For the first time in a while I started reading a magazine. I have no idea how or why I get a subscription to Health magazine, but the cover informed me that it was my last issue, and since I have no intention of resubscribing — since I never ordered it in the first place — I decided to read it. The cover is a picture of a 44-year-old actress who has the body of a 22-year-old. (Of course not the body I had at 22, but I am hoping you get the point.)
Sometimes I wonder if magazines are on the decline because people are tired of seeing how good other people look. The attention-grabbing headlines of this particular issue are “Why Starve? Detox with Food,” which I am hoping means I can eat pints of ice cream and cleanse my system all at the same time. (And for those of you who are lactose intolerant, that is probably what ice cream does to you.) Or another article, “Gym Free Abs.” I have abs, thank you very much — and I did get them from detoxing with food. I really should publish my own magazine.
But I really do love flipping through periodicals, and my mother enjoys leaving me all of her old issues of Vogue, InStyle, and whatever else she wants to get rid of. It brings me back to the days when I knew all the super models. Kim Alexis and Carol Alt were my favorites. (Anyone over the age of 70 or under the age of 35 probably has no idea who those people are, but you can always google them…)
This particular issue of Health had a quiz in it. It brought me back to the days when I read Seventeen magazine and “borrowed” my sister’s issues of Glamour. Those were loaded with quizzes. “What Kind of Kisser Are You?!” “What Kind of Boyfriend Are You Going to Have?” “What Hair/Skin/Body-Type/Personality Are You?” Quizzes that really made you sit and think about the oily t-zone on your face or how much cellulite is too much.
So here I am, 46 years old, reasonably intelligent. Over the years I have established my body type (pear), my t-zone never has been oily, and my personality is erratic, but according to the title of this quiz, “This Quiz Will Save Your Waist!” Will it?
I am sitting down, pen in hand, and I get started. After all, the quiz was designed to “Discover what prompts you to pig out…” And here I am, falling for it. But here was the problem. There were five questions and you were supposed to choose only one of four answers for each question. I was unable to do that. Each answer was the right one.
Now some of you have given me a hard time about being so self deprecating, but this was vindicating my personality defect. After all, if a quiz in Health magazine was telling me that I snack out of habit, my meals aren’t quite cutting it, I am an emotional eater, and I snack because it is there, I am really in big trouble! (Pun intended)
Fortunately, Health really cares about my health, so it gave me suggestions. I should make my late night snacks healthier, I shouldn’t leave junk food on the counter, I should ask myself how I am feeling before I eat my emotions (and everyone else’s — as I am a really good person, wouldn’t want anyone else to binge on whatever is lying around on my counter). Yes, it was becoming very clear to me why I have stopped answering quizzes in magazine.
But it is okay, because the very next article was titled “Social Media Changed My Body.” Instead of reading it, I am just going to assume that instead of going on Facebook while sitting in a chair or lying in bed, perhaps I should only go on when I am standing or walking. Perhaps if I run and look on Instagram, I could change my body too!
Or I could just find a magazine from the late 1970s, sit on the couch with a healthy snack, and reflect upon the time when I was 8 years old, and a woman thought I looked like Brooke Shields.
And if you don’t know who she is, well, the only thing I have in common with her are eyebrows…
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck fondly recalls pulling out posters of Rick Springfield from her issues of Tigerbeat magazine and hanging them up in the basement of her home, because she wasn’t allowed to ruin the wallpaper in her bedroom.