blogging mental health

One of the best decisions I made for my mental health and self-confidence

Thursday, 13 November 2014

I used to read a lot of women’s/fashion/celebrity magazines. I’d buy at least one a week from my early 20s way into my 30s. I used to think of it as a ‘treat’ – something trivial and light hearted to read while relaxing with a cup of coffee.

Then I got older and I realised that reading those magazines didn’t actually feel like a ‘treat’.  Reading about how to get a six-pack in 6 weeks, how to have perfect smooth hair,  perfect glowing skin and perfectly coordinated accessories didn’t actually encourage or uplift me. It always made me wonder why the heck do I STILL not have perfectly smooth hair and perfectly flawless skin and why the heck do I not actually give a toss about whether I have the perfectly matching bag for every outfit. It made me feel like I wasn’t quite right as a woman.

I stopped  buying women’s magazines – even the ‘fitness’ ones and it didn’t take long before I felt calmer, happier and more confident in myself, in who I was and what I looked like.

Giving up reading women’s magazines has been one of the best decisions I’ve made when it comes to my self-esteem and my self-image.

For the past decade I have been reading books, some running magazines, some web design magazines and blogs – LOTS and LOTS of BLOGS. Blogs by real people, not ones that have professionally shot photos of people exercising in full make up and blow-dried hair. Blogs by real people are the best – they encourage me, entertain me, uplift me, make me laugh and make me appreciate the true and varied beauty of people.


This month’s reading

I think women are bombarded with so much bullish*t as we go through our teens and 20s and I am so grateful that I have finally, finally, grown up and learned to say no to the BS.

Life is too short to do stuff that is no fun, read stuff that does not inspire you or spend time with people who tear you down.

If you’re looking for great blogs to read, check out the blogs that follow me on Bloglovin (I follow most of them as well) and this great site of stories about runners.

What do you think? Are women’s magazines harmless or do you sense that they influence your self-esteem?  What do you like to read?


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    Oooh there’s a magazine about blogging? Where can I get that?

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  • Leah Tuesday, 18 November 2014 at 14:34

    Totally agree on this – I used to work in PR and so it was my job to read every single magazine title, newspaper and online mag. When I left NZ I decided that it might be a bit ignorant, but I wanted to stop reading the news and the gossip. And so now – I don’t. I don’t pick up any of the free papers on the tube (it’s all negative anyway), I don’t watch the news on TV, and I don’t buy any magazines. The only caveat to this was a women’s running subscription which I got for £5 – however even that I barely pick up these days as it’s very same-old, same-old. Some days I do feel a bit out of the loop on world news and important issues (although twitter helps!) but if I want to know about something I go and dig for it and educate myself. It’s cleared a huge amount of mental space, and made me feel better about myself and the world.

    • MrsB Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 12:19

      Don’t even get me started on the free newspapers :| A few times I’ve been totally traumatised by the stories in them. Twitter is my newsfeed as well, I often find out about big world news before MrB who reads all the papers :)

  • 76sunflowers Saturday, 15 November 2014 at 22:51

    I can’t remember the last time I bought a woman’s/fashion magazine. I rarely buy a magazine at all but when I do it might be Simple Things. A friend leant me some lovely Yoga magazines recently which were a bit of a treat :)

    • MrsB Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 12:17

      I’ve never heard of Simple Things but I did used to buy a yoga magazine when I was into yoga a bit more than I am now. They were nice but very full of ads…

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  • Claire @ Flake and Cake Friday, 14 November 2014 at 22:17

    I LOVE this post – I’ve really cut back on buying women’s magazines at all, I maybe buy 2-3 per year. They are never about embracing who you are and being happy with what you have, it always has to be thinner, more fashionable, successful, confident, sexually talented etc. Ok, sometimes I do find that inspirational but most of the time it just makes me feel bad about myself.
    Plus, when they list the heights and weights of women in the spotlight and even those who look at least an average size 10 seem to weigh way less than I have ever, and are much taller – it is just unattainable rubbish.

    • MrsB Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 12:16

      How do the people who make these magazines sleep at night? I truly wonder… I wonder how often do they think about how much they damage young people?

  • Lucy Friday, 14 November 2014 at 11:56

    Great post, I stopped buying magazines a few years ago for the same reasons. I prefer reading blogs by ‘real people’.

    • MrsB Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 12:14

      I’m so glad to hear that so many women have stopped buying magazines. I have a feeling though that lots of teenagers are still really into them and really influenced by what they read :(

  • Helen Friday, 14 November 2014 at 08:50

    Fully agree with you! I blogged about this as well
    Occasionally I buy a magazine for a train journey and after about 5 minutes reading am calling myself stupid for wasting the money on such drivel.

    • MrsB Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 12:13

      I remember reading that post of yours now. I can’t get my head around how there’s this whole industry that prints total made-up stuff on a weekly basis.

  • Misti Thursday, 13 November 2014 at 22:10

    I agree wholeheartedly, this is a great post! Women’s magazines tend to be too often about some utopian land of unreal, they might as well be all about how to care for your faerie wings or at least pretend to have a pair, because every normal woman should have one :p And then there are some glossy ad pictures about various fake wings you should definitely buy to be a proper lady…

    • MrsB Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 12:13

      Now that you mention fairy wings – I think I must get some!

  • Grenglish Thursday, 13 November 2014 at 21:18

    I stopped buying celebrity mags many years ago for the same reasons and stopped reading them at the hairdressers about 3 years ago.
    I read books and blogs and sunday supplements. Although, I do also still have a subscription to Red magazine, which I have no intention of cancelling :-)

    • MrsB Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 12:12

      I do flip through the Sunday Times magazines but always take my own book to the hairdressers as well. They’re always confused when I refuse their pile of Vogue and/or Cosmo :)