An Open Letter to People StyleWatch Magazine

Oh, People StyleWatch.  Or StyleWatch.  Or whatever you’re being called these days.  We need to talk.

What are you doing?!  What.  Are.  You.  Doing.  I know I don’t exactly do well with change (ask me about my 2015 in its entirety; it’s not even finished yet), but the editing, formatting, and content changes that your team are currently making to one of my most beloved magazines are, I believe, a mistake.  Or maybe I’m completely off and the changes you’ve set in motion aren’t a mistake and will cause People StyleWatch (PSW) to skyrocket into the stratosphere of newsstand success against all the odds that print publications have working against them these days.  Or maybe I’m just sad, and I need to vent.

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PSW, I know you ousted your founding editor in chief, Susan Kaufman, back in January of this year after Ariel Foxman was promoted to editorial director of both InStyle and PSW.  I know you felt that the magazine needed to hit the refresh button as issues have gotten slightly slimmer over the past two years or so, having peaked around 2013 from what I can tell.  It happens.  I mean, we’ve watched once-adored fashion magazines starve, implode, and literally go to the grave over this past year (RIP Lucky magazine) so I get it.  I really do.  We’ve all been watching Self magazine struggle through a similar quest for self-realization for about year now.  The need for a comeback, the need to secure more ads (which, for my readers, is how magazines basically make their revenue [and not newsstand sales as you may think]), the need for a lifeline.  I get it.

I also know, however, that as of 2015 you’ve decided want to change your longstanding focus of celebrity fashion to street style, because bloggers and street style stars are getting everyone all hot and bothered these days.  I know you have decided that the magazine needs an increased focus on inclusivity, the younger kiddos, and their “millennial passion for discovery” (and just so we’re clear, I’m a millennial).  I know you’re aiming for something close to a brand overhaul, with younger cover stars (hello Gigi Hadid, good bye Jennifer Aniston?), trendier language (You so fancy!), and changing the cover design (three cover stars instead of one), with the intent of “dirty[ing] up the magazine’s design a bit”.  Again, currently watching Self do the same thing, about a year or two in front of you guys.  Ahem.

However, I humbly submit that these changes you are making are a frightening case of lost identity.  The new content, the new language, the new focus- none of it is in line with the long-standing brand of People StyleWatch magazine.  This new direction the magazine has taken is so vastly different from the original vision that it’s beginning to feel a bit bait-and-switch, with a nearly unrecognizable product once you turn past the cover.  And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that choosing to drastically toy with your brand and identity can either resurrect you a’la J.Crew under Jenna Lyons (and even that era has come to a close) … or it can start dragging you toward the point of no return, straight to Lucky land.

You, PSW, are the magazine that I have been reading faithfully since the summer of 2006.  I remember my mom handing me an issue with Jessica Alba on the cover that summer, and anxiously anticipating each issue since then.  I had never thought fashion could be so easy, so consumable.  You featured fashion and beauty trends with a main focus on what celebrities are wearing.  You were unique for your “Get the Look” feature, showing desirable outfits on our favorite celebs and then where to purchase similar pieces at a fraction of the price.  You were an expert at spelling out the trends for the season in an easy-to-comprehend way that used celebrities as models, but never expected the reader to have a celebrity budget.  Love Katie Holmes’ outfit?  Great!  Here’s where to find a look-alike item for half the cost.  Want jeans like Beyonce’s?  No problem!  Here are ten different options in a variety of price ranges.  Oh, and here’s a list of petite sizes for types similar to Eva Longoria, some great finds for plus-sized girls like Rebel Wilson, and styles that work well for tall girls like Charlize.  Everyone wins, no matter size or budget.

