woman” –which usually means the magazine will display 100 ways of dressing for an office job. What about other women who don’t have an office job? what about cooks? or what about waitresses? Another thing is the contradictions: “you gotta like yourself!! you gotta like your body! laugh! live! love!” and then, a few pages later, they explain to you how to have the best booty or a face free of wrinkles.
Here’s the thing. They can be dangerous. The other day I read 2 old issues of one of my favorite magazines. They had a column written by Miroslava Duma, the Russian entrepreneur, and another by Naomi Campbell, the supermodel. These two women are admired by millions of girls around the world. And what was my surprise (I honestly don’t know why I was surprised, though), when I read that Lady Duma affirmed that one day she “simply had no time for eating” and that she still felt guilty after eating TWO! M&M’s for lunch. TWO M&M’s. Yet she still felt guilty. And she hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast (and it wasn’t a great one). Then, to Lady Campbell’s column, I stared at the words terrified, as she had been spending the day only ingesting detox juices. Like, how can a woman of 1.77cm survive just by drinking detox juices?? those deets horrified me, but see? I’m a sensible woman and I can spot the problems with fashion magazines.
Don’t swallow every single idea that they throw at you. Understand what you’re about to believe and think it through before fully accepting it as normal. There’s no normal.