Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fun With Ladymags: Stupid Answers to Stupider Questions

I have a love/hate relationship with women's magazines.

I love how thick and glossy they are, filling my mailbox with the intoxicating scent of perfume and the promise of a lazy afternoon spent looking at candy-colored baubles and the freakishly static, almost meditative planes of Nicole Kidman's face.

But I hate how lazy and vapid they are, assuming that women don't appreciate real wit or sarcasm, pretending that we don't notice that they just publish the same fucking "Easy Summer Beauty" or "The No-Diet Diet" articles every single issue with different pictures, and assuming that if they run a single photo of a real woman or plus-sized model that it undoes all of the subtle "hate your body" messages they've been sending for decades.

Sometimes, though, they go beyond insulting.

To borrow a phrase from Tropic Thunder, sometimes they go full retard.

Allure, for example, features "insider's guides" in each issue that offer fashion, beauty, and social advice from experts. They mean well, but if you just read the headlines it's hilarious.

I took the liberty of imagining a literal explanation of one of this month's entries...

How To Wear A White Shirt
(adapted from the June 2010 Allure)
This guy must be a Cosmo girl.
  1. Go to closet; open it.
  2. Pick out a shirt (the item of clothing with no legs that isn't long enough to cover your ass) that is not red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, black, brown, pink, or any of the aforementioned colors in pastel. Also avoid prints. Pick something the color of clouds, only not rain clouds… or sunset-reflecting clouds. Hmm, that could get confusing. Ok, pick something the color of fresh fallen snow that has not been peed on.
  3. Does the shirt button up the front? In that case put your arms in the holes and then fasten all the buttons. If there are no buttons, stick your head in the top hole and your arms in the side holes and pull the front down over your chest and stomach.
  4. Oh, wait, do you have breasts? If so, reverse step 3 and put on a bra first. Since your shirt is white, your bra must be that fetching shade of beige that recalls a two day-old Band-Aid, or leftover flan, in order not to show through.
  5.  Ta da! You’re done. Except for pants, which will be discussed in next month’s issue. 

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29 comments :

  1. Probably the most useful "How to Wear a ______" I've ever come across. Definitely better than that leggings one...

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  2. oh how I wish I had read this before leaving the house this morning, silly me!

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  3. Those magazines make women seems as intelligent as commercials for cleaning products. hey take place in some warped world hwerre parents laugh over their kids destroying the house. Maybe their just so happy that THIS is the summer the no diet diets are going to work. Or the quad workout run 12 years running is going to be new & different.

    On a totally sep not, I know the headline's pulled from the movie. Having just spent 2 weeks learning the extent of my son's learning challenge stemming from his birthmom's adoration of alcohol, the headline is cringe if not cry worthy for those who everyone sees and stereotypes as "retarded."

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  4. I like it when the mags tell you one month that something is all the rage, i.e. "Red lipstick is a must this season", and then the next month tell you "Red lips make you look old and dated. Try nude instead!" so you can never determine if you are cutting-edge or pathetically passe' in whatever you're wearing. I used to have a love/hate relationship with the fashion mags, but now I'm leaning more toward one of hate/hate.

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  5. I was just thinking about this the other day, how women's magazines never really have new subject matter. At this point, they'd be better off dipping into their decades-old archives and just re-publishing an entire issue every month. In fact, come to think of it, that's a great idea! I would pay to read/look at that. I'm a genius.

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  6. I've always wondered how to describe that bra color....

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  7. Thank you for this helpful guide.

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  8. @Riley: How to wear leggings is simple: Remove from drawer, transfer to garbage. Put on real pants. :)

    @Jessie: While you wait for the how to put on pants installment, just try wrapping a towel around your waist. Very Greek goddess chic.

    @Subourbon Mom: Mind games, I tell you. That's why I just keep wearing the same stuff; I know it'll come back in style again soon.

    @Jersey Diva Mom: You're right, and I'm so sorry to have used such an offensive phrase. I changed the title. It's one thing to use a phrase from a movie in the body of a post, but it's another to trumpet it as a headline, as if you condone throwing around a word like that. I'm truly sorry to hear about your son, and I thank you for knocking some sense into me.

