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Are Magazines Trying...

Are Magazines Trying to Make Women Feel Ugly?

Had it not been for the long lines at my local supermarket, I probably wouldn’t have written this article. I hate standing in line, especially without something to read, so I glanced at all the magazine covers and one popped out: New Beauty, Fall/Winter 2008. I hadn’t seen it before and the title, “Secrets to Looking Young at Any Age,” really pissed me off. I reacted this way because it reminded me of another magazine, More, November 2008, with another three women on the cover and the following title, “Breaking the Age Barrier.”

The cover of New Beauty had three women, just like the cover of More. The only difference between them was the age difference. In New Beauty, there was a fifteen-year age gap between Jennifer Aniston, 39, Christie Brinkley, 54, and Brooke Shields, 43. The magazine succeeded as far as the title, “Secrets to Looking Young at Any Age,” as I couldn’t tell the difference in age. There were no wrinkles.

Tea Leone, 42, Sharon Stone, 50, and Jane Fonda, 70 all dressed in red, had an age difference of twenty-eight years. Who would have guessed? The wrinkles were microscopic.

Face lifts, Botox, fillers, and what else? This is the message I’m getting from the magazine cover, the secret to “Breaking the Age Barrier.” I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who aged without getting a wrinkle. Perhaps they exist in some undiscovered tribe, but not in my world. So I’m actually quite fed up with all these magazine covers that make the rest of us feel like we’re just plain ugly and old. I know they’re trying to give us hope that we can look like them as we get older, but quite frankly, if we don’t look fantastic when we’re young, how likely is it that we’ll look fantastic as we age? And if that’s the case, can plastic surgery really make us gorgeous if we were ugly teenagers?

Why can’t they just tell us the truth? What have these women done to look like they do on the photo cover? That’s the article I want to read. What procedures have they had? At what age did they have them? How often do they do something to their faces and bodies? Did they like themselves more after the procedure? Do they regret any procedures? Would they have done it had they not been actresses? How did the make-up artist cover their flaws? From now on, could we please see the top half of magazine covers with make-up and the bottom half without?

This reminds me of the Oprah article, which showed what she looked like before all the make-up and touch-ups. Now that article I remember reading. Just like Jamie Lee Curtis, when she did a photo shoot without make-up and she looked much heavier and less glamorous than in the movie, True Lies. I think more women remember those two articles than the million of secrets given to us by models and movie stars. It’s sad that we need to be reminded that it’s okay to be human.

Please stop treating us like we’re inferior, stupid, and ugly. Show us some respect. We’re wonderful women and much more than our physical appearance.

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