This was all done in an extremely straight forward way without being verbose and silly, with plenty of beautiful pictures and close-up images of great celebrity makeup, hair, and outfits.  Because that’s what we want- we want pictures of great celebrity makeup, hair, and outfits and we want to copy them.  We can get everything else online or in a different magazine.  Helping you achieve that celebrity look at a better price- that was your niche, PSW.  And no matter how much of a sheep it made me feel like, it was really, really fun.  People StyleWatch, you had a well-established niche that was all your own and you inspired nearly a decade of nonstop shopping and inspiration.

Now, did your magazine pretty much show me exactly what to buy?  Sure.  Was I really thinking for myself as far as what I wanted to wear?  Not really, or at least not for the first two years of reading until the “style training wheels” came off and I could discern for myself what I liked and didn’t like.  But that’s exactly what you helped so many readers with- to learn which celebrity’s style we enjoyed most, what pieces worked for our bodies and preferences (never again, bubble hem or overalls), and how to keep our eyes peeled for items that looked similar to expensive ones that we liked.   You were not simply a magazine; you were a shopping experience.  You were a very fun, very helpful, and very unique shopping magazine that provided a niche experience for your readers.

So what do things look like now?

Well, for starters, the new covers and font change-ups are lovely.  I like them, I really do.  The continued use of a single cover star in a predictable smiling shot was admittedly feeling tired, and so the change-up of three cover celebrities, whether shot on the street, red carpet, or runway, is a refreshing and welcome change.  The graphic design and font changes look modern, as well.  No problem.  However, I believe there are greater problems at hand.

1) Cut the millennial nonsense and stop limiting your readerbase.

Let me describe my first major issue with your editing changes (and readers, there are two).  I think the first tip-off that something was definitely going wrong with the tone of the magazine was the change in cover language.  Readers, notice the difference between saying “Amazing Outfits for Every Body and Budget” circa 2013 and “15 Ridiculously Cool Ideas!” just this month.  Which one feels straight-to-the-point and relatively ageless? Which one feels juvenile?  I mean, “ridiculously cool“?!  Who else says stuff like that with a serious face?!  Derek Zoolander.  And maybe Miley.

Below, I’m listing other phrases found in a couple of these new issues since the editing change-up.  This new kind of tone and diction has been creeping up in the content since this past April.  Now tell me if they make you feel your age … or if they make you feel sixteen with a melting frappuccino in your hand while drenched in Ariana Grande’s new perfume that smells like candy and Treasure Trolls:

  • “street swagger”
  • “Stress city!” (in reference to trying to find the right outfit for a Tinder date … yes, PSW is now referencing what to wear for Tinder-versus-Grouper-versus Match.com-date)
  • “Go for a look that’s as hot as your profile pic”
  • “Talk about a #tbt!”
  • “Even good girls have a naughty side!”
  • “Don’t be scurred– it’s way more wearable than you think!” (in reference to colored mascara)
  • ” … pick a vibe, any vibe!”
  • “Designer duds minus the ka-ching price? Score!”
  • “Girlfriend is busy” (in reference to Jessica Alba)
  • ” … the pimple struggle is real
  • “You so fancy!”
  • “Yep, it’s pretty badass” (referring to graphic eyeliner)
  • And just a generous use of hashtag(#) phrases in general

I don’t know about you, but I can’t read any of this verbage without gagging.  Maybe it makes sense on Kylie Jenner’s Instagram, but not in print, attempting to make a true sales pitch.  What’s more, this is the kind of language we read in teen magazines such as Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour (yes, I consider those teen mags because their target readership is teen-based).  It changes the mission of the magazine from that of informing and showing, to oh-girlfriend-high-fiving and telling.  I also personally feel it overlooks the intelligence and adaptability of millennials when we’re forcing the use of every buzzword, buzzphrase, and pop culture trend to try to “connect” with them.  It’s busy, dreadfully unsophisticated, and borderline condescending.  But more than that (and perhaps more importantly), it excludes every other age category from being able to relate to your content.

