Tuesday, February 22, 2011

popular culture? help me out fellow moms!

I am barely able to follow the news, and so behind on popular culture. It's not just that we don't have television, it's also that there's just no time. I get kind of intense about the things I care about and commit to, and so right now that means my life evolves around parenting and my work writing.

I love to read, but the books with fiction I've checked out at the library lately have not been finished. Instead of reading for "me," I've been spending any "free" time (are there really any truly "free" moments??) reading and writing for work.

InStyle (1-year auto-renewal)Whole Living (1-year auto-renewal)But sometimes, I'm just so fried yet still awake, I want to escape into something else. Lately that's been either whole living or In Style (yes, I see the mismatch). I subscribed to the Yoga journal for years till I got pregnant and it changed to the mothering magazine. Whole living followed, and then now, I'm considering In Style. And I feel like crap for it. I mean, what does my magazine subscription history say about me? Am I going from enlightened to fluff?

The other day, however, I got to thinking that maybe my infatuation has to do with my nostalgic memories of happy hour sushi and martini dates with girlfriends, wearing high heals and fun clothes (unspoiled by a toddler's hands), and life could feel somewhat glamorous. Now it's down to still wearing nursing bras; my feet outgrew my high heals during pregnancy and never shrunk back. I crave some glamor.

I seem to remember that In Style originally appealed to me for being somewhat more accessible than say Vogue. I mean, they had more suggestions for fashion for cheap(er). And then most of the other "hip" magazines were just so covered and filled up by advice for women on how to turn on their men, which was a turn off to me with its reactionary "girl-needs-to-cater-to-guy" program.

I went to the hairdresser yesterday to color away my gray hair and while sitting there with coils in my hair, Lilly playing with the hairdresser, I was skimming through magazines to see what my options might be.

It's overwhelming. There's a lot of "how to please your guy" stuff still in most of the magazines, but when I looked at some of it, it didn't necessarily seem to reinforce stereotypical gender roles of women needing to please men; there was quite a bit to empower women sexually too. But nothing really stood out as subscribble for me. So I'm still, secretly (or not so much so now anymore) seeking. Any ideas, suggestions, recommendations, whatever?


  1. We really enjoy Sunset. It's cheap, it's light, we manage to finish each issue. It's not very sex-in-the-city/young/glamorous, though. Instead of looking back at the vivacious pre-parenting life it's more like looking forward. It's like: if we made $50k a year more than we do, if we were 5-10 years older than we are, if we had ever so slightly more time to spend on grocery shopping or cooking or gardening or traveling our lives could look like that. But there's still plenty of nice ideas that we can implement. We get inspired to cook stuff based on their recipes. And I don't know that it's changed my gardening, but it encourages me to get out into the garden and work on what I've got. And it's pleasantly ungendered.

    My library gets a ton of magazines. You can check out older ones. Try checking out magazines from the same season, but last year. That should let you try out a few different ones before subscribing.


  2. Sorry, girl, I don't think I'm going to be much help for you because I love love LOVE popular magazines, even the trashy celebrity ones. LOVE! :) (I also love TV, by the way.) :)

    To me, it's all about escapism. In my sparse "free" time I don't want to think about gardening or cooking or parenting or politics. (Well, I must admit my all-time fave magazine is the New Yorker, and that's not fluff by any means.) I want pure entertainment escapism. I want to read about Reese Witherspoon out jogging and Natalie Portman being pregnant. I don't care about the anti-feminist component of beauty/women's magazines. I know my own values and I'm fine with reading about nice lipstick and cute dresses. But that's just me. :)

    My mom gave me a gift subscription to Redbook 2 years ago and I find it super high-quality and gorgeous. Great articles too. It's really hip and stylish, yet mom-focused also, if that makes sense. But it's certainly not "alternative" in any way.

  3. I'll check it out, thanks, Shannon!


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