The Malcontent: Lifestyle Magazines

PHOTO/Thierry Caro

As expected, the arrival of 2013 was a huge disappointment. During this first miserable week of the year, the scarcity of good Help and lack of homous in my fridge had been getting me down. I needed some drivel to take my mind off the harsh realities of life, so I bought myself a glossy magazine. Maybe this bastion of feminism would show me how to sort my life out.

The first article assured me that “Fairy Tale Hair Isn’t Just For Celebs, You Know.” Really? Well thank goodness for that. Sometimes I sit up until the wee small hours, wondering whether Descartes was right and everything we see is an illusion. I often worry that my DPhil will have zero clinical significance. But of all the things I lie awake fretting about, not having shiny, bouncy, Rapunzel hair is right at the top of the list.

“Bluff Your Way Through Anything” screamed another headline, in neon pink. Apparently us womenfolk need advice on pretending we know about current affairs and sport, because heaven forbid any of us should actually follow the news. I obviously had no use for this article, as my modus operandi is to giggle and bat my eyelashes whenever someone mentions politics. Competence is for the men, am I right ladies?

The last piece I managed to read before my stomach started churning was titled “What Does His Text Really Mean?” Well gosh, I’m not sure. Perhaps when he wrote “want to hit the library?” he meant to say “MARRY ME.” Or perhaps he’s just a dunce and needs my help with Finals revision. Either way, if I need a magazine to walk me through this dilemma, I doubt I have the mental capacity to be using a phone at all.

And yet, I still had hope. Perhaps their website would be slightly less nauseating? How wrong I was. The Diet section featured one article instructing me to “Lose Inches the Low Carb Way” alongside another explaining “Why a Low Carb Diet is a Health Risk.” I dearly wish I were joking.

I know, I know. What did I expect? If a comically large Acme Anvil were to drop on me this instant, it would serve me right. Still, it’d shave a few inches off my waistline.