I can guarantee you that language like this will severely alienate readers from about 33 years and up.  I feel alienated and I’m more than five years behind that.  However, from what I’ve researched, I understand that “twenty somethings” are now the official target age for PSW, so if that’s the case then I guess you’re doing your job correctly (even though, again, I am a twenty-something and I find this type of print language a nails-on-chalkboard kind of irritating).  I guess I just lament the fact that you’ve decided that the magazine is no longer meant for those outside of that age bracket.  PSW, you are severely limiting your range of readers by changing the tone to what it now is, and that means loss of potential revenue over time.  I don’t have to graduate from this magazine if you don’t force me, you know.  I could keep reading for another ten years and continue to be a loyal customer, along with my friends in their thirties, and my mom and mom-in-law in their sixties.  Get rid of all the millennial-obsessed pop culture lingo and reach out to younger readers by simply including younger stars on your covers and in your content, continuing your use of interactive music and shopping apps, and stepping up your own game on Instagram and Snapchat.

2) You are trading in what made you unique for what I can find anywhere else in the digital world.

Again, let me reiterate why we all started reading PSW in the first place- celebrity style.  Descriptions of celebrity style.  Pictures of celebrity style.  How to get celebrity style.  There was a clear mission- bringing celebrity style to the reader at a price that suited the reader.

Now, however, celebrity sightings are becoming much more scarce within your pages.  This October’s featured denim section?  Not a single star in sight.  In fact, all of the faces featured in this denim section are bloggers.  The September Fall Runway Report?  While typically showcasing celebs modeling their own interpretation of the latest trends, this feature now merely showcases runway shots.  And in your “Cheat Sheet” section this month, images are one-hundred-percent comprised of street style shots.

Right, because I can’t look at street style photos, looks from the runway, or hear the thoughts of bloggers anywhere else … except maybe on Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat, and on the bloggers’ own blogs.  You’re putting content in your magazine that’s already accessible digitally, which is a much, much faster way to get it as opposed to waiting for a monthly.  In the case of bloggers and street style, I get the desire to bring the “normal girl” to the forefront but that’s not what your brand has been.  Your purpose was to uniquely connect the reader to the celebrity in a way that other media avenues didn’t.  I don’t want to come to you for what bloggers are wearing and recommending.  I don’t want to come to you for what’s come directly off the runway.  If I want to read up on those things, I’ll go the digital route where the content is available at a millisecond’s notice (or in the case of runway shots, I can also read any other magazine that you’re competing with like Elle or Marie Claire that has been doing features like this for years).  Why read your once-a-month publication when I can have the same content everyday, at a moment’s notice, on my iPhone?  Why purchase a once-a-month magazine when I’ve already seen everything in it during the past thirty days I spent waiting for it?  As stated earlier, you had a unique way of providing a niche experience for your readers, and now that is being lost.

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Notice how in the first picture from a 2013 issue, celebrities are modeling their interpretation of trends.  In the second shot from this month’s issue, there isn’t the same kind of unique experience for the reader because there are no celebrities in it.  Notice the juvenile language and font in the second picture, as well.

Additionally (and I feel silly for confessing this so openly, but it’s true), I’m not nearly as compelled to purchase anything I see on a non-celeb girl.  I remember when picking up a copy of PSW was the equivalent of getting a shopping list ready, largely thanks to the excellent way the magazine marketed to the reader via celebrities.  I see Kate Mara wearing a certain sweater; I’d like to find that sweater.  I see the picture of Sienna Miller’s pants; I want those pants (or at least the cheaper option you provide).  Perhaps others work differently than I do, but bloggers and other “street style snaps” aren’t a selling point for me.  They’re just not; the same part of my brain isn’t tapped into as a long-time reader.  Or at least, I constantly see blogger and street style images on my digital feeds and I count on PSW to point me to something different.  There are still fairly affordable options featured in the magazine, but what has changed in a negative way is the strategy you are now using (or not using) to market these options.  I might buy the dress if PSW features Kerry Washington wearing it and it looks good; I probably won’t buy the dress if PSW features some unknown wearing it and it looks good.  I don’t think I’ve been inspired to purchase an item seen in PSW since May of this year, and I used to purchase something from nearly every issue.  At least I’m saving money.

