I’ve been reading several Oprah magazines lately – don’t worry, I took them out of the library. I didn’t spend my hard earned bucks on them (Okay – I bought one. That’s it). It’s hard to find any kind of “Women’s magazine” that isn’t all about clothes and makeup (which I’m not really into) or children (I don’t have any, and I love my cat, but I’m not gonna get “Cat Fancier”). So, Oprah is not a bad compromise.
After reading several issues, though, I’ve noticed something. The magazine is supposed to be all about finding your true self, and empowering yourself, and in one case – de-cluttering your life! But each magazine seems to be full of pages and pages of things you can buy, in order to help you find your true self or empower yourself – or clutter up your life! And even worse than that – some of them are ridiculously expensive and a total waste. Your average reader for these magazines should not be buying 30 dollar olive oil, 5 dollar chocolate bars, and 200 hundred dollar plates.
I think what got me the most was the conflicting messages – the articles are often about people who gave everything up and made sacrifices to live their “true” life. As well, Suze Orman writes a column each month, advising people on how they can handle their money better. But then there are pages and pages of things you can buy, most of which your average person probably can’t afford and doesn’t need. There are certainly things listed in the lower price range, but still – I’m boggled by the sheer amount of stuff being promoted in these pages.
I guess you can just take the messages that you want out of the magazine and try to ignore all the consumerism that is promoted in it. I seem to be managing okay – I haven’t given in to the urge to try and purchase any crazy expensive stuff I don’t need.
Do you think it’s possible to read these kinds of magazines without getting sucked into wanting to buy things? Do you think what you buy should define you?