HOW TO BE IN FASHION, OR HOW I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION WOMEN’S MAGAZINES ARE TOXIC

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.

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HOW TO BE IN FASHION, OR HOW I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION WOMEN’S MAGAZINES ARE TOXIC

A MOVING EXPERIENCE: THE SEQUEL

We’re in our new home two and half days and it has been stressful, to say the least. I haven’t quite got a proper system for where things go but at least most of the boxes have been unpacked and nothing important has been lost or broken. I call that a win.

Plans for this weekend include emptying the contents of hastily filled cupboards and doing a reorganisation of my wardrobe. Neither area sparks any joy, but I’m hoping a good dose of tidying will help.

A MOVING EXPERIENCE: THE SEQUEL

Things I learned in March

A little late, but better late than never.

March mainly involved preparation for moving house (to be completed by Monday). The main thing I learned was not to underestimate the amount of stuff a house can contain, even when the people in it have been on a serious decluttering journey. It’s nice to know that you’re moving things you actually want to live with though.

This feeling of still having a lot, despite having given many, many things away has meant my purchasing of new items remained minimal. One grey cardigan and some makeup that I can’t get hold of here were the only non-essential items I brought into the house this month. I now go to shops and come out feeling slightly overwhelmed by everything.

Things I learned in March

Take me out to the ball game, and then take me for dinner

Yesterday we took a break from the exhaustion of being in between two houses, neither of which is a relaxing place in which to be, and went to a rugby match. I’m not a follower of rugby, and I only know there’s a match on when our Friday, Saturday or Sunday plans are dictated by a fixture. Nothing reminds me as much of the Colloseum as walking to an almost-full sports stadium and my imagination tends to wander during a match, given that I’m not quite sure what’s going on a lot of the time. It isn’t that difficult to picture what might have happened thousands of years ago in a stadium not so far away.

After the match we went for dinner in Mulberry Garden. The menu is limited, but interesting, and we decided on the three course dinner menu. It included a couple of extras which were delicious, as were the other courses. We also decided on the house red wine as it happened to be a blend of our favourite grapes, and this was a great choice. The only downside was the service which seemed to favour efficient brusqueness over friendliness. There were a couple of spills when wine was poured and the dish of oil for the breads was removed, and I’m not a fan of sitting with a stained tablecloth, especially when I haven’t down the staining. This small complaint aside, it is a lovely spot and I think we’ll be back again.

Take me out to the ball game, and then take me for dinner

Room for improvement

Having received the keys for our new home this week we’re deep in the middle of decisions about floors and walls. We hadn’t seen the house for months thanks to a lengthy sales process, but finally we were able to spend some time enjoying our new home. In an effort to save money and a desire to do some work ourselves, we’ve been slowly moving some of our smaller belongings to our new abode. Pictures have disappeared from our walls and wardrobes are slowly being emptied. I’ve also found more things that are of more use to others than me, and it’s satisfying tot pass them along.

I cannot wait until we’re settled in our new house. There’s a lot more space and light to enjoy, but I’ll miss our old house too. We have a lot of memories and happy times to thank this house for, and it’s a comforting thought that its new inhabitants will make their own happy memories in the house we have called home. I’m not particularly good at change, so moving is a big adjustment for me. I’m looking forward to it though, and the gumption involved in making a new house a home.

Room for improvement