Sunday, July 11, 2010

Less is clearly More.

So my mom-in-law gave me some fabulously trashy mags to read when she was done with them.  I do love a trashy magazine now and again.  It's voyeuristic and weird and I'm not sure why I care what Brangelina is up to these days, yet somehow I do.  I can pretend that I don't, but I do.  I'm just not very cool that way. Anyhoo.  One of the magazines was called More: Canada's Magazine Celebrating Women over Forty.  It looked sort of promising, albeit in a not-so-trashy way.  It even had the words "candid, BOLD, natural in MIDLIFE" emblazoned on the cover.   

Anyhow... I flipped through the magazine as I was going to bed last night, cover to cover.  And then found myself in a frothing frenzied full-blown panic about aging.  Saweet Jesus!  I am aging too fast.  Didn't someone call my ma'am just yesterday.  Again?!   I'm hideous!  I have too many wrinkles.  I should, at the very least, get out of bed and wash my damn face.  And maybe apply some moisturizer.  And then tomorrow I will run out and buy some $100 wrinkle cream.   Maybe $200.  Daytime and nightime cream.  Two creams.  Yes.  That will help.  The thought of some kind of proactivity mollified the rising tide of panic and dread enough that I was able to fall asleep.

When I woke up this morning I was able to be a bit more circumspect.  How did reading More magazine, which claims to "celebrate women over forty" and advertises itself with words like candid, BOLD, natural in MIDLIFE, turn a 35 year old woman into a panicky mess about aging?   Well, I'll tell ya.  I flipped through the magazine again, with an eye to this very question.   There are more than 20 full page ads in this magazine geared to making women panic about their age, and then promising the products to fix it. 

The magazine begins with a double page spread for Olay Pro X, a three part system promising age protection (What the frig is age protection?), deep wrinkle treatment for problem spots and reducing the look of wrinkles overall.  

Skip a page and then head onto another two page spread with Sarah Jessica Parker hocking Garnier Ultra-Lift Pro Gravity Defying Cream.    Now there's a mouthful.  Ultra-Lift Pro Garvity Defying Cream.  Whew.  And it's "cinically proven" to give us "skin so tight, so toned, it defies gravity." 

Moving on to the next page - another two page ad spread, this time with Andie MacDowell selling us some L'Oreal hair colour.  (Excellence Creme, in case you were dying to know).  And guess what womens?  Not only is your face too freaking old and saggy - well, your hair is too!  That's right girls - this hair dye has got a "triple protection system now with Pro-Keratine for younger looking hair."  Uh-huh. 

Next page - just a single page ad this time mind you.  MARCELLE New Age Anti-Wrinkle foundation.    It wants us to "embrace our beauty."

And don't forget the rest of your saggy body folks - Olay has got a "7-in-1 ANTI-AGING POWER" anti-aging shower gel.   (They'd also like to remind us to "love the skin we're in").

And then, phew.  We've made it to the table of contents.  There's plenty more, of course.  There's Ellen schlepping CoverGirl anti-wrinkle shit, there's a contest to win a Juvederm "makeover" which looks suspiciously plastic surgery-esque.   There's an ad for Restylane injections.  Aveeno would like us to know that "natural beauty is ageless" but they would also like us to know that we'll be even more beautiful when we use their shiitake mushroom complex to take years off of our face.  Revlon encourages us to use their foundation with "Botafirm" which sounds a little bit like they've put botulism in their make-up.   NeoStrata will give us INTENSE Solutions for dramatic results."  And Almay "Smart Shade Anti-Aging" promises to make us look "instantly younger".   And then, for the fatties, LipoSonix will get you one size smaller with just one treatment! 
So - there you have the reason the 35 year old woman felt like utter shite after reading More magazine.  They really really want me to.

 So that I can go out and treat my fat aging body, my limp aging hair and my saggy, wrinkly aging face with their ion2, shiitake mushroom, pro-retina, proX, Ultra-lift Pro, Pro-Keratine, regenerist, biopeptide, Retinol, Hyaluric acid, Botafirm, oatmeal, reparide, intensive-spot-targetting, fat reducing, firming, activating, gentle microcurrent using, gravity-defying, resculpting, beauty enhancing, correcting AND concealing,  Complex/Emulsion/Serum/Formula/ Treatment/Cream/ Injection/Chemical Peel/whathaveyou.  

We need a "regime." "We are in a daily fight" against "free radicals" and all sorts of other terrible things that are "attacking" our skin, hair and butts.   It's even possible that the free radicals are wearing fatigues and combat boots and are fully armed with semi-automatic weapons.  They are "ravaging" our skin.  This is SERIOUS. 

Deep breathe.

But you know, advertising doesn't really affect me. 


  1. Subliminal evil ... only not so subliminal actually.

  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has these kind of body image crises. Though sad for both of us that we have them.

  3. That's why I don't even pick up those mags in the doc's waiting room.

    Check out
    They published a tongue in cheek art magazine which pokes fun at all the crazy-making body-image trashing advertising and "women's magazines" that I think you would love. She is also on FB and I think she has a blog.