RANT: All That Glitters is Not Gold

RANT: All That Glitters is Not Gold

It’s the holidays. I’m on leave and, although bumbling after a toddler fills much of my day, I foresaw that I’d perhaps have a little extra time to read.

I haven’t read a full book, cover to cover, in over three years. It’s devastating.

I didn’t want to be over-optimistic, so at the start of our holiday, I popped into a supermarket and picked up a magazine. I’ve never bought a magazine – a heinous admission from someone who works in marketing – so I browsed and browsed, and finally settled on an internationally-recognized, top shelf, glossy title. 

So, I’ve tried it. Maybe magazines just aren’t for me. I thought it’d be like reading a blog… on paper. But it wasn’t. It was revolting. 

Not only were there several typo’s throughout the magazine, there was simply no substance to what was written. I tried to read an article about a sports figure, and after a page and a half of waffling about herself, the journalist finally launched into a weak and shallow analysis of her actual topic, telling me nothing that I really wanted to know. 

I tried to browse the fashion section, but almost everything was unaffordable, and the models all looked bitchy or smug. It’s like they wait until these gorgeous girls all have full-blown PMS before they line them up in ridiculous garb for a photo shoot. Or maybe the models are just as equally peeved that they can’t afford the R 30 000 Louis Vutton back-pack that they’re stringing along behind them. Regardless, it seems that according to this magazine, smiling – or any sort of sincere happiness – is totally taboo. 

And yes, you heard right. A back-pack going for a breezy R30k. And a small one, at that, maybe big enough for a wallet and a set of keys. That’s another thing that got my knickers in a knot – the advocation of pure and utter waste. I’m not saying we should all live like paupers but there is seriously something wrong with this world when some women pay R30k for an accessory, and some women can’t even afford sanitation every month. Maybe there’s something to be said about communism, after all. 

Not that this magazine would have anything to say about important matters, like politics or belief systems or world issues. No mention of Syria or charities or raising good kids into good people. Nope, it’s all primp and shine and glitter and gold. It’s how to look good (bitchy, remember?), how to appear smarter to your colleagues, how to dress for that, and what cosmetics are best (most expensive) to paint that successful, air-brushed facade.  What so-and-so did to get rich and which brand whats-her-name wore to a red-carpet event last month. 

I sound bitter, I know. But I am. I’m bitterly disappointed that women and girls are filling their minds with this shallow trash on “beauty” and “success”, when I could name fifty blogs that I’d rather read, with meaningful, bone-deep content that touches the heart and inspires change. Not just a change in hair colour.

I guess I need to be fair to the editorial world: I only read one magazine. And there must be hundreds out there, with at least a handful of decent ones, with well-written, meaningful articles hidden inside. But how do you seed them out from the rest of the filth, without completely losing your soul to all the lies within those glossy pages? 

Perhaps, once this bad taste has left my mouth, I’ll venture to pick up another title and give it another try.

For now, I will happily go back to bumbling after my toddler, wiping up spilled juice and combing knotted hair into braids. I will go back to where smiling really means I’m happy and wearing a 100-buck satchel over my shoulder is totally OK, because it fits both a sippy-cup and bag of chips, and my budget.

I’m fine with that, thank you very much.