    @TB: I love finding old magazines from the early 90s. I wish they would just recycle issues!

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  9. I love your description for the bra color. Maybe you should work at Allure.

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  10. I used to wonder why I always sneezed when Cosmo/Vogue/Glamour/etc., etc. arrived. Never happens with my Sports Illustrated.

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  11. Thanks for the help. I managed to get both a shirt and a bra on today. The only issue is that I'm not sure I picked the right cloud color. My shirt kind of looks like a thunderstorm...

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  12. This is my favorite of all your posts that you've ever posted. I COMPLETELY agree and LOVE your thoughts on the subject!

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  13. Step 2 1/2: Find the shirt tag and make sure it is in back, on the inside. I don't care what your friends tell you, wearing your shirt inside-out is lame. Also if you think that doing this somehow erases the nasty BO from the day before, rest assured - it does not. That's why they invented Febreeze and washing machines.

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  14. which magazine was it that gave directions AND pictures on how to take a shower? cuz that pissed me off. magazines treat women like we are full retards now and we all need to be wearing helmets and velcro shoes.

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  15. I too have this love/hate relationship with women's magazines! You aren't alone.

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  16. Ah Sassy, only you could find a fun twist on insipid women's magazines... I have to have your back on the full retard comment in that there was obviously no intent to insult anyone other than those idiots at the women's magazines who print such mindless drivel. Context is everything and readers like "Erin" get this... Either way, thanks for being a good example of how to deal with negative reader comments as I'm just learning this lesson on my snarky blog. Have a great day and keep being real!!! -The Ranter's Box www.rantersbox.blogspot.com

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  17. Thank you for this laugh today. I too have a love hate with my magazines. So excited to get one in the mail until you learn it's full of the same old, same old.

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  18. I first read the title as Fun with Ladybags and continued reading and was still entertained though not as much as by ladybags.

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  19. Yep, I have the love/hate thing going on too. I never actually buy magazines, because I feel like I'd only be spending money to be slyly criticized for the way I look, and then encouraged to spend even more money fixing that, only to discover the following month that my old look is now retro and cool.

    Just kidding. The way I dress will never be retro or cool.

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  20. Amen- and the worst part of it is- sometimes I'm like- huh- what IS the best haircut for my heart-shaped face?!?

    Ah! They got me again!

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  21. And how confusing is it that "shirt" and "skirt" are like the same frickin word minus a letter. Like, who can remember that day after day.

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  22. Ah Sassy - had you had the willpower to leave the mag be, you might still be enjoying some leftover relaxation from your weekend.

    Don't you know that the purpose of these rags is to beat women down so we come back for more fixes?

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  23. That is so funny.

    Sometimes instructions are needed though. I once had a black friend insist that I wear a black bra with a white shirt. I was like, no .... you wear a black bra with a white shirt. On me - black on white is gonna show. But she insisted.

    She needs your help Sassy!

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  24. So the bra goes under the shirt....now I get it. No wonder I keep getting these strange looks everywhere I go. What would I have done without your "how to".

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  25. I was in the grocery store check-out line and saw some stupid magazine with a beautiful woman on the cover - "How I lost 50 pounds!"

    Upon closer examination... I knew the girl on the cover. My suspicions were later confirmed on Facebook - I went to high school with this girl. And let me tell you. That bitch never weighed more than 100 pounds.

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  26. *sigh* You never go full retard.

    (Someone had to say it...)

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  27. I had a two year subscription to Allure (it was a good deal, believe me) a while back, and not only did the headlines get redundant, but they even recycled photos. Like there would be a hair story with a nondescript brunette looking into the distance one month, and a few months later, the same one would be there for her coral lips. REDIC.

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  28. FYI - I put this in as part of my Friday Five at Kate's Library!

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  29. Thank you, as always, for your amazing wit. I love reading your posts! I just took vacation but had to go back and read all these entries that I missed while I was gone. Really. It's that worth it.

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