Overanalyzing, The Magazine

Anyone know who created this parody?  It’s so perfect – “The Shame and Guilt” issue indeed:

Women's magazine parody

A friend linked to the image; it and a writeup of “how insane and sexist” women’s magazines tend to be is here.

Do you read women’s magazines regularly?

UPDATE: Per The Atlantic this was created by Cracked.com.

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25 thoughts on “Overanalyzing, The Magazine

  1. Sometimes, even Cosmo but rarely since it’s all about sex.

    I’m not sure what to think about the parody cover. It’s funny but you know I am always confused why so many people try to make it sound like women’s magazines try to cram all this info about changing yourself like, “Wear this and not that. Eat this and not that.” It’s not how it is.

    • Lately I’ve been reading Oprah’s O Magazine. Most of it is positive or thoughtful but the food / body references are frustrating. I also realize I like, oh, the 2-page spreads of a beautiful landscape – but I can often get that on http://www.bing.com for free! :)

      I do know when I stopped reading magazines for a while a lot of my body angst went away….

  2. I don’t think I do. I read Real Simple and Martha Stewart (plus Entertainment Weekly and Wired to keep my geek and pop culture quotas up to speed). I feel like RS and MS are women’s mags, but they tend to hammer on organizing and curing clutter and being perfect in a different way :)

  3. I don’t read women’s magazines at all anymore. The cognitive dissonance is more than I can handle, I just don’t have the Sanity Watcher’s Points to be able to read anything that tells me to make these delicious desserts/meals (but don’t eat them because they’ll make me fat), do this so I can get thin in 30 days (yeah, at over 300 lbs that’s really not happening), have mind-blowing sex (but not too much if I’m not married), wear this/not that to look good but I should have good body image regardless. Yeah, right, tell me one thing on one page and contradict what you just said on the next – I don’t think so. I’m not their target demographic, I don’t believe in buying dreams that aren’t going to ever come true (and that’s what these magazines are selling, when you get right down to it), and I have better places to spend that money (like on books that I can read again and again and aren’t selling me a dream that isn’t going to happen).

  4. I buy cheapo outdated copies of the glossies from a friendly market stall I know, and cut them up to make collages, so I’m largely just looking at the pics for interesting colors or textures. (Italian Vogue is good because, not speaking Italian, I can’t read any body-hating articles.) Apart from that, the only women’s magazine I read is Bust, which is body-hate-free and pretty interesting. And, while I’m straight, I thought the ‘fat girl special’ of Diva a while back was pretty cool too.

    And I think I’m going to adopt ‘epic prow’ as the new term for my rack of doom…

  5. Ha! That’s fantastic! I don’t read “women’s” magazines, but I do read mainstream parenting magazines, which I get great pleasure from bitching about.

  6. I do. I love women’s magazines but I realise they are the equivalent of nail polish. Pretty, certainly unnecessary, and possibly poisonous.

    I was toying with the idea of marking all the body-hating references in a magazine and counting them, just to see. Maybe I’ll do that.

  7. One day in ther grocery store I looiked at all the magazi8nes to possibly choose one. I got just sick of l ooking at them with their writings on “”How to Lose Twenty Pounds before Thanksgiving” and “How To Lose Twenty Pounds before…..” “Do You Want To Lose Weight? We’ve Got The Answer!” Then there3 we3re pictures of models on the front that showed half or more of their size 2 bodies, and I haven’t bought one since. I read “Counntryside” and things like that. I am satisfied with my choice.

  8. I just don’t get what all the criticism is about. I have been reading Self, Glamour, Seventeen, and the like since I was 13 and my body image hasn’t suffered from it. If anything, a lot of content had helped me feel better about myself. I mean, yeah there are a lot of fluff articles and things that I don’t always garee with, as well as articles that I am just not intersted in, and sometimes I skip them and sometimes I read them out of boredom, but I realize that they are in fun, not to be taken so seriously.

    • I think a lot depends on each person’s particular issues. The “Be Thin By Spring!” and such was very depressing when I was on month 5 of a diet that would easily last years (since my goal was to be “normal weight”) – especially when the diet was less restrictive than my current diet, and promised more weight loss than I was experiencing. Kind of like how a mother can say things that seem perfectly nice to me but be driving her daughter crazy, because the mother’s referencing things that daughter hates. (Our parents installed our buttons, that’s why they’re so good at pushing them…. ;)

      There’s a bunch of other factors too — if you’re more a picture person than a word person, how strongly you take the articles/pictures to heart, how much you compare yourself to them, et cetera.

  9. I do sometimes, but yeah it usually does take a lot of sanity points to sift through all the junk in it. More and more I wind up looking at the ads rather than the articles– at least the ads give me fashion ideas, though tjord knows I can’t wear what the models are wearing, but I can at least crib the color and texture combos.

  10. I don’t read lady mags because I feel like…they are very prescriptive. They just seem incredibly focused on advice giving, in a lot of different areas in life, like family, dating, fashion, food, sex, makeup…I don’t know, I don’t like reading things that tell me what to do. Not that I think those subjects are necessarily trivial, I just don’t like the approach some of those lady mags have: it’s not all that nuanced, thoughtful or even critical. I don’t know, the only “lady mags” I like are Bust and Bitch, not your typical mainstream lady mag lol.

