So, last Friday, I come home from work and there's a magazine in the mailbox. That's not all that surprising as I get a Scotland magazine, a couple of counted cross-stitch magazines and Cooking Light. What was surprising, it was this magazine.
I would never subscribe to this. I consider this magazine one of the prime sources of fat shaming. Kate Hudson is incredibly airbrushed and Photoshopped. There is nothing about this publication that is, in any way, affirming the shape that you're in. It's all about how you aren't a good person if you aren't a size 3. I don't have Kate Hudson's genes. I'll never look like her and I really do resent having this shoved in my face.
Looking at the address label, it appears I'm destined for a year of this tripe coming once a month to grace my mailbox. I sincerely hope it wasn't a "friend" who thought this would inspire me. Inspire me to do what, exactly? Hate my body because I have RA which makes doing the kind of exercise routine JLo can do an impossibility? Hate my body because I really don't like asparagus and green beans and that's all that spring diets allow you to eat? If you sent this to me, don't own up to it because I will drop you from my friends circle faster than a 15 pound weight. I have no time for this.
I'm also considering this will be my last year for Cooking Light. I have enjoyed reading the publication and I have a lot of recipes to try. The spring issue, which arrived on Saturday, has some great ideas for quick meals that appeal to my not having a lot of energy at the end of the day, but wanting something healthy to eat.
Increasingly, however, both CL and Shape are being taken over by ads. Out of the current 120 pages in CL, drug ads take up 20 pages, twenty! Because the FDA requires drug companies to print patient information some drugs, such as the anti-depressants which seem to be everywhere in the first half of the magazine, have 4 pages of patient information. Other drugs are 2 pages of information. There is an article and a drug ad and an ad for food and an add for IKEA or cookware and suddenly, 8 pages have gone by with nothing but ads. Shape isn't quite so bad but you know athletic companies are paying handsomely for the privilege of outfitting their demonstration models.
And I've never understood why Cooking Light has 3 pages devoted to beauty. This month, all the beauty products featured oatmeal. What does this have to do with cooking? Shape's coverage of beauty is understandable.
It's tough to be a print medium in a digital world. I understand that one needs to find sponsors wherever one can. The money sunk into the magazine from sponsorship allows CL to keep the cost of a subscription where I can afford it. I hope whomever sent me Shape didn't pay through the nose for the privilege. Yet, I would probably pay more to get Cooking Light without at least half of the ads. It's kind of an affront to me to see all the drug ads in a cooking magazine. I'd rather those pages were given over to cookware or kitchen make overs. They used to feature the restaurants of a different city every month. While I don't think I'll ever get to Santa Fe, New Mexico, it was fun to read about local cuisine and then to have a few recipes from area cooks. This month, they had a very brief article about using edible flowers to grace your cooking. Why couldn't there be a column on gardening and using what you've grown in your cooking? I suggested they pair up foods with non-alcoholic beverages, for those of us who don't drink. I've yet to see anything like that.
The other thing that makes me inch toward not renewing is the sheer amount of crap ads in the back 10 pages of the magazine. You know which ones I'm talking about. "Lose weight with this amazing pill!" There must be 3 full pages of ads like this. Weight gain powders. Muscle firming tinctures. They are all right here. Shape is less of an offender here mainly because they can print yet another "amazing and fantastic" diet every month in the front pages of the magazine.
Hence, I think my years with Cooking Light are coming to an end. It's getting harder and harder to page through the magazine and justify what I'm reading with how the magazine is laid out. Fully half of it is ads. I'm bombarded enough as it is. Show me what to do with the fresh food from the Farmer's Market that resumes the first Saturday in May. I'm on a tight budget. What can I make which will keep in the fridge for a couple days to take to work and doesn't use something I've never heard of, and I consider myself fairly well-versed in food? What are the 10 essential utensils I should have in my kitchen and why? There are so many things which could be covered that don't have anything to do with my irritable bowels or my cholesterol. Thankfully, I can just chuck both into the recycling can.
Beverage: Dr Pepper