Monday, August 22, 2011

A Woman's Day

Last week, I received a copy of Woman's Day in the mail.  The subscription appears to be in my name.  I'm not sure how or why I got the magazine--I didn't sign up for it--but I figured as long as I don't get a bill, no harm done.  It's not the type of magazine I buy, although I have been known to pick up an In Style or Us Magazine, purely frivolous reading, if I'm headed for vacation.  Which I was this week, so I put it in the "to read" pile.

Finally flipped through it today.  You know, I had no false expectations.  I know that it's a flipper type of magazine, with light articles about makeup, relationships, housekeeping, stuff like that.  This one promised advice on "Quick No-Cook Meals" and "Summer Beauty Fixes" (both I could desperately use, by the way), I was ready for non-serious reading.  But as I flipped through, I became more and more distracted by the massive amount of advertising.  It's as though the "articles" (using the term loosely) were a distraction from the ads, most of which were full page or even two full pages or three, and seemed to be forming some narrative of their own.  So distracted that when I finished the magazine (took about 10 minutes), I went back to count. 

The ads seemed to fall into a few broad categories, which I would call "Beauty," "Health," "Household," or "Other."  Here's a list of the full page or two or three page advertisements in the August issue (excluding the quarter-page ads, the "articles" that really were ads, even the half page ads), in the order that they appear.  (Prescriptions drugs denoted with (RX)):

Silpada jewelry
I Love Lucy DVD set
Chase credit card (apparently to get you ready to buy the stuff that follows)
Maybelline Makeup
MegaRed supplement (to avoid heart disease)
Vanity Fair napkins (for entertaining)
Curel lotion
Dentastix bones for dogs
Frontline flea collar
Children's Allegra (medicine for allergies) - Used to be (RX), now OTC
Nutella (which contains nuts, a big child allergy issue.  Weird.)
Dove chocolates
Symbicort (RX) for COPD (I had to look up COPD--it's chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Bremenn cream for age spots
Clorox wipes
Fresh Step cat litter
No Gray hair color
Spiriva (RX) handihaler (an inhaler for COPD)
Omega Smart fish oils supplement
Edy's ice cream
CDC ad about vaccines
Gain detergent
Pfizer ad (RX) about options for overactive bladders
Vimovo (RX) arthritis medicine
Oreck vacuum
Arm & Hammer spin toothbrush
Dixie paper plates (more entertaining, cheap-style)
Moen faucets (random, perhaps accidentally advertised here)
United Healthcare
Senokot (RX) for constipation
Cymbalta (RX) for osteoarthritis pain
Skinny Cow ice cream
Lanacane anti-chafing gel (for fat people whose limbs rub together)
Zyvestra (RX) for vertigo (it's a cream!)
Bradford Exchange (religious jewelry)
California almonds
Crest toothpaste
One A Day vitamins
Celluscience pill for cellulite
Miralax (for constipation)
Jenny Craig diet plan
Capri Sun juice drink
Aricept (RX) for Alzheimer's
Hormel lunch meat
Hydroxycut for weight loss
Premarin (cream for female lubrication)
Sauza tequila
Nestle dark chocolate
Thundershirt (a shirt to alleviate anxiety in DOGS)
Big fish computer games
AARP auto insurance
Medifast diet plan
Heinz 57
McDonalds (specifically, their Asian salad which I can attest is in fact yummy)

I count 56 ads and let me repeat...these are FULL PAGE, TWO or THREE PAGE ads, in a magazine that is 150 pages long.  So probably at least 50% advertisements (or more), when you factor in all the advertising I did not include.  And the topics covered here...well, you can read the list and pretty much come to the conclusions I did.  Basically, I was extremely depressed after flipping through this "light" reading.  I felt overweight, hungry, bloated, under-medicated, dry, afraid, out of breath, disfigured, old, achy, ill, and did I mention hungry?  The entire back portion of the magazine is where they put page after page of full-color food photos.  I was in a crazed hunger state after the glistening photos of shrimp salad and glazed chicken, interspersed with ads for dark chocolate.  Really, the only item that held any promise of good, guilt-free feeling was the tequila, which I promptly sought out.  After which, I needed the Crest, the over-active bladder stuff and the ice cream.  Or the chocolate.  Either one.  But I felt good.

I think I'll cancel my subscription to Woman's Day...even if I'm not paying for it.  Too much stress.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka