Women’s magazines have come under fire in recent years, and for good reason. It’s taken a long time, and many hurt women, but these so-called publications are all getting called out more and more frequently for spewing loads of hot air — and often outright lies — to their readers. Spending no more than five minutes reading one of these rags can be enough to cause mild brain-damage, with the sheer amount of bad advice regurgitated month after month. We went through a few months’ worth of all the worst offenders, and honestly the effect is probably worse than sniffing glue — but we’ve got results. These are the 15 absolute worst lies that all women’s magazines tell — they’ve got millions of readers, so it may be a little scary.
Women Must Live (And Act Out) Abroad
Women’s magazines love to come from the overwhelmingly pretentious standpoint that any woman who hasn’t spent a summer in Paris is basically an illiterate housewife in a trailer-park. Over and over again, the idea is drilled in that women who’ve gotten married without first sleeping with a different man in another country are destined to a failed marriage, as they couldn’t possibly have made the right choice without knowing how a foreigner is in bed first.
“What He Says During Sex”
A classic, this overcooked contrivance rears its ugly head at least once a quarter. The offending magazines splash the phrase across the cover, and have a graphic-loaded guide somewhere in the issue that breaks men down and classifies them according to a stereotypical verbalization made during sex. In a shameless ploy to sell magazines, these people tell women that if a man grunts during sex, he’s goal-oriented, if he’s quiet or breathing hard, he’s got emotional issues, and if he’s vocal, he’s stupid and probably shallow. Women believe this stuff, because the authors and editors attribute information to bogus names of doctors and professors who likely don’t exist, or if they do exist, the info’s often misquoted or just plain bad.
Fake New-Age Practices Can Make Women Look Younger (And Have Better Sex)
Women’s magazines love to insist that, along with just about everything else in the universe, 15 minutes of half-assed yoga or drinking green tea once a day will take years off a woman’s face, 30 lbs. off her physique, and lead to better sex. Everything leads to better sex in women’s magazines, it’s their core selling point for the crackpot advice they dole out. The most heinous thing about this isn’t that they constantly ascribe impossibly positive outcomes to such miniscule effort, but that they inspire millions of women to run around acting like they’re some sort of zen master because they sat on the floor for a few minutes without speaking. Actually following any sort of regimen would be too much to ask of most of their readers, never mind the fact that it would take several servings of tea and actual meditation training to accomplish anything at all.
Yogurt, Granola, Fruits and Veggies Make Fat Girls Slim
There’s a fine line to walk when pushing the idea of eating healthy — on one side there’s “eat all you want, it’s healthy!” — on the other, there’s honesty. All the granola, fruit, greens and yogurt in the world can’t save an overweight person from being overweight without exercise and moderation. Women’s magazines like to ignore overwhelming obesity statistics; there’s no such thing as an overweight girl in their universe, so it’s absurd to think any girl would ever be any more than five pounds overweight at any given point in time.
“What He’s Really Thinking”
These are nothing short of amazing. The situation ranges from “when he sees you naked” to “the first time you have sex” all the way to “when he says he loves you.” When magazines like Cosmo try to tell women what men are thinking, the bottom line is that it’s just plain insulting to every man alive. The garbage they print as the thoughts of men are usually an amalgam of the most trite, clueless, one-dimensional quotes from the most hapless characters in college frat-humor movies.
Women Should Act on Every Impulse and Call it Instinct
More women every year turn against the magazines and their readers because of this one; they basically advocate that women should do whatever they want, when they want, regardless of who they may hurt in doing so. Why? Because they’re women and they should act on every impulse, because those impulses are womanly instincts and they can’t possibly be happy without acting on them. These gems of advice range from quitting a good job on a whim, to basically becoming a prostitute because it sounds fun at the time. In the universe that women’s magazines operate in, everyone is a spoiled little girl with a trust fund to fall back on, and absolutely no morals whatsoever.
Plastic Surgery and Botox are Great, Quick & Clean
The glorification of plastic surgery and botox treatment is pretty much agreed upon by anyone with a brain to be a bad thing, but women’s magazines consistently treat them like beauty secrets, or only mention them in passing, but in a positive light. The sad thing here is that the countless women who actually read these rags tend to think that because the magazine either promotes or glamorizes these things, that they’re not just good, but normal. More and more women are starting to regard these things the same way they talk about changing their hair-color.