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See the difference between 2013’s beauty feature with Emma Stone, and 2015’s that just pictures still shots?  What makes the older feature unique and compelling is how it associates the makeup with a celebrity.

Because I know this is totally a TL;DR post, let me wrap it up- I’m pointing out that the current team at People StyleWatch magazine is trading in what once made it special for a look and feel that is both alienating and reminiscent of almost everything else that’s out there.  I was excited for the changes at first, but I no longer believe that this new vision is a sustainable one, and I am sad to predict that it will tire out quickly.

I used to take a good twenty minutes for myself to carefully scan the pages of PSW for great finds; now I’m done in twenty seconds.  I have kept every issue that I’ve collected over these past nine years and have re-read many of them over and over.  I have not picked up any of the past five issues of PSW beyond a single browse-through.  And finally, I’m not sure why such a drastic amount of changes have been employed during such a short time, even with an editor change-up.  Last year’s September issue was only down ten pages from the year prior, while this year’s September issue was down a full sixty-two pages from 2014.  Maybe there’s a good reason for that that I’m overlooking or failing to understand, but it’s lost on me and the rest of your readers.

People StyleWatch, choose small-but-powerful changes over a brand modification.  Keep your unique purpose and keep your readership that has the potential to span across generations.  I know you can do it.  xo, MR 

The Problem With January Issues

And by issues, I mean magazines.  Or do I?

As you may know, I’m an avid reader of, like, ten gazillion magazines.  Well, maybe not quite that many, but I do subscribe to and purchase quite a good amount of glossies.  I like to talk about them, too, and I’ve often said that if I could go through my college education a second time I’d probably major in journalism with the goal of writing for some publication, whether online or in print.  I would write for magazines, and hopefully one day, a fashion publication.

I love fashion publications so much because they add flavor and color to the seasons.  There’s always something new to see or try, and there’s always something ahead to be excited about.  You see Amy Adams in a sparkly, sequined dress on a December cover and you just think CHRISTMAS- the gift guides (all under $500!), the “how to party without gaining a pound or losing a wink of sleep” nonsense, and all the articles on glittery makeup for grown-ups.  Or you see a tan, boho-waved Kate Hudson on a July cover and you feel like summer is finally here, with all its reviews of the latest sunblock innovations and tutorials on creative ways to braid your hair when it’s oily and disgusting.  I’ve mentioned it before, but the September and March issues tend to overwhelm me because they’re so large, and it feels like such a non-negotiable forecast on my style choices that I get panicky.  Isn’t that weird?  I feel such feelings of urgency and inadequacy when I read those issues that I need to go out and get those lug-soled heels right now before fall has past and I’m completely off trend and the season is over and I missed Fall Fashion Week and now it’s time for bathing suits and YOU’RE LATE BYE FELICIA.

No one else feel that way?  No one?  Whatever.

Now, January issues are different.  January issues I love.  Why?  Because the insanity and emotional roller coaster that is the holidays (or at least, that’s how it’s felt for the past few years in my case for a variety of reasons) is finally over, and it shows in the January issues, let me tell ya.  Celebrations, parties, and family get-togethers, while generally enjoyable, tend to come at a price.  There’s planning, there’s gift-buying, there’s people-pleasing, there’s Christmas-card-writing, there’s family-seeing, there’s dressing up, there’s anxiety, there’s so much shopping that you’re practically suffocating from all the perfume samples, and then there are just the general emotions of nostalgia, longing, and reflection that come with the season.  You feel weak.  You feel tired.  Maybe you even feel sad.  You feel desperate to finally get the holidays “right”.  You again need to be reminded for the billionth time of what Christmas really is and means, whether through a tearful viewing of “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” with your husband or the hymns you sing or the sermon you hear.  You’ve arrived at another year’s end and realized … again … that you’re barely hanging on to your humanity, and you’re weak.  And you’re tired.

