A long time ago, a friend suggested that I cancel all of my subscriptions to beauty and gossip magazines. She said it would be a mini statement to help weaken the publication empires that make women feel like doody. What she didn’t tell me was that it would be unearthly liberating. I haven’t touched a fashion or celebrity gossip rag for five years. Sometimes I glance at a cover while I’m tossing items onto the grocery store conveyor belt but am quickly reminded of why I quit them.
They’re no good for me.
I read all of that stuff for years. I memorized every star’s diet tips and knew who was going out with whom. I studied all of the season’s top colors and examined all 502 ways to keep a man coming back for more. I didn’t realize that there were thousands of (way more interesting) things that I could have explored that had nothing to do with changing myself. After I kicked the beauty mag habit, I realized how awful they made me feel. I didn’t notice it at the time because I was too busy practicing office chair calisthenics or discovering which jeans best fit my body type. I replaced my subscription to People with one to The New Yorker and traded Vogue for Bitch. Sayonara Mademoiselle, hello ReadyMade. Instead of empathizing with Marlena from Dallas who hired four spies to follow her third husband, I learned how to create a lantern out of chopsticks. Reading about larger-than-life female Mexican wrestlers was significantly more inspiring than Alissa’s extreme eyelash transplant. I may not be wearing the right shade of pink this spring, but I’ll have a big damn grin on my face.