I am a sucker for women's magazines. For the longest time, I read GL.AMOUR and Mar.ie Cla.ire, until I realized that I had kinda sorta aged out of their target demographic.
I know that women's magazines as a rule are pretty awful, presenting photoshopped images of women that are impossible to achieve in real life; giving advice on how to look more youthful, ever slimmer; and advertising clothing, shoes, and bags that the typical person can't truly afford.
But I do love a good beauty feature on lipsticks of the moment, and I love book recommendations, stories about relationships, tips on saving money and my health, yummy recipes, and stories about inspirational women.
So I got a subscription to Redb.ook in the last couple of years, because it seemed to have been rebranded a bit from the magazine of my youth that the middle aged ladies read and was a mix of recipes, and real-world fashion/beauty tips, and money management, and housewares.
For some reason, when I read Redb.ook, I don't feel particularly represented as a woman in my 40s without children. There are a lot of assumptions made that if you read this magazine, you have children. You're a mom. There's a lot of "we're all in this together" with reference to family trips and back to school and the stresses of mom-dom. There have been some infertility stories, but most if not all of them end with a baby, some way, some how. The message is that if you are a woman, you must also be a mom.
It irks me.
But I don't know of magazines that fit my demographic (not start-of-my-adult-life but also not quite AARP) that DON'T weigh heavily toward the parenting set. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the occasional mention of motherhood and the stresses and tips for that stage of life. But it's just not a stage of life that EVERYONE gets. Why is it necessary to have a section on looking less tired but only mention sleepless nights from little kids or the exhaustion of the carpool timeframe? Can't all women get a little you-time without making it always a "mommy's time out?"
I feel like there's an assumption made that MOST women are parenting in their 30s-50s, which seems to be the key demographic, and so most articles SHOULD mention motherhood as a given. Even a health spread on women's bodies and injury risks mentioned back pain from carrying boobs and pregnant bellies around. Not "you might carry a pregnant belly around," but "hell yeah, that pregnant belly EVERYONE carried around at some point wreaked havoc on your back."
So, am I missing a magazine out there that DOESN'T do this? I do love my Redb.ook, because they show real women frequently with many different bodies and ages and it covers a wide variety of interests, but the mom-centric bent is really getting to me lately. Isn't that what parenting magazines are for? I don't buy those [anymore] because they clearly don't apply to me.
Frankly, it's lonely to read a magazine that's supposed to speak to the woman's experience and feel so very left out, so frequently.
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