Mama Kat asked us to write this week about something we learned from a magazine. I have to say that most of what I've learned from magazines is that I would make a horrible famous person. I honestly have no clue when it comes to fashion, make-up, style, posing, extreme dieting, pilates, and the whole seemingly high school-esque social network of Hollywood. I assume these are the things you have to know about in order to be famous. Well those things, and of course how to design your own fragrance.
I've had subscriptions to magazines almost my entire life. Seventeen, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, People, and several others in this same vein have received my money at one point or another. My academic adviser actually calls People Magazine the American Journal of Pop Culture and encourages me to read it to better relate to my adolescent participants. I mostly just read it for the occasional pictures of hunky/brainy celebs like Ryan Gosling & Matt Damon, and of course for the easiest crossword puzzle ever. Despite all my reading about which color is in this season and what style of shoes would look best on my feet, I have yet to ever really absorb the fashion and style advice given there.
What did I actually absorb from those magazines other than a really distorted image of what the female ideal is? Good question! I'm not sure. I swear I must get something out of the magazines, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. I do literally get something out of magazines though. For the past 7 years I've been collecting ridiculous advertisements from them. You know, the ones that make you laugh out loud because they are so ridiculously sexist and absurd. I've been saving them for someday when I'm teaching a class. They are fascinatingly disgusting examples of cultural ideals being shaped into consumable bites, and I mostly can't stomach them.
I do also read parenting magazines occasionally, but I've yet to read anything groundbreaking in one of them. I mean, how many times can you write about how exhausting parenthood is and which product is best for diaper rashes. As with most magazines, I'm typically appalled by the sheer volume of space that is taken up by advertisements, and parenting magazines of all stripes do this too. Even the crunchy parenting magazines fill up their spaces with advertisements for organic non-toxic butt paste or what-have-you. As is probably no surprise, since I'm such a world famous blogger and academic, I much prefer trusted internet sites and academic journals for getting my information. Surely I'm not the only one.
So fame, sorry we won't ever tango. According to all the magazine experts out there, I just don't fit your mold. That's fine with me. I'd rather not have the paparazzi following my every move anyway.