I rarely read magazines these days, a combination of too much time getting information online, thrift due to a house purchase and never really feeling like they’re worth the money. However, I occasionally grab one and last week it was Grazia. It is a mix of current affairs, celebrity gossip and slightly more serious topics-this one featured an interview with a London mayoral candidate and a piece on IVF and single women.
Then I glanced at the fashion section, in which one header boldly told me:
HOW TO BE IN FASHION.
I can’t explain why, but something in me snapped and I found myself enraged by an inanimate object to the extent that I then did something I rarely do, namely, swear. A lot.
HOW TO BE IN FASHION.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
The toxicity of that sentence made me think about what message this magazine, that I paid money for and will have to consign to the recycle bin, is conveying to me. It is telling me I don’t know a thing, that being in fashion is VERY IMPORTANT INDEED and that it will tell me HOW TO BE IN FASHION so I don’t end up wearing SOMETHING THAT IS NOT IN FASHION because HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF IF THAT HAPPENED!!!!!!
I know it balances out stern advice on what you need to buy in order to ensure that, despite whatever other qualities you may have, at least you won’t be not in fashion with some more serious topics, but this is the end of my relationship with women’s magazines. I don’t need to spend money on a magazine to tell me in no uncertain terms HOW TO BE IN FASHION. What I do need is a magazine that will tell me DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED TO BUY THIS WEEK, YOU HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH CLOTHES AND ONCE YOU’RE HAPPY WITH HOW YOU LOOK WHO CARES IF YOU’RE NOT IN FASHION.
I know magazines need the advertising revenue and the brands who buy space demand coverage within the magazine and I know the fashion industry creates millions of jobs and billions in revenue and I know Marjorie advices her readers on how to dress, but I am so damn over being told what I need to consume in order to be happy or in order to make sure I fit in because it is quite clear that nurturing the wavering self-esteem of their readers is essential in perpetuating the core messages of women’s magazines, which is that if only you did things ‘properly’ everything else in your life would fall into place.
Sorry for all the capital letters, I needed to get this off my chest. The next post will only contain them where strictly necessary.