I believe that when I was fourteen years old I purchased my first copy of a Cosmopolitan magazine.
The only thing that would have been more thrilling than buying it would possibly have been stealing it.
I spent $5.00 to explore the world of being a woman while I was returning home on a vacation with my grandmother.
I thought I was quite badass possessing something my mother would have been appalled to see me reading.
It turned out that Cosmo was not for me, although it took a couple years for me to realize and accept that.
When I was young, the same old recycled sex tips were new and exciting to me, but I know that reading them was my primary motive to begin with.
I never spent much time thinking about the rest of the magazine till recently.
I have spent some time considering what outside sources and influences affected me as a child that caused me to become a young woman with an eating disorder.
I am aware that nature and nurture both played their part in my strange aversion to the very thing that keeps me alive.
It’s almost like deciding to stop breathing then wondering why I’m choking.
Food is the core of my existence, yet it is my dearest adversary.
A lot of it is my own warped thinking, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also think about society and the message it sent to me as a young girl, and how that compares to what it is telling me today.
I’ve gotten a couple of Seventeen magazine and Teen Vogues addressed to me in the mail while I’ve been back for the past few months. I believe it is a marketing ploy.
Before recycling a couple of these I saw on the cover of a Teen Vogue a feature titled “Scared Skinny”.
I ended up flipping through the entire magazine to find the article, which detailed a trend in social media that has been females in high school.
Increasingly I’ve been seeing more of these talked about, where girls will be posting photos of the gaps between their thighs or similar, bragging about how thin they are.
Upon reading the piece, it was apparent it was actually uplifting at the end, talking about how two girls had started a charity for recovery from Anorexia.
Yet simply taking a cursory look at the article, the feature title, picture, or summary, a reader might never know that.
Is this article increasing awareness of an issue or furthering the trend, I wondered.
Comparing it to the pictures of underweight and most likely airbrushed females that are spread across the pages, I was inclined to say it was simply going to trigger those who are skimming through the magazine, already feeling bad about themselves.
When I Googled the magazine a social media widget on the side of the page is told me that the magazine recently debunked the “myth” that ballet dancers don’t eat. I found it hard to believe it was a myth before Teen Vogue decided to call it one.
I’ve decided some people in Teen Vogue have the right idea buried in the content, but nothing on the surface of the magazine is about taking care of oneself in a self-fulfilling way.
In my opinion, no magazine will ever be able to tell anyone what their worth is as a human being.
Especially when that magazine includes a celebrity giving beauty advice to not wear makeup in one page, while her photo-shoot picture features the opposite look and is covering the next page.
I, for one, will be staying far away from these magazines, and encourage anyone who values themselves to do the same.