To say that my husband is an avid magazine reader would be an understatement. He amasses magazine subscriptions the same way my 4-year-old devours candy at his grandma’s house–indiscriminately and in extremely large doses.
Bloomberg, Businessweek, Popular Science, Architectural Digest, Rolling Stone–my dear man is receptive to any periodical that makes its way into our mailbox.
Due to his insatiable appetite for disposable printed matter, I’m often surprised with random women’s glossies distributed on my doorstep. In fact, just last week I opened my mailbox and for a split second I was delighted to find a pink-covered, freshly-pressed magazine just for me. But then I remembered–I HATE MAGAZINES. I do. And despite American women’s love affair with monthly publications that tell them what to wear, how to take care of their kids, and how to lose their saddlebags in just 10 minutes a day, I would guess that even the most Vogue-voracious of females hate women’s magazines just a little bit.
So upon peering into my mailbox, I was incensed to find one of the most abominable publications I could imagine: a fitness magazine.
You see, I’m generally healthy. I’m thin. I do a modest amount of cardio each day running after my kids. But when I peruse through a fitness magazine… I suddenly feel like a sedentary, morbidly obese couch potato in imminent danger of a terrible disease, or at the very least a dreaded case of mommy muffin top.
And it’s not just the health mags.
I’m a good mom. But when I browse a parenting magazine… I suddenly feel like I’m failing my kids miserably for not artfully sneaking the veggies in their meals, for not toting around a designer diaper bag, for not baking that organic fish-bowl birthday cake for that Nemo-themed bash that I won’t be throwing.
I literally majored in fashion and beauty. But after thumbing through a celeb magazine… I think I must be a total shlub. Katie and Suri match their outfits while I am content when my baby’s sock matches with…her other sock.
But even with my utter loathing of magazines, I’ll admit that they tempt me. The main problem with these monthly glossies is that they’re so darn irresistible. They’re cheap entertainment, easily available, and often come redolent of Britney Spears’ latest fruity floral perfume. Heck, sometimes they even hold the promise of a free canvas bag. And seriously–who can resist another eco-friendly tote?
The headlines, too, are designed to lure you in. From the hyperbolic (“Get your Best Beach Body EVER“), to the terror-laden (“10 Superfoods YOU MUST EAT During Pregnancy“) to the oddly curiosity-piquing (“What Kind of Breakfast Cereal is Your Parenting Personality?”), these sensational monthlies beg to be opened.
But we all know that at the end of a magazine overdose, whether at the pedicurist, pediatrician, or post-kids’ bedtime, we don’t feel like we’ve gained much–except for a nagging sensation of not good enough.
So I’m cancelling my subscriptions and trading in those ad-heavy, sensationalistic confidence shrinkers in favor of an inner sense of contentment with my life. What will I do to unwind? Here’s a novel thought: I think I’ll read a book.
Photo via Flickr/Jessica Mullen