But January issues.  January issues wipe all that away and seem to want the world for you.  The cover lines would have you believe that the world is your freaking oyster!

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Your Happiest Year!  Let’s Motivate!  The 2015 Change Your Life Guide!  31 Days To the Best You Ever!  Love Your Body!  

And no January issue ever seems to be longer than 100 pages … totally doable!

Every January issue is nothing short of devoted to empowerment, to starting over, to self-renewal.  And I do love it!  Whether at home, at work, in beauty, in health, or in love, January issues are all about pressing the reset button and creating entirely new goals with eardrum-bursting enthusiasm.  And this can’t be anything but good, right?  I mean, we should call this all great, right?!  Every page dedicated to mantras like “Do What You Love”, “Jump Start Your Career”, “Make Your Mark”, “New Year, New Do”.  After all the madness that was December, you just cannot wait to take those cover stories seriously and make this new year your happiest year.  Whether it’s that new haircut, that new workout plan, or that new travel goal, this new year should be your happiest year.

But a funny thing happened to me as I perused through all those January issues this past week, through all that encouragement, through all that self-motivation and those ceaseless chants of YES YOU CAN!

I felt even more anxiety than I had before.  I thought, as I read through those endless suggestions of how to be better, how I should do more of what I love, how I should go after what I deserve … I need to change.  I need to change right now.  This needs to be my happiest year!  It’s time to take charge.  It’s time to transform.  This has got to be MY YEAR.  It’s time to turn into a workout machine, or a simplified, organization boss who’s rid herself of all unnecessary possessions, or a mentally tough person who isn’t afraid, or the girl who at least does her hair really, really well all the time (and with the Instagram followers to prove it!).  I will finish writing that novel, I will travel more, I will stand up for myself, I will work for that butt I want, I will sprinkle chia on everything, I will treat myself more, and I will conquer my deepest fears!  It’s time to be happy, it’s time to love myself!  I need … to love … my self … NOW!

And suddenly, those feelings of urgency and inadequacy … there they are again.  And the September issues are still a whole seven months away.

I can’t help but believe that maybe an avalanche of “self-help” isn’t the whole answer to our stress and weaknesses, and that wiping the slate entirely won’t fix the problems that, well, can’t just be wiped away.  Don’t get me wrong- January issues really might be my favorite issues of the year.  I’m serious, I bought ALL the magazines.  However, I think I just want to speak to the people who see cover lines like “Your Happiest Year!”, and quietly worry to themselves “What if it’s not my happiest?”, or even “What if this one’s worse than the last?”; or those who know that a juice cleanse and new membership at the yoga studio can’t make the pain you felt in 2014 magically go away.  There are those that cannot even see the written expression “2015” on a magazine cover without perhaps being filled with a sense of dread and fear of the future, and I mean to speak to you.

And honestly, I want you to know that this is okay.  When you see Reese Witherspoon looking confident as all get-out with her words “I don’t do regret” on the cover of Glamour, it’s okay if you do feel the pang of regret and failure in your own life.  When you see Jennifer Lopez on the cover of Self, claiming “I’m facing my fears and working on myself”, don’t sink into despair if your fears still cripple you at times and you barely even know who your “self” is.

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“I want to prove I’m a superwoman” … you don’t have to be, and you are free from ever trying to prove such a thing.  “You have to live with an open heart all the time” … but if you struggle with vulnerability, don’t be discouraged.

