My Month Without: Women’s Magazines and Catalogs

Women's magazines in the trashFor the next month, I’ll be conducting an experiment: living without women’s magazines and catalogs.

I reach for a woman’s magazine whenever I have free time. Flipping through the glossy pages of Real Simple, O Magazine, People, or Lucky Magazine is my way to unwind after a long day of work and kid wrangling (I have an almost 2-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl). I dogear pages featuring a structured handbag, a moisturizing berry lip tint that will brighten my look, and articles on self-acceptance and organization. Let’s not forget those profiles of women who are saving orphans in Africa or who started their own multimillion dollar business while single-handedly raising three children.

Catalogs are a guilty pleasure, too. “If I get these yoga tights, I’ll go to the studio more,” I tell myself. “I should try to look more put together for work, so maybe I’ll get this ponte sheath dress.”

In essence, these magazines and catalogs represent my aspirational self, the person I wish I was. The person I’d like to project to the outside world. Look: she has her shit together. She looks good. She’s organized. She’s stylish. The lipstick and the yoga tights are also small gifts to myself. You work hard, I tell myself. You deserve a treat.

So now I have a drawers full of treats, but I still haven’t become the person I thought I should be. I also don’t feel rewarded. I am still not enough.

If I don’t have a magazine or catalog to influence what I want, how to look, and how to feel, then how will I replenish myself? My mission is to find out.

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