Sunday, June 10, 2007

Do I Really Need All This?

I like magazines. I could easily spend A LOT of money on magazines. Currently I have limited myself to three: Real Simple; Better Homes and Gardens and All You. I really like going to Borders and picking up BBC Good Food and Ideal Homes. But they cost the same as a small paperback so I only indulge once or twice a year. I used to subscribe/buy a lot more magazines - Women's day, Family Circle, the occasional InStyle. But I found the more magazines I looked through the more discontent I was with my life. One thing these journals have in common - advertisements and lots of it. As I was flipping through a Better Homes and Gardens a few months ago, I counted how many ads were in the magazine. About 70% of the mag was ads and 30% pictures/articles. Why do I pay for these things! They should be paying me to read them!
So you have the advertisements and then you have the various articles:
- How to declutter you house in a weekend
- What moisturizer is best for your age skin
- The latest styles for slim, petite, curvaceous, or tall women
- 10 best Easter/Passover menus
- The Most delicious chocolate cake and
- How to lose 10 pounds/drop a dress size by next month!

It seems to me a lot of the articles in and of themselves are advertisements. Got wrinkles-use these creams; want to look great this summer-buy this dress--all telling me to buy, buy, buy to look, feel, smell my best. And I am a ripe vanity victim to their temptations!

And I really need under-eye cream, night cream, hair-lustre cream, or lavendar-scented detergent.

Last summer I read an article out of the Daily Mail. A salon owner was challenging his clients not to wash their hair in between hair cuts (6-8 weeks). Only one out of the eight women had something negative to say. The others commented how hard it was to get used to but after a week their hair adjusted to relying on its natural oils. Their manes were thicker, healthier, full of body. Well, a sucker for the latest, I tried it. Yep! I went 4 months without washing my hair! I did rinse everyday with warm water but shampoo was never on my scalp. My family was a little grossed out, especially my sister-in-law. The result, my hair was thicker, had more body, and was wavier. This got me thinking about the beauty industry and how much I fall victim to their dictates of what I should and shouldn't be doing. Do I really need to shampoo rinse and repeat?

So I let my subscription to my mags run out this month. I decided I don't need Madison Avenue telling me what I need to make me feel confident and secure...but I do need to run to the store for a new tube of mascara!


Courtney said...

hey barb,
While at the mall with the kids a couple of months ago I pointed out to Brent an ad in a window, "can a body wash change your life?" Well clearly their answer was yes. There's a lot that I could talk about from this very ad but it strengthens your point that we don't need all this stuff, but the advertisers /companies will do what they can to make sure we THINK we do.
I have found myself much more content, and wealthier!, since I have begun to stay away from malls. Now, if I could just stay out of target...

Valerie said...

Something I too have begun to notice lately is the connection between where the ads are placed in the magazines and, surprise, the stories they are right smack next to. There now is more of an obvious connection to the ad and the content of the story. Like a story about 4th of July preparations along with a recipe for the ubiquitous American Flag pound cake and an ad for Cool Whip featuring the American Flag pound cake on the next page!

Kinda like product placement in movies. I'm getting tired of it, and like you, Barbie, I'm just walking away. I haven't gone to a movie in the theater all year, except for "Pirates" with the kids when you were out.

I'd rather buy and watch old movies on dvd. i just bought Now Voyager, because of your recommendation, and yes, I think I've seen it before. Watched a little bit of it this morning and can't see a trace of product placement.if it were made today, we'd find out what brand of tweezers the Bettie Davis character used to pluck her eyebrows!

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

I buy my magazines on ebay. You can get (some) subs pretty cheap. Real simple is one of my most favorite magazines. It isn't usually very cheap on ehay, so I check it out at the library for free. The only catch to that is that I must always be reading one issue behind the current one, which isn't allowed to be checked out.

Barb said...

One advantage to living in a small town is no Target. When we lived in Denver I would visit the place once, maybe twice a week. I would vow to just look but inevitably spend anywhere between $20-60. Not good. So even though I HATE Walmart it is good not to be tempted.

Julie in SEA said...

though i love this blog, has no one else said: WHAT, 4 months without washing your hair??? Are you crazy? Hey, I only shampoo every other day, and you know me, I'm no fashion queen. But 4 mos, Barb? Wow. Something else I learned about you the other day when I first read this entry. Looking forward to a less long-distance ph call soon! Love you, friend! And my I say, I've been back in the US for almost 3 wks, and haven't visited Target once yet! But it will come. . .

Nairobi Paul said...

Hi Barb, this is Heather! This post totally resonates with me! I ran out of mascara in Kenya, so stopped wearing it. My eyes felt so good and I could rub them when I was tired. I stopped waking up with dark circles under my eyes and I could cry in church with no worries! I am shunning the mags too, as my big weakness is that terrible discontent.