Size 8 revisited

11 Sep

I have spent a fair part of the summer reading back issues of women’s magazines and have concluded that in 2010, the issues of greatest concern to women who read magazines were:

Weight loss.  Losing those five pounds fast, losing those last ten pounds and losing that belly fat.  (My research also determined that in 2010 magazines of a certain genre tended to overuse restrictive clauses like: “those five pounds” and “that belly fat” when really, most women would be thrilled to lose pounds of any kind.)

Insomnia.  Three words: Ambien, melatonin, kava.

Pants.  Such an issue for the 2010 magazine-reading woman; I had no idea and I am pretty sure I wore pants then.  The sizes changed without notice: today’s size 8 is a former size 10.  Jeans that I bought three years ago (Old Navy), fit great and are a size 8.  When I recently tried on the same model, they were big and I know it’s not me.  Apparently losing weight by reading about losing weight has worked because I am now a size 6 and I have done nothing new except haul extra bundles of outdated magazines to the recycle center.  I now understand why finding a pair of quality black pants to fit any budget and flatter any figure, repel stains and fight crime was so difficult then.

Beauty.  And the perfect eyebrow.  Pardon me while I execute the perfect eye roll.

Fitness.  While the number of cover stories about losing weight without dieting, while you sleep, but keeping the foods you love outnumbered fitness articles 5:1, most magazines included at least one exercise circuit.  In early 2010, the calories burned were calculated using “a typical 135lb woman.”  By late 2010, those same calories were based on “an average 150lb woman.”  Are magazines allowed to just change the common definition of a word?  If all magazine reading women gained 15 pounds, wouldn’t a magazine write a cover story about that?  Is Miriam Webster a person and shouldn’t she have been consulted?

Dinner.  Made with five ingredients or less.  “Why five?” I asked myself.  “What was it about six ingredients that pushed women over the edge and into KFC?”  (Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, coleslaw and gravy- that’s five.  If you don’t count the gravy, you can have a roll.)  As far as I can tell, it was Häagen Dazs and their introduction of Five– a creamy and delicious pint that offered a degree of minimalism and purity never before seen in the frozen aisle.  By eliminating some ingredients and creating lovely packaging, Häagen Dazs (which is owned by the Pillsbury Company) helped consumers achieve zen via their ice cream selection.  If you placed your pint on top of the shopping cart seat for all to see, congratulations, you’re a zen overachiever.

Eggs.  They’re good for us; they’re bad for us.  Eat only the whites; eat just the yolks.  Free range, hormone free, brown, white, happy-go-lucky, organic.  Have a damn omelet.  If it kills you, then you know.

Things!  This page has exciting punctuation, bright pictures and coy language like: “Guess What We Found?” or “We Like!” and perhaps an alliteration like: “Five Items Under $50!”  From $4 cupcakes(!) to pink colored hand tools(!), this page provides a respite from more serious issues and one time I even found a nice gift for, um, a tightly wound German mother in law.  Should you find yourself needing a gift for a tightly wound German mother in law, may I suggest Claus Porto Shea Butter bath soaps?  Thanks, Oprah.

Advice.  Women who read these magazines have time to write for help but little time to solve their dilemmas.  I, myself, have rarely encountered a marriage, parenting, financial, legal, orgasm, hair or wardrobe crisis that couldn’t be fixed with some yelling.  Old school, but effective.  Husband doesn’t earn enough?  Yell so much that he takes side jobs just to stay out of the house.  Kid slacking at school?   No loss of cell phone or computer; no nurturing “hey little buddy, Dad and I have noticed that you don’t seem as excited by school as you once were.”  Try hollering until your eyes bug out and see if that doesn’t scare him back on the honor roll.  Boss wears too much perfume?  Can you quickly get promoted and then leverage your new position to get her transferred?  No?  Yell.  It’s a cleansing breath in reverse.

Cleansing breaths.  Spirituality, yoga, journeys, destinations.  In 2010, women searched for depth, awareness, meaning.

And a well- organized pantry.

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