Touting Pseudo-Science as Fully Legitimate
These people love to write off modern medicine and science on a regular basis, and part of that is in their insistence that women can fix any ailment, anything at all, with a cup of tea, a dose of echinacea, and happy thoughts. They bust out the prefab quotes, complete with either crackpot “doctors” or just flat-out fake names, and act like hospitals only exist for broken bones.
The Right Sports Bra Can Turn Lazy Women Into Decathletes
The Sex and the City tone that’s so pervasive in all women’s magazines can lead to some pretty outrageous stupidity, but one of the funniest and most egregious is the idea that women can do anything — so long as they’re outfitted with the proper (designer) clothing, shoes, and accessories. Editors for these things get piles, literally piles of free stuff from soliciting companies looking to get plugged, so it’s no big deal when they act like the newest pumps will allow women to run 20 miles without even feeling the burn, or that the newest, ultralight, super-underwired designer sports bra will turn the laziest girl on the block into a star runner just by efficiently cupping her assets.
It’s a Woman’s Right to be Overly-Emotional, at All Times
The idea that women are ridiculously overly-emotional because of their genetics is heavily ingrained into these magazines. They constantly tell women that in order to be happy, they need to express themselves, and they don’t mean to a healthy extent, either. If women followed them to the letter, they’d spend all day, every day, expressing themselves emotionally. It’s funny to think that men usually get stuck with the unpleasant stereotype of constant chauvinism, when these magazines themselves belittle women more than the best Burt Reynolds movie.
“Why He Likes X Position”
These are probably the most entertainingly wrong of all the “why he X” type articles these magazines put out. First of all, they constantly change the accepted names of sexual positions, largely because they run the same article repeatedly throughout the year and have to change it somehow to make it seem like something new. This makes it even funnier, since one month they may say that men like it on bottom because they’re “givers,” while three months later it might say that they’re weak, or even “effeminate.” In order for women to appreciate these articles they must abandon all past experience, as well as common sense.
“Green” Handbags Will Save the World
The green craze is huge in the women’s magazine industry, largely due to the massive amount of ad money that pours in when they go heavy on the Vitamin Water and Prius adverts. Piggybacking on that, they basically go all out and get women to believe that they can save the world by buying designer handbags made out of …garbage. While recycled purses are no new thing, and there are even some that are respectably ingenious, the magazines tend to glam them up and turn the whole thing into just another exercise in designer purses. In the end, all that’s changed is the amount of pretentious young women who use a reusable plastic Starbucks coffeecup, and wear a purse that’s supposedly carbon-neutral. Not exactly the stuff of the Planeteers.
Jobs Are For Personal Fulfillment; Women Are Entitled to the Jobs of Their Choosing
Going along with the constant pushing to be more impulsive, women’s magazines promote the idea that women should up and leave their job not just on a whim, but because they deserve better. According to them, women should get whatever job they want, anywhere, and they shouldn’t ever have to actually qualify or even apply for the position. Companies should come seeking them, because they’re women, and they deserve it. Never is the issue of actual merit or education ever brought up; somehow everyone who works at these places managed to go through life without ever actually working toward anything.
A Manicure and Latte Can Fix Anything
Much like the idea that a cup of green tea can take a year off a woman’s face, or that echinacea can cure any sickness when mixed with happy thoughts, women’s magazines love to insist that no matter how bad a stressful event may be, a latte (also made out to be something overly effective) and a manicure can fix it. Actually coping with a problem, or attempting to fix it in any way, is verboten. In their universe, women aren’t supposed to try and fix anything. Everything just fixes itself, all on its own.
No, You Can Never Look Like That
Last, but certainly not least; women’s magazines are rightfully blamed by many the world over for skewing women’s views of themselves and others in such a way that borders on criminal. Relentless airbrushing of any picture of any woman on any page in their publications, flat-out lies about diet plans and best eating practices, mild to heavy glamorization of the worst diets and flat-out unhealthy eating practices all lead to more and more women hating their bodies, and themselves. These magazines show no remorse when a girl dies of anorexia or bulimia, because they’d rather act like that sort of thing never happens. They’re out to make money on the insecurities they create year after year as they hook readers, who are getting younger every year. Men’s magazines may have a tendency to be nothing but a wad of adverts for expensive watches, galleries of half-naked girls, and dirty jokes — but at least they’re honest.