Why Trashy Magazines Do Us Harm – Faking It Review
I went to the hairdresser last week and was devastated to realise when I got there that I’d forgotten my book. Finally, 2 hours to myself and I couldn’t make the most of my opportunity to read in peace and quiet. Gutted. Then I saw the pile of trashy magazines in front of me and figured it was better than nothing…..or was it?
I made a stand against trashy magazines years ago when I realised that NOTHING, yes, nothing good comes from reading celebrity gossip, viewing over-sexualised fashion and reading product advertisements disguised as ‘articles’.
It all began when working with at-risk adolescents, where I discovered young girls who aspired to do very little, except become a celebrity. They talked about fashion and boys and rarely, anything else. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with either of those topics but it seemed obsessive, like their entire self-esteem and self-worth were connected to the way they looked and how much attention they received from the opposite sex.
The girls often showed me their ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Dolly’ magazines while I cringed at articles entitled “How to get a boy to notice you” and “I lost my virginity at 12!”. My role was to mentor these girls but I often felt like I was constantly competing against the influence of the media. Here I was telling them they were beautiful and no, of course they weren’t fat, but all they had to do was turn on the TV or read a magazine to be told the exact opposite. Sometimes I wondered whose voice was louder.
Soon after, I personally said goodbye to trashy magazines and their negative influence and today, only pick them up in dire circumstances, like when I have nothing to read at the hairdresser!
Where do I begin to describe the superficial, offensive, derogatory articles, pictures and comments I read that day. My absolute favourite was the whole page spread on Katie Holmes with pictures that zoomed in on her, gasp, cold sore. A whole page was dedicated to discussing a person (albeit a famous one) with a cold sore. The other one I liked was “Vote for the ugliest celebrity!” with one picture of a woman next to a horse, implying this person was as ugly as a horse. Nice.
Questioning the impact of these magazines on women and their body image is not new but the influence of these messages goes much deeper than many of us realise.
The mock magazine “Faking it” provides a fascinating look at the body of academic research on magazines, mass media and the sexual objectification of women. It is quite honestly a must read for all women.
“Faking It” takes a cautious and critical approach to much of the content in women’s magazines today. It pokes fun at the large amount of sexualised commentary in women’s magazines with articles such as “Reducing women to sex objects, how it happens and how it hurts us” and “Girls: Too sexy, too soon”. It takes a fascinating look into current research into eating disorders and other issues to do with body-image. These articles empower us with information so that we can protect our own girls from the negative messages that these mainstream magazines teach us.
“We want young women to recieve messages that affirm their individaul self-worth just as they are. We want magazines that are truly ‘pro-woman’!”
I encourage you to visit Melinda Tankard Reist to hear more about her passion for protecting women and girls in our sexualised culture. She is also the founder of Collective Shout - a grassroots campaigning movement against the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls in media, advertising and popular culture.
This mock magazine, Faking It, stresses the importance of protecting our young girls from the negative influence of the media and popular culture through offering challenging and insightful articles that will change how we view trashy magazines forever.
So, don’t buy another trashy magazine – buy this one instead!Body image, faking it, girls, magazines, media, Melinda Tankard Reist, parenting in popular culture, popular culture, review, self-esteem, Selinda Ewing, sexualisation, women