What I also want you to know, however, is that you can still take heart and have joy.  Don’t be so discouraged as to not even look through a January issue.  Don’t be so discouraged as to not light that candle of hope, to not believe that with all the darkness 2015 may bring, that it won’t come without its own promises and healing.  And I mean this in the smaller sense, as well.  Buy those new yoga pants.  Sit down and start planning that trip you’ve always wanted to take, even if it’s just a drive to the next big city.  Come up with that new plan for tackling your “to do” list in the mornings at the office.  Stock up on blueberries, or find a new lipstick shade you love.  Try baking the cookies with the coconut flour.  And maybe even chop off your hair.  But give yourself grace, and don’t be afraid to feel the pain that so unavoidably comes with life, even if the world around you is telling you that this should be “your happiest year”.  2015 will not be a loss.

The kitchen “mini makeover” (that never feels so “mini” in the end) can wait if it has to, and it will come when it should.  So can the barre class, the social media account, and that amazing entrepreneurial idea of yours that’s going to change the world.  After all, the happiest years are yet to come.  You are enough for 2015.  xo, MR

Oh now THIS is the kind of thing I LIVE for!!

Oh how thoroughly disappointing the SAG Awards were tonight.  The Golden Globes had been somewhat of a bore for me as well, and so I’d truly been looking forward to tonight’s red carpet with the hopes that someone … anyone … would put on a dress to make my jaw drop.  But alas, my jaw remains fully closed and in fact a little clenched in frustration.  Nights like this kill me.  I mean, yes, it’s great to look all boring kinds of sexy in a column dress so everyone can see that you can work your curves and blah blah blah, but let me tell you- I will continue to throw this at you until someone tops it.  When you, as a celebrity, have access to literally every great designer’s atelier on this planet and each one of those designers would give their right leg to dress you, thou shalt NOT waste my time with another monochromatic mermaid gown on the red carpet.  Grow a pair and actually take advantage of the fashion that’s at your over-privileged, perfectly manicured fingertips.  I mean seriously!  Do I have to rely on mah boo Marion for EVERYTHING?!

And so we’re moving on from this discussion to something else that’s fascinated me lately.  Oh, and how!  So, I purchased the latest issue of Self magazine for the purpose of motivating myself into a more regular gym routine.  I’d initially inserted about a million jokes here when first writing this, but I have to admit this is a completely true desire, void of any irony.  No, I’m not looking to Instagram pictures of my Fergie abs while I frolick around in a bikini at Stagecoach.  But I am looking to take seriously the idea that man cannot live on Cheetos alone, and if one does, a price must be paid in copious amounts of running and veggie consumption.

But I stumbled upon something funny while perusing this latest issue of Self, and it did nothing short of fuel the fires of Mount Doom in my Fergie tummy.

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Well, well, well, what have we here?!  The kind of article I live for- the kind that asks what guys really think of the stuff we do with our hair, face, and body, and how we should take such opinions into account when we get ready to bring our ugly selves out of our Hobbit holes and into daylight for presentation!  Excellent!

So, I guess the deal with these is that you’ve got some panel of highly qualified dudes (guys that know lots about the wiminfolks, cause they haz a Y-chromosome and eyeballz) that look at various celebrity photos and rate YEAH, BRAH! or NAH, BRAH! while throwing back a can of mildly-flavored pee Coors Light.  Totes fersh, breh.  And so above we have our first exhibit- Jessica Biel demonstrating nail color and ombre’d hair.  The verdict on nails?  Well Lord bless ’em, the lads say they don’t care!  Sweet relief for us!  “That’s something only girls notice”, dude-breh-number-one says.  Oh, but notice that dude-breh says those nails had BETTER NOT be chipped, lest we be perceived as someone who has a life doesn’t have time to keep her nails perfectly manicured!

And the verdict on ombre’d hair?  A resounding “Hell, no!” from dude-breh-number-two.  His reasoning?  “She looks like she didn’t make it to the salon for a year.”  Right.  Because like the dude-brehs always say, they definitely don’t want a girl who looks like she “tries too hard” or “wears makeup”, but we can’t be having a woman looking like she doesn’t try hard enough either.  MAKES SENSE.  I’m sorry Patrick Bateman, but it’s been hard trying to find that right balance between J. Lo and Jennifer Garner for you, or excuse me, that right balance between CAN’T and CAN’T for you.  If Jessica Biel’s hair looks “un-maintained” to you, look forward to seeing me looking nothing short of BEAT next season when I get mine re-ombre’d.  Consider it my gift to you.

