I used to love reading women’s magazines. It was my break from homework and books for school. I’d catch up on the latest fashion trends, read an interesting article and get a few beauty tips.
But then I remember reading an odd tip from a writer on not eating an entire piece of cake: She’d take a bite — maybe two — and then pour salt on it.
And that’s when I started realizing that maybe these magazines weren’t for me (or really for anyone). Maybe these magazines had become a slippery slope into a world of shoulds and damaging thoughts.
And the more I started dissecting their messages, the more I realized that that’s the whole point: to sell us specific standards, so we buy, buy, buy.
That’s why I’m excited to share my interview with Jennifer Nelson, the author of Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women’s Magazines, a new book about the history of the women’s magazine industry, how articles are made (and manipulated) and their effects on readers.
Below, Nelson shares what inspired her to write Airbrushed Nation, the research that surprised her most and the damaging effects of reading these publications.
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