Column: Magazines are my idea of Elle

I don't read women's magazines any more. I used to love Elle growing up, I'd steal the my mum's copy before she had even opened them.

Anouchka Santella
Anouchka Santella

Back then the idea of reading Elle meant you were a grown- up, or at least a teenager, and that was my absolute dream.

I felt very mature and cool even though I was skipping most of the articles and only reading the “celebrities” sections.

I read Man Repeller now, which I guess technically falls under the category of feminine press but for some reason I don’t quite see it like this. Maybe because it’s on the internet, maybe because I like it better, who knows.

Anyway, when my mum visits she still brings me whatever magazine she’s been reading that month cause I still like to see what’s going on – and it’s free.

I didn’t anticipate how much I’d hate them though.

First of all I I genuinely feel like I related to them more as a 12-year-old girl than I do as a 24- year-old.

Maybe it’s because the writers are older than me, and the target audience is somewhere between me and my mum. I don’t know, but I’m not bothered by many of the articles.

That’s not quite enough to make me hate them though. No, the hatred comes from another part.

Last month my mum brought me a 250-pages magazine (200 of them adverts).

I started reading the first article about “#squadgoals” that sounded like a 55-year-old woman who feels like she’s “in” because she has Instagram and a 15-year-old daughter telling us about that new cool thing she’s heard about and uses on all of her pictures now.

The second was about some feminist cause and why it’s important to be a feminist and support the cause.

The third article was “Glitter and other things over 40s shouldn’t allow themselves”.

The following page was full of patronising words explaining to women over 40 why their skirt days are over, why they shouldn’t be wearing anything too revealing any more and why having even the smallest amount of glitter on their eyes will make them look like some pathetic mum who tries to crash her daughter’s birthday party.

However, hashtagging “squad goals” on all of their pictures is fine.

The next was about the wrong image media and society are sharing that women need to be young and skinny. By that point even the size 4 model on the cover looked like she was ashamed of being in the magazine.

I guess as much as feminism becomes a thing, so does faux-feminism.

Telling women they can’t wear certain things because of their age after writing an article about why feminism is important is pretty much the equivalent of a burger ad in a vegan pamphlet.

I guess saying that women a certain age can’t use “#squadgoals” is also wrong, but in my defence I don’t think anyone should.

At least I’m not a sexist bully. I’m just a bully.