Self (tagline: "You At Your Best") is supposed to be the healthy, life-affirming ladymag. But take a look at the August cover. You've got articles about diet, skin, butts (of course), sex — and electric bills. Swap Rebecca Romijn's sporty shorts outfit for a gown, and this cover would be indistinguishable from Cosmo or Glamour. And it's pretty much like those mags on the inside too, except where Cosmo kind of owns its brain-rotting silliness, Self couches everything in an obnoxious rhetoric of self-improvement. It's like candy disguised as vegetables, except the candy tastes bad, and makes you feel bad about yourself. A breakdown of this month's crappy advice for several aspects of your life, after the jump.
— Rene Todd talks about how she started dieting because, 3-4 months after her delivery, "there was no excuse for still wearing my maternity clothes." Except, maybe, you know, caring for a new baby (p. 32).
— Waiters and waitresses list all the terrible mistakes women make when eating food. We order "extra bread, always, and then ask for more." We "do funny trade-offs, such as ordering a salad but then having three or four margaritas." Gosh, we girls are so dumb! Luckily this feature also includes a bunch of classic ano tips like dipping the end of your fork in dressing instead of putting it on your salad. (p. 82)
— SELF recommends you "schedule a chocolate break." Which is easy if you melt the chocolate right onto your alarm clock. (p. 86)
— Like Glamour, SELF has a "fashion for every body type" feature (p. 72). SELF sets its version apart, however, by making it really hideous.
If you're curvy, for instance, it's disco time!
—"To stay focused and true to yourself," Lois Barth writes, "try creating a personal metaphor" — perhaps "an acrobat in a spangly leotard, spurring you to stretch yourself while squeezing in more fun." Because now even fun is something you need to "stay focused" on. (p. 21)
— You've heard of books that analyze your nightmares, but what about your daydreams? By definition these happen during the day, when you're conscious, but apparently they too need third-party interpretation. SELF's guide can help. For instance, if you're daydreaming about revenge, it might mean you don't like someone. Solution: volunteering! (p. 97)
•And, Most Importantly, Your Skin
— Don't drink from a water bottle — it will give you mouth wrinkles. Also, don't drink from a straw. (p. 48)
— Is your dull skin making you look OLD? You should probably try being happier. It's easy! Just "test different forms of stress relief to find what works for you." (p. 36) My favorite stress relief: not reading SELF — until next month.