I’ve known for quite a while that magazines weren’t for me. I’m not a fan of anything that sells me inadequacy then attempts to solve it with sex advice, makeup and hair products. But I hadn’t realised, during this time of not reading them, that magazines had become so young.
No longer do they read as if grown ups were writing for grown ups, but rather as adults selling a simplified version of adulthood to adolescents who think they are grown up enough to know about the real world.
Purchasing a magazine at the airport, thinking it would help me pass the time, turned into an exercise in a anger management as I read such stories as “What guys don’t get about girls” featuring the sage advice “no man wants to date a baby or a mechanic” and “The Office Tribes” complaining about people who know if you steal their post-it’s (hot tip: don’t).
No longer do I read this and hear myself or my friends in the words. It’s more likely to appeal to my 13-year-old stepdaughter as she imagines what adult life will be like, or plays secretaries, as I so often did at her age.
When did this happen? Have I been so out of touch for so long? Or is it me? Am I so old that reading about “the ones who have their lips permanently attached to the boss’ butt” reek of someone who has never had a job in an organisation with proper organisational structure (I feel the need to clarify here that I did have a job like that once, when I was a lot younger, and pity anyone else who does).
Or have magazines always been like this and back when I was an ardent consumer I was just too young and naive to notice. I suppose when I think about it, Cosmopolitan was my favourite magazine back when I was 17 and had never worked anywhere that didn’t involve fresh produce or video rentals.
I have to say I was surprised. And I probably shouldn’t have been. I knew there was a reason I didn’t buy this propaganda, I don’t know why I thought reading it waiting for a plane would result in anything else than a rage-infueled (not a word, but roll with me here) blog post.
Do you buy magazines? Did I just get a bad one or are they all like this?