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Let’s see, the next victims- Blake Lively with her fishtail braid, short-haired girls, the how-much-makeup question, and a few others.  Of course, that braid is a no from the dude-brehs because “it probably took three hours”.  No, you dum-dum.  It took three minutes because the thing’s probably a bloody extension.  And even if it isn’t (considering Blake is known to have Rapunzel hair), bear this in mind the next time your girlfriend has nice, blown-out, shiny hair that’s left down and casual with soft, “effortless” waves- that probably took three hours.

Oh and take note- NO SHORT HAIR.  DUDE-BREH WILL NOT APPROACH YOU AND OFFER YOU A JAGER BOMB FROM HIS ED HARDY-ADORNED SELF IF YOU’VE GOT THE SHORT HAIRS.  But we are told, quite graciously, “If you look like Halle Berry, then you can go short”.  Oh thanks man!  I mean, I know that Halle spends literally thousands of dollars to maintain her looks each year alone and that if any of us did that you’d immediately judge us for being “too high maintenance”, but it’s a free pass for Halle and all her look-alikes!  Oh wait, there are no Halle look-alikes?  And even Halle doesn’t look like Halle without her Revlon to make her Photo-Ready?  Woops.

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Here are a few more.  We’re given the green light for glossy lips because  apparently they say “a girl wants to make out”, and we’re given a thumbs-down on sleek hair with this astute observation- “Bet she’s wearing really uncomfortable shoes”.  But have hope!  Here’s what we’re finally left with as a conclusion:  We’re told in the Editor’s note on the right that “Confidence trumps all, and they want to sleep with you no matter what.  Like what you see in the mirror.”  Oh, I see, so back-track on this entire article because you know it’s the most misogynistic thing you may have ever published in your sorry magazine, but be SURE to validate us in the best, most helpful way possible- by reassuring us that every guy wants to sleep with us just because we’re … girls.

I can’t even begin to delve into the devastating moral and spiritual implications of this article, but I’ll attempt to be brief in my commentary.  Magazines like Self claim to celebrate you as you, and yet they’re fraught with quiet-yet-somehow-explicit suggestions on how to make yourself better, more desirable, more worthy of that celebration.  Some of these suggestions, as in ones pertaining to diet and health in general, are genuinely helpful and sometimes necessary in our lives.  Others, however, are backwards and hypocritical to a degree that has the potential to lay waste to anything helpful a publication may previously have done.  It is frustrating that this article was found in a magazine written for women, and by women, but features like this truly do a disservice to both sexes.  Women are once again subjected to depthless, crude evaluation that leaves them insecure and anxious, and they’re fed the lie that the ultimate compliment a guy could possibly pay you is wanting you physically.  Men, on the other hand, are portrayed as animalistic, thoughtless jackasses that could not care less about the content of one’s character because they’re solely interested in sex.  It’s a bloody shame, it is.

Here’s what I’ll leave you with- Try the weird hair-do.  Put on the red lipstick that may cause a couple guys to say you look like a clown (true story in my life).  Wear no makeup.  Wear too much makeup.  Make “mistakes”.  And extend the same grace to the dude-brehs when they wear too much Tim McGraw cologne, when they’ve got an awful case of the neck-beard, or when they think it’s cool to look like this.  We’ll all keep up with our same weird beauty and grooming habits, and I’ll keep blogging about all of it.  Do this for fun.  Do this because you like it.  And if it bothers you that I don’t like your sock-bun, just do it anyways.  You know you love that hairy donut on top of your head.  Don’t let me take that love from you.  xo, MR