I went to the doctor the other day. While I was scanning the waiting room looking for something other than my emails to read, I spotted this gem of a magazine cover.
Someone please tell me this is a joke. Look at that woman. I have never looked that good in my entire life, and Lord knows I didn’t look like anything remotely close to that good when my daughter was 4 months old.
What’s wrong with this picture, you ask? Oh, where do I start?
1. That woman is gorgeous. I’m not anti-pretty women, don’t get me wrong. But raise your hand if you ever looked anything like that 120 days after giving birth. Exactly.
2. Look at her hair! Who has hair like that? None of my mom friends have hair like that. (Sorry, guys.) Our hair is fried and limp and tired.
3. Her earrings. Look at her earrings! Moms holding babies don’t wear earrings like that because babies love to grab onto earrings like that and swing from them like a trapeze artist in training. Just seeing earrings that big on a mom ignites a fear so visceral that other moms gasp and suck in air all the way from their pinkie toes.
4. Their clothes match. Heaven help me.
5. The first headline. “Boost your baby’s brainpower.” What brain power? It’s practically still mush. And when my kids were that age, the only thing I was looking to boost was the amount of time I spent horizontal in my bed.
6. The third headline. “Fast, healthy purees your cutie will love.” What? By the time I got to this headline I could feel a migraine coming on. Does anyone know what it’s like to feed a baby that age? It’s a nightmare. A nightmare. When my kids were that age I had to psych myself up for hours before mealtime (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can). So, no, that time was not spent making my own baby food.
7. The last headline. “A simple plan to return to your slim, sexy self.” Holy hell. There are so many things wrong with this statement, it’s hard to figure out where to start. A “simple” plan, huh? Simple? You have a newborn baby at home, bags under your eyes, a muffin top exploding out of your pants, an addiction to red wine, a sleeping schedule that would bring most grown men to tears, and a duffle bag full of self-doubt. But don’t worry. Eight paragraphs in a magazine are going to show you a “simple” way to forget all that and transform yourself into a supermodel.
I can’t believe pregnant women are subjected to this stuff. It should be illegal to prey on the weak this way. In case you haven’t seen enough, here’s some more:
Now, I’ve been trying to put myself in the publisher’s shoes and imagine what they’d say in their defense. The truth is, I know exactly what they’d say:
First, they’d say, “Our research shows that women want to see aspirational images.” Of course. As human beings we enjoy having something to strive for in life. The problem is this: that image and those articles are not what we’re striving for!
- I do not aspire to dress in the same color palette as my daughter.
- I do not aspire to have my daughter rip my earrings out of my ears, necessitating plastic surgery to stitch the lobes back together.
- I do not aspire to make my own pureed baby food. That sounds like a terrible way to spend my time.
Second, they’d say, “XX million mothers buy our magazine, which means our content resonates with them.” I want to see names and addresses. Maybe it’s just doctors’ offices buying them in bulk. There were five copies of this magazine in my doctor’s office alone. Not one of them had been opened.
I wonder why.
I love the idea of a magazine for pregnant women and new moms. I just think said magazine should solve some of the challenges new moms actually face.
What is so wrong with the truth? Having a baby is hard. It’s demanding. It’s exhausting. And that’s OK.
In all honesty, here are some headlines I’d like to see on the cover of Fit Pregnancy:
- Stretch marks are hereditary. Go look at your mom’s stomach to see if she’s to blame.
- Five ways to quickly and safely hide your muffin top.
- How to get through mealtime without losing your mind.
- You’re not alone. Every mother doubts herself. Turn to page 47 for the truth and you’ll feel a whole lot better about yourself.
Now that would be a magazine worth opening.