One part of my job role as a makeup artist was to read fashion magazines to keep up to date with the latest trends around the world.
I loved researching the latest trends and what was “hot” for that season. It didn’t feel like a job or chore, I could do it endlessly and even when I started to move on from makeup I still bought all the magazines to read, as they were something I enjoyed. I also thought they were beneficial by giving advice and tips on self love, fashion, exercise, beauty, relationships and more.
These magazines weren’t benefiting me at all; they were robbing me of my self esteem and influencing me to judge others.
Every single time I saw an image in a magazine I would immediately compare the picture of a photo shopped woman to myself.
I have read many helpful articles in magazines that promote a healthy body image but pictures say more than words, so when an image that accompanies the article is of an unrealistically thin, flawless woman, the article has lost all meaning, I am already distracted and defeated.
Magazines also create body image issues by manufacturing problems that you never once had.
I remember reading an article about a new trend that models were getting done through plastic surgery. It was to remove fat in a certain area, an area that you would never have considered. After I finished reading the article I realised how ridiculous the procedure is, but I still started to be conscious of the area.
I used to thrive on the gossip section, reading all about the stars’ lives and the dramas that went on. It was a time when I could focus on other people’s dramas rather than my own.
This had negativity all over it. Not once did I feel great about reading made up claims and rumours about the stars that drag you in with headlines such as “STARS WITHOUT MAKEUP” and “ CELEBRITY CELLULITE “.
Talking negatively about someone because they have cellulite as if it is forbidden and offensive to be seen with it in public is nothing more than appalling. The majority of women have cellulite regardless of how much they weigh; it’s natural and it’s not something that any of us should feel excluded and unworthy over.
This is the same with showing stars without makeup. It gives you the impression that it’s a crime to be seen without makeup. Some women these days literally refuse to walk out of the door without makeup. The thought of it is overwhelming and stressful to some and the magazines are just feeding this fear.
I thought these magazines were helping me by giving me fashion advice, but they were just making me feel unworthy and unfashionable if I didn’t own a certain item of clothing or not living a life that is cool enough.
Everything was materialistic and I didn’t appreciate the things I had and know what my own personal style really was.
Since January 2012 I have not bought any magazines, I haven’t read them in waiting rooms and I have not even looked at them while lining up to buy groceries.
If one thing has helped me connect more with myself, this would be it:
Not having unrealistic images to compare myself to; not having the pressure of looking a certain way in order to be considered fashionable and focusing on my own authentic life rather than someone else’s life that has been dramatised.
Until there is a magazine that is 100% photo shop free and truly promotes a healthy body image and self confidence, I will not support magazine companies by buying them.
I don’t expect you to give up reading magazines but next time you do be aware of how they are making you feel.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.