Monday, January 02, 2006

Like A Fish Needs A Bicycle...To Drive And Clean

I admit it freely--I, like a good portion of other female and a good many male bloggers, bought* the January 2006 issue of Glamour magazine, for its toward-the-back "article" (read it, and you'll understand the quotation marks), "Women Who Blog." I enjoyed seeing the faces and reading the stories of the ladybloggers, even if they were somewhat trivialized, in my opinion, by the tone of the piece...but then, dang it, I had this whole magazine left over, and I wanted my $4 worth. And I was bored, and there was just all this FOOTBALL.

So anyway, after gazing in amazement at the striking, 7-foot-tall Heather in her crisp button-down shirt, I started flipping through the rest of the magazine. Easy to do, really. It's written on about a 4th or 5th-grade level, and the messages of this issue seemed to be mixed ones, like, "Yaaay, Women--you are great! Are you SURE you're pleasing your man in bed?" and "Girl-Power! Curves are back! Have confidence in your body the way it is! OH, and here's our review of diet books, and several pages of exercises featuring Helga the Genetically-Engineered Superbabe!"

So I was reading the little capsules in the front of the magazine about the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, at which one of the recipients was Diane von Furstenberg. Now, she is indeed a woman to be reckoned with, and a businessperson to admire. She has accomplished great things in her field. is the quote which surprised me--not only that Ms. von Furstenberg said it, but that out of everything she may have said while accepting her award, these were the words that Glamour decided to print:

"Everywhere I go, I meet strong women. In fact, in my company, men drive or clean!"

Whoa. Can you even imagine the public furor if the genders were reversed in this case? "Yes, we employ lots of women. They make great coffee, and they smell nice!" Maybe it's just me, and I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. But I do know one thing--if I were a man working in any of von Furstenberg's corporations, I'd be tacking that little quote up on my wall for use in the building of my future gender-discrimination case.

Beyond that, this magazine is full of useful stuff! You should totally go get one!** I also really enjoyed the article titled "Cheap, Chic Weekend-Wear," which featured a little white $300 dress, and a cute cropped $995 jacket to go with it. How fantastic! Man, I was spending WAY too much on my weekend-wear, but with advice like this, no more!

There's also great advice on dramatic up-dos, for those of us with thick lustrous hair of all one length, that length being at least 2 feet, and two extra people to help put it up. Practical!

And Penelope Cruz is more beautiful, with apparently zero effort (aside from those vitamins that Heather takes), than any of us can ever hope to be. No message here, except that maybe if we buy all the products featured in Glamour, and meticulously study all the "Glamour Don'ts", and learn them by heart--there is a "TOP FIFTY STYLE GOOFS" article in here, just the TOP FIFTY, UNDERSTAND (and keep up-to-date, because today's "Do" is tomorrow's "Don't"), maybe, just maybe, we can deflect or obscure our natural hideousness just long enough to snag a man and have the chance to put into use what we learned in Glamour's pages about "How To Give Him What HE Wants."

Hmmmm. Suddenly, I don't know if I'm quite as offended by Diane von Furstenberg's appears that we gals may be our own worst enemy. What's up, Girlfriends?

Incidentally, there was also an ad I've never seen before, for a product whose exact application still eludes me, even after some investigation, but I do know that it is "not for sale" in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia. Just reading its website description, which isn't much of an actual description, per se, it sounds to me like an awkward Emergency Room visit just waiting to happen.

*By which I mean, I sent my intrepid husband to Walgreen's for a copy of Glamour and a Neti pot and some Sinucleanse...and bless his heart, he went.

**By which I mean, you should send your husband, or someone else who is not you.


  1. Glamour is a pile of crap. That said, if women and men were equal in the workplace, or any other place, von Furstenberg wouldn't feel compelled to make such comments. i am taking it as a tongue in cheek sort of thing, but really. there is still a long way to go. baby.

  2. You're definitely right as far as that! Alex is the only man in our office, now that Dad is gone. He handles it with remarkable aplomb, though he does have to do all the heavy lifting, and suffer spontaneous in-office hugging from his wife and mother-in-law.

  3. i feel that if we are to demand respect, we must give respect. remarks like that always make me terribly uncomfortable.


    plus, we're all gender messed up around here. we are freely expressive of 'male' traits and 'female' traits and desperately trying to raise a girl who will believe in herself and not feel handicapped by a lack of a penis.

    so there!

    and did you watch 6 feet under? the new dad had one of those things. frankly, i coulda used on in the 80s...

  4. We women can be our own worse enemies, why do we stab our sisters in the back, fighting them, trying to rip men away from each other. This world would be a better place if we bonded together instead of tried to break each other apart.

  5. What Virginia Gal said.

    Me, I would have watched football and used that rag as a coaster for my beer.

  6. I've always disliked rags like Glamour and Elle and whatever the hell else they sell at the front of the grocery store near the check-out aisle. I skip over that crap and go right for those Hershey's Take 5 bars.


  7. Glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels that way about the girly mags. I like me the way I am and the hell with anyone who doesn't. Followed you here from Pats.

  8. Good job parodying the mixed messages. For those who can't afford glamour here is, straight from the mouth of a typical straight man, how to please your man:

    1. Don't read Glamour, not even the cover. Don't look at the pictures. Don't do the tests. Pretend it's ESPN magazine.

    2. Same with Cosmopolitan, Elle, and any other glossy magazine purporting to be for or by women. They may dress like women, but underneath they are ravening wolves.

    3. There is no "3"

    The only value of these magazines is as a decoy. If we see you with a copy, the next time you're furious for no discernible good reason, we might blame the magazine instead of hormones.

    If homosexuality were a choice, those magazines would cause it in men.

  9. Belinda, I love you! I was 'reading' that issue of Glamour while waiting at the nail salon yesterday and I had the same thoughts. I couldn't believe that quote from DvF (or that that would be the one that they would use for the article, anyway), and while the up-dos were lovely, I myself have thin, fine hair that would never cooperate in one of those oh-so-easy styles that 'anyone' can do. Oh, and of course the 'cheap' outfits. Geez, I should stop buying my dress clothes at Target for $20 a pop. For just $380 more I can have a dress I'd be too terrified to wear.

  10. I'm so not into women's mags. I think the can only be described as very colorful toilet paper. I've got a very good friend, however, who loves them and has about 10 subscriptions to various fashion and "SHOPPING" magazines. Who needs a magazine to tell you how to shop, I ask you. And this friend has a PhD in linguistics and is a VP for a multinational company you've all heard of. Go figure! Anyhow, she dumps old copies of mags on the Girl, who thumbs thru the pics and never reads a story, so I don't really care. But then WE have to lug them to the library to recycle them. People flock to the recycling bin after us because we have the top mags in the bins. Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, InStyle, Bazaar, etc.

    I think they all suck and if I can't get a People mag in the doctor's office, I'll buy a newspaper and read that.

  11. ha. i, too, bought glamour just for the dooceness. and then i realized why Real Simple is the ONLY magazine i read.

    although... i did like the suggestion of wearing heels in bed to feel sexy, and the quitting smoking article was interesting.