Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sometimes, I Rant

I have a love-hate relationship with Shape magazine. Mostly hate. What I love about it is that every time I flip through an issue, it does rekindle my love of running and yoga and whatnot, in a way that has nothing to do with shame or conformity. I can usually find at least one article that inspires me to stay fit for fitness's sake. It reminds me of how I like the way that exercise and eating well make me feel, how I want to be strong, and though I do catch being critical of my body from time to time, it's not in service of an unattainable goal, let's say, looking like someone else. So how can that be bad, right? However, there's so much more to not love, from the undeniable focus on appearance (when the magazine claims to tout health first) to its gross celebrity--more accurately pseudo-celebrity--worship (Wow, the skinny chick from Laguna Beach got skinnier! See how she did it!). I don't want to know how a rich person with dieticians and personal trainers lost weight. Oh right, by hiring dieticians and personal trainers. Plus it just bugs me that the covers are often completely interchangeable. Overall it's a snooze of a read. I can go through an issue in 10 minutes.

So I got my November/December issue yesterday and without fail it delivered the biggest offense they commit, the obligatory "how not to gain weight during the holidays" article. Every. Damn. Year. And there's never anything new, it's always:- shop at the mall, that burns X calories. Take time for yourself. Alternate cocktails with water. Pick the most special treat and focus on that. Make yourself vomit after dinner.

Ah, it's so stupid! And just sets people up to feel even worse about themselves when they fail, once again, to get through the holidays without overindulging. We've all read it, we've all been indoctrinated  with the notion that there are "good" and "bad" foods and that the price of pleasure is always guilt. For women, at least. OK, only women.

My point is that, at the end of the day, Shape is just another manipulative ladeez magazine. There are token shout-outs to overall health, but mostly it's another way to tell women that if they're not a size 2, they should have the decency to want to be, and that appearance is pretty much the only reason for women to take an interest in fitness. It's part of it for me, I won't lie about that, but it doesn't mean I can't be totally insulted by the insinuation.

Obviously if it makes me so miserable I should unsubscribe. The world could do without that much wasted paper from my household, at the very least. However I don't have a record for paying for this  subscription from, well ever.  I have no idea how it's still being delivered to my door every month. I've just been waiting and waiting for the subscription to run out and it never does. Of course I could just... not read it. But I'm weak, and kind of a masochist. I'd just be happier if I didn't have to see it at all. (WHITE WHINE!)

I don't think it behooves you or me to continue with this rant. But I will leave you here with something to ponder, re: advice on navigating once-a-year splurges. If there are restrictions on your indulgences, are they really indulgences at all?  Discuss.


1 comment:

  1. I could not agree with you more on the Shape Magazine. I recently had a similar rant about Women's Health Magazine on my D-land page. They're ridiculous and pathetic. Too bad. They reach so many women. They could send such a better message instead of brainwashing SKINNY on the American woman.