The Vagenda

Step Away From The Rack

I know, I know. You were thinking about buying one of those women’s lifestyle magazines again. But do you remember what they’re like? Really? Let me remind you.

They ask super boring questions
I mean, really? Cosmopolitan’s online guide gets to tell you that? I’m not entirely sure what the advice is if your boyfriend fails this test, but from my complete lack of knowledge considering that I couldn’t be fucked to read it, I’m guessing that it’s to asphyxiate him with an extra sparkly length of tinsel. Happy holidays!
If a single person has clicked on this article, I am willing to pay them for their dedication. I barely gave a shit when my best friend dyed her hair grey the other day, at the age of 23. And this isn’t even an announcement that someone cut her hair: it’s a lowdown on how she’s been wearing her clothes since she cut it. It’s a caricature of its own sheer boringness. It’s a vision of the dystopian future of magazine material. Jesus Christ.
They keep feeding you the same shit, over and over again
Yeah, seriously. They’re still doing this. But now there’s an actual fucking timeline. 
They want you to get buy loads of crap you don’t need
Wow, I’m so glad that Grazia is tuned in to my needs. At least I feel like, with this creepy Big Brother/psych-out strategy, they’re actually becoming a little bit more honest. ‘THE PRODUCTS YOU NEED TO BUY THIS WEEKEND’ says ‘I got sold this by a PR executive’ a teensy bit more realistically than ‘Stuff we tested to make you even more beautiful, babe.’ Guess that’s the difference between the online version and print nowadays: online readers are used to being told they’re fugly on Twitter seventeen times a day, so their buffalo-thick skin can take a bit of ‘telling it like it is’.
Yeah, Christmas is the perfect time to diet. Why the hell didn’t I replace all the cute little chocolate decorations on my tree with tin-foiled lines of coke? Fast track to thinness! Back in Magland, they’ve got a whole list of stuff that tastes like cardboard to replace the stuff that tastes like mince pies, which they’ve sadistically illustrated the entire article with. You don’t need the cardboard, sweetie. Here, have another glass of Baileys.
They promise you news, and always disappoint
Wow, there are pics of that? Freakin’ get me a subscription to this one, stat, because there’s nothing juicier than the picture of someone refusing to confirm a rumour. Women’s lifestyle magazines rely so heavily on celeb-chasing/-shaming that they never actually have enough news to satiate the demand they’ve created. So you end up annihilating your brain cells while actually forcing yourself to enjoy a photo of Jessica Simpson talking about how her pregnancy test is nobody else’s business. A photo. This is why you end up surfing YouTube for jellyfish fetish porn at two in the morning – your mind needs food, and these rags are just dog-excrement-flavoured chewing gum.
Well, this one speaks for itself. But will he end up being normal in bed?
They’re hella bitchy
OK, so if you’re one of the millions of us dedicated to masochistically jacking up the Daily Fail Online’s numbers, you might recognise that this one comes from their sidebar of shame rather than a women’s magazine. But it does feature in the ‘Femail’ section (see what they did there?) And damn, is it bitchy. ‘Wow, everyone said you were so pretty, Janice. Kind of expected you not to look like you should be consigned to an Ugly Home and banned from breeding. Guess I was wrong. Oopsy, my bad.’ What’s possibly the most sinister about this one is the way its shitty description is followed up by ‘she was all smiles’. ‘Bless her, she doesn’t even realise she’s a vile hag. Perhaps when she sees what we think on the number one website in the entire world [yes kids, that's actually, seriously true] then she’ll give that self-confidence a little rethink, and stop going around smiling all the time.’
Oh, hey, Lindsay, I guess the court cases and the widely publicised family dramas probably weren’t enough to let you really gain perspective. Since you’re so involved in actually living your life, this innocent-seeming women’s magazine has seen fit to summarise it in three simple words. Sex, drugs, arrests. Bet you’re ecstatic. It might seem a little bit less mental if the majority wasn’t followed by an outpouring of saccharine sympathy that’s about as real as your ex-boyfriend’s pledge to ‘always be there for you’ (if you’re out there, you noncommittal bastard, you’re a cunt. Ahem.)
Good to see Lisa’s losing weight though, eh? It’s probably because she was following the ‘don’t eat anything that tastes good for Christmas’ diet. Or my coke one.
They don’t even really like you
This final one was shared on the Facebook page for More magazine, and gives you the lowdown on what their own stance on women is – y’know, their entire target demographic. No biggie.
Number three is ACES, right? Safer: ‘Could we be overreacting?’ Safest: ‘Here’s my paycheck.’ Love this shit, it’s like a mirror right on to my life. Now please hold back my hair while I lean over this stack of Condé Nasties and vomit – I don’t want regurgitated chips to end up in the official guide to my hair history.

8 thoughts on “Step Away From The Rack

  1. No doubt I never buy them. Mean people telling unconfident people what to care about, and how to live, think and look. Not for me, thanks.
    Great entry, ladies – as always.

  2. Slight digression but I questioned why sooo much coverage of Kate Middleton and her hair or clothes or blah, blah, blah on an American feminist website & got roundly attacked. Yes, I’ll repeat that, a FEMINIST site. So, yeah, thanks for reinforcing my point. And I’vesaid it before, but I truly hope you’re stealing these vile magazines. Don’t give the fuckers your money!

  3. I picked up a Tatler on the tube after some thoughtful brain dead person left it there. Waste of time. There was an entire page devoted to nipples. And in a ‘trying too hard to be funny’ way

  4. Products I ACTUALLY need to buy this weekend: Milk, toothpaste, some apples and maybe a few mince pies(And I’m not even going to count the calories! Livin’ on the edge!) Somehow £15 nail varnish, bust firming cream or an ugly over-priced dress and other useless crap hasn’t made it onto the list.

  5. So then according to more!, we’re all raging alcoholics who love spending their man’s money (possibly because we don’t earn our own)? How charming! Must make a note that a real woman drinks wine, cause I had forgotten.
    Oh and love the “could WE be overreacting?”. Way to go, guys.

  6. Another great post! I hate how these types of magazines try to promote stereotypes as way of ease of recognition for the reader. It depresses me how all the magazines feature similar types of stories in which they claim that women only care about materialistic things and objectify women and encourage others to do the same and that is not ok.

  7. I may be overreacting because I haven’t been given a glass of wine to temper my out of control female hormones, but why does anyone give a shit at all about Kate Middleton? She married Prince William. I don’t care. The monarchy: I don’t care. Her hair: good for her. She is pregnant: that has had to happen for every single person on earth to come into existence, so that’s not totally original or unusual. What is she wearing? Clothes always, except when she isn’t because she is making royal future figureheads with Prince William. I feel bad because there are great people out there doing interesting and amazing things that receive absolutely no attention, and this is the shit that gets tons of attention.