Girlie Mags

One thing that I have learned is that it is important for the modern girl of the ’90s to read women’s magazines with slight scepticism. Or, as Flavor Flav so succinctly put it, “don’t believe the hype”.*

So there I was reading the June 1997 edition of New Zealand Cleo magazine. The editorial was about their recently redesigned layout and about the typical Cleo reader. She is described as “young, intelligent and informed… she certainly doesn’t want to be taken as a fool.”

But there, in dark blue and white, as part of an article called “Shape Up” was this: “I have a friend, a personal trainer, she’s 50kg and doesn’t have a gram of fat on her”.

Excuse me! If that woman didn’t have a gram of fat on her, she’d be nearing death. I don’t know if that sentence was meant to be metaphorical, but it is sending out an extremely screwed up message. Not even those body builders who only eat egg whites have no body fat.

Then there was a page dedicated to helping the reader look like Gwyneth Paltrow. The best bit of that article was the recommended lipstick having “available August” in small print. That’s two whole months I will have to wait before I can perfect my Gwyneth look! This is terrible!

Another amusing article is one with ten “sure-fire seduction strategies”. My favourite is the one where you ring up the guy, talk about Friends then say “By the way I’m naked oh there’s my call waiting gotta go”. I’d like to think that if I tried that on anyone he would laugh his arse off.

And then there’s the fashion spread with the male model with the disturbingly large breasts…

So why do I buy it and read it? Because it’s highly entertaining.

* That sentence simultaneously irritates me and pleases me.

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