I still enjoy fashion magazines. Yes, straight fashion where models look rail thin, are Photoshopped to shut out the insecurities of the editor, designer and sometimes even the model, and where nothing offered could possibly fit my size 28 frame.
There is one single process at work here, that makes me enjoy these magazines (to a point – US Vogue and W are as boring as a garden club cabal.)
I consider these magazines, and the “perfection” they present, as pure fiction.
Mainstream fashion magazines are so hilariously out of touch that even 99% of that 1% can’t obtain the bullshit they present and brand as “aspirational.” I don’t aspire to what they’re selling – since the whole package of what they’re selling is not something I can get through honest means, I look at it as absolute, hilarious crap. Marie Claire, Vogue, Cosmo, Glamour – even the “plus size special editions” read to me as comedy.
Here’s a list of the reasons why:
1. Only in the land of high fashion can anyone get away with mixing the prints that so often get mixed. Allow me to say what no one else has had the nerve to: they don’t look good in the magazine spreads, either. Nobody says anything just because we paid good money to the crap we just rolled our eyeballs over.
2. Staples, like blue jeans, magically cost upward of $600. I run some expensive stuff on Fat Chic, but even at its most demanding, clothing never runs that high – because nobody in the real world is actually paying that. I’m sure there’s some nasty, make the world a worse place psychology to it. So I’m saying this now: it’s a lie. Nobody’s buying those britches, not at that price. Celebrities and fashion editors get them free. So who exactly just has to have that $600 pair of pants? And why is that money NOT going back to the sweat shop worker who actually pieced them together?
3. Photoshopping. If you read the magazines I do, you probably haven’t seen a real face in years. For example, Nicole Kidman and Madonna – we’re talking major line edits.
4. Have you read the excuses that Vogue runs for interviews? It’s literally a listing of members of Wintour’s book club, and their money is far more interesting than they are.
5. Those “party and gala posts” – who the hell cares? I suppose some folks really are brainwashed into celebrity worship, but let me reframe it this way: if your second cousins wanted you to see photos of their last barbecue, that had a food drive of one can donated, would you actually go paging after it in a magazine? (This scenario leaves out all cute babies, puppies, and kitties.) The people in those stupid gala photos are equally strangers to you, so why on earth would you spend time looking at that crap?
6. If you hadn’t read about x brand in x magazine, would you even care? Or would you find clothing that actually fits you properly, makes your life better and lets you feel happy?
7. Nobody looks like the women that are models. Aspiring to them goes absolutely nowhere – weighing the same won’t get you a modeling career unless you’re already a model, and dressing the same is a little creepy.
I long ago stopped looking to fashion magazines for any correct guidance, coming to understand them as an abusive relationship that required my consent and buy-in to the abuse. When I realized I didn’t deserve the abuse, I realized that these magazines are a glue-bound bundle of lies. I may pause at a picture that speaks to me – and on the very rare occasion, it does – and yes, I flip through them to see if anything in the fashion world might translate to something a plus-size person can wear. Interpretations in ready-to-wear are becoming far more common as failing companies realize the money is with the very customer they’ve kicked and rejected for so many years – the plus size woman. So when I read these fashion magazines, I see the vast majority having the same value as the Weekly World News and the National Enquirer. Maybe not – I actually miss the Weekly World News.