My ‘guilty pleasure’ is reading glossy tabloid weeklies. Pages that I can just leaf through without engaging brain. ‘News’ which is so trivial, it is entertainment.
I’ve always said, however, that when BabyGirl and BabyBoy get old enough to notice these magazines, they will no longer be in the house. For I do not want them growing up thinking the real world is only about Hollywood celebrities, fashion and beauty aids.
But I may be throwing them out sooner, for my own sanity.
Ever (and only) since my twin pregnancy, I have been conscious of my body. Particularly the welter of stretch marks and loose skin which now mar my tummy. I’ve been advised that a tummy tuck is the only way to fix that. And I’m not (yet?) ready to put myself through that major operation and the consequent downtime.
So when a headline screams, ‘Look at how amazing this new mum looks! Amazing abs! Gorgeous tummy!’ a little part of me sinks. Often I can talk myself out of the dip – the photo’s been retouched, it’s a great angle…
…they might have had surgery / excellent make-up….
…they’ve only had a singleton pregnancy….
…oh heck, they’re just lucky….
…why am I unlucky…
…cue falling into a little well of self-doubt and self-criticism.
It’s silly, and I know it’s silly, because with my clothes on you’d never know I have a ruined tummy, the only person who sees me with my clothes off – bless him – isn’t bothered, and it’s not like I spend hours looking in the mirror at myself.
So really, it makes no difference that my body has changed.
But those perfect photos in those magazines make me doubtful.
And if this media can make me, with all my education and media literacy and years of experience and the backup of a solid relationship, doubt myself….then what effect might it have on an impressionable teen or tween?
Yes, it’s time for the trashy magazines to go in the trash.