    That being said, I suppose if one actually wants and/or needs the advice (ex. not knowing what kind of beauty products to buy and really welcoming the advice in that area) then I suppose typical lady mags can be helpful. I just am not into it though, personally.

  11. Fascinating, amusing yet off target. Seems out of the mind of the kind of man who is threatened by these mags.

    The way it misses that the sex tips still tend to be aimed at ‘empowering’ women through pleasing men is telling.

    The sense of threat from the title ‘overanalysing’ is funny, just what is he afraid readers will find out if they look too closely at this rather status quo definition of ‘sex’?

  12. I read women’s mags if they’re in the doctor’s waiting room and mostly I just look at the fashion pics. I would never pay my own money for one, because the articles are generally so fluffy and lightweight and recycle the same stuff they were printing when I was a teenager. Also, the health articles generally damage my health by making my blood pressure go up – for some reason, women’s magazines are happy to recommend the silliest stuff to readers, from pushing unnecessary supplements to assuming that all women need to be ‘detoxed’ frequently.

  13. I don’t read them. I don’t wear makeup, and I’m not into fashion so nothing in them really interests me. If I’m in a waiting room, I may check out the “family” magazines to look at recipes or interior decorating tips I can’t afford, but I’ve never even looked past the cover of Cosmo. I get a visceral reaction to the cover that makes me want to walk far away from it.

  14. Once in a very blue moon I will pick up a copy of a bridal magazine or two, since I write for a wedding planning blog. Other than that, I’m far more likely to pick up a copy of Cook’s Illustrated or Food & Wine than Cosmo or Vogue.

    Somehow the title that got me giggling the hardest was “Sex: No Joke, You Need It So Badly You’d Blow a Baboon”… but the article I most want to read is about using that egg beater. It may finally answer a question raised in my innocent (HA!) little mind years ago by a stray episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo.

  15. I read women’s magazines to look at all the pretty pictures. I find them inspirational but I can also separate fantasy from reality. I do not get offended when I read them nor do I adopt dysfunctional behaviours in order to emulate them. Hence, I think women’s magazines are only as unhealthy as the reader who reads them. I don’t buy the whole ” yet another way society is ruining little girls” argument, so I’m not sure why they need to be mocked. Mocking them seems a little defensive, actually.

  16. I look at them in waiting rooms and hair salons but that’s it. The non-parenting ones seem to be written from the perspective of a really bad, stereotypical rom-com, where the women are white, thin but always trying to lose weight, have disposable income, work in an urban office setting, are obsessed with makeup and have tons of friends. I’m fat, biracial, about to be unemployed again with a small circle of close friends and not really interested in makeup because I have the core products I like. I really don’t fit the demographic, and even Ebony and Essence seem not to want to represent me either. It’s times like this I sure miss Mode and Figure!

  17. Lifeonfats, you nailed it. For me also, I don’t read the women’s magazines because I don’t see myself reflected in them. The women depicted in them do not resemble me at all, even the problems they have are pretty much different. The diet page is a bore. The cosmetics advice is ridiculously detailed, IMHO. If you enjoy reading what eyeliner might look best on you, and why you should wear different colors of lipstick in January and July, and what layers of cosmetics to put on your face (moisturizer, foundation, cover-up, powder, blush, etc.), wonderful, but who has so much free time to do this in the morning only to wash it all off in the evening, followed by a night creme?
    The clothing and shoes are a joke; it’s not as if they have either in my size. It amazes me that so many women buy and read these magazines, when the message for many of us is, “You don’t exist. Go away.”

  18. Perhaps because I am older, but the women’s magazines that I am familiar with are ones like Better Homes & Gardens. I can predict the pictures and article titles that grace the cover of almost every issue:

    The picture will either be of a slim, older female celebrity with an accompanying article about how she maintains her figure (and by implication, her health); a picture of a beautiful home that nobody I know of lives in; or a huge dessert, usually a gargantuan chocolate cake.

    The list of articles will include one about finally getting organized, the latest diet/exercise plan, recipes, and the latest health scare.

    Check it out at the store sometime, and you’ll see what I mean. And, no, I don’t read women’s magazines. They are silly, but most magazines are silly these days. Another magazine that ticks me off is Prevention. They are always peddling their latest diet, and if any of them worked, they wouldn’t be able to sell new ones.

  19. I occasionally pick up something like Woman’s World if it looks like it has some good recipes. But the parody cover is pretty well spot on. On the one hand you have the “make this droolsome 1000-calorie-a-slice cake,” on the other you have “lose 12 pounds in 12 days” or such. It’s pretty hypocritical.

  20. When it comes to women’s magazines, I’m men’s magazine’s in reverse: I only buy them to look at the pictures, really. And yes, some of them are awful, but maybe I just like the glossy bright colors.

  21. I am so happy as a male to read all of the intelligent, funny, realistic comments posted here by women – maybe there is hope yet for western society – brava ladies, brava

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