From e-books to old school books, there is so much we can read and learn from. Even the most simplistic books and magazines can do more than simply act as a method for you to pass time as you’re in leisure – you can learn from them just as any other major work. For you magazine readers out there, what do you read? Is it information based material? Is it gossip? Is it productive to you? Is it one of the Top 25 Magazines for the Second Half of 2012, as provided by the Huffington Post through the Audit Bureau of Circulation?
The only magazines I read are fitness magazines. Why, you ask? Well, I find that most other magazines besides informative ones prove to be unproductive, and can even aid as a bad influence over me by construing negative connotations of body image among other things. Being a teenage girl, adults are blissfully aware of the ability magazines have that can influence teens. In attempts to protect their children from what is inevitable (seeing an image that doesn’t fit them, due to the wonders of photoshop and the like,) they regard magazines as unacceptable. For and Against even goes on to say in the forum, “Models Are A Bad Influence To Teenagers,” that when media portrays them, they encourage young girls to purge (bulimia nervosa) and to starve themselves (anorexia nervosa.) While this may be true, talking about the images on magazines and on the internet will do nothing if you do not confront your child about how they feel looking at it. A child who feels they can’t talk to their parent are just as worse off as a child who has no adult support.
But does the influence really stop there? I can name over half a dozen magazines that adults read that prove to be hindrances too! This is why we must understand why we are reading what we read. We can fall into idolatry of the glossy pages. If Shape magazine produced a “Body Shaming” article, or one that I felt fit the criteria of one, I would immediately stop being a customer. I would not want to support a magazine that, millions of people (some with low self esteem!), read to seek to improve themselves. But others would continue to read it and girls who don’t have the best self esteem would think that it is normal to hate the bodies we have been blessed with.
Even in a less intrinsic way, I see peers get wrapped up in what they read in the grocery store aisles as well as what they see on social media. Some of the best selling magazines are in fact, the gossip-y magazines that do nothing but allow us to read about other’s drama. Why would anyone want to add more drama to their life – or for that matter, surround themselves with negativity? Nonetheless, it is their lives and not mine. I have simply seen what we can learn from magazines.