I went to get my hair cut and the stylist who welcomed me in had me sit at a table with nothing else to entertain myself than my reflection in the mirror, the radio blasting I Won't Give Up (and who's singing I don't wanna to be someone who walks away so easily I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can maaaaaake at the top of her voice now ?), and the April issue of Maxi.
So I started browsing through Maxi, my first German women's mag ever I think. By the time she was ready to butcher my hair, I had actually read most of that thing. So here's some of what I encountered today:
- not a single picture of a fat or curvy woman, not even by magazine standards;
- an article I about how shameful it is to buy tampons, alcohol or toilet paper at the supermarket, and the strategies women can use to deal with the atrocity of the lady at the check out and the guy behind them in line potentially noticing that they have periods or occasionally poop (burying the one item they came to buy in a full basket of things they don't need, buying toilet paper by the roll so that it fits in a shopping bag, etc.). The conclusion was a helpful reminder that you can buy all of those things online. I was completely baffled by the idea that grown women still have a hard time buying tampons. Condoms weren't mentioned at all, probably to respect the reader's sensibilities;
- an article explaining that people who listen to indie rock (check) are curious, politically engaged, non-conformists who don't care what others think about them, while those who listen to classical, jazz and/or blues (check, check, and check) are likely to like literature and have brainy friends. I checked my hands to see whether they'd be stained by any of the stereotypes that seeped through the page but it appeared that the damage was contained;
- an article about how you can stay friends with people who live afar, complete with interviews with pairs of friends in that situation. As someone who's had more close friends living in a different city (or in a different country, or on a different continent) than near me since age about 15, I was unsurprised;
- a four-page article patiently explaining me that I am too fat, too hairy, too pale, too dry of skin (and so forth) for summer and how to go about fixing it (didn't read);
- some bizarre photonovel thingie, telling a crime story, where every picture was accompanied by a short caption ("It was Kate who had killed Jack, in a fit of jealousy over him having an affair with her best friend") and a much longer list of which clothes the models were posing with. Not a single one of those pictures looked like if it was even trying to be somewhat realistic and I puzzled at it for quite a while;
- a lengthy article about whether to stay or leave when things are getting rough in your relationship. I only skimmed through it, but the consensus appeared to be that, regardless of the situation, staying shows strength of character and leaving is for greedy spoiled brats who think they deserve everything in life and are going to be sorely disappointed;
- an article about being naked around others (such as at in a locker room) which turned into whether or not your naked body should make you feel uncomfortable;
- and to conclude, a great classic: a €679 designer desk lamp, helpfully presented next to its cheap, non-designer, €209 version.