Do magazines exist to fill an emptiness?

Good Housekeeping
An old Feb issue of Good Housekeeping – what’s bad housekeeping?

We all have emptiness we try to fill up with food, TV, relationships, shopping, drugs etc. I guess that’s just a human thing to feel and do, at a very basic primal and unconscious level. I think we can do better than that, and become so much more self aware.

‘Buy this magazine for a whopping £4 and you’ll be living a full life in no time. (As long as you keep buying this magazine). Packed full of things to buy, places to go, things to eat and wear, your happiness depends on us.’

This is how I interpret it, reading this magazine, made me feel quite sad. I couldn’t help but notice the play on human desires, gluttony, envy and pleasure taking place to sell magazines. Does anyone live the kind of life that’s advertised in glossy magazines? And if they do, how fulfilled and happy are they? I also felt sad because some of the grass in the magazine looks much glossier and greener than mine.

'Add a little love' - what does that even mean? The Beatles always said you can't buy love, didn't they?
‘Add a little love’ – what does that even mean? The Beatles always said you can’t buy love, didn’t they?

I guess the problem I have with most magazines if not all, is they take part in the big lie that certain lifestyles, ideas and things will fill people up inside and make them happy. Full of adverts for holidays, clothes, makeup, jewellery, hair/skin products, articles on how to get good skin, articles about love, ageing, advice and recipes, each part followed by an advertisement of some sort. Call me cynical, call me wrong, but I don’t believe a certain beauty product will be the one that will fix everything, you can’t fight nature. How you look, how your skin is, is largely determined by things like your lifestyle, diet, environment and genes. I just don’t believe the answers to my happiness are in magazines like this, I think they just want to sell me things and plant ideas of a better life because mine ‘isn’ good enough’. It gives me choice anxiety, and the grass is greener all over the place.

How do I possibly choose? I should go to them all incase I make the wrong choice, and one makes me more happy than the other.

Not that consumerism is totally bad, I just want to see a variety of content out there. I want to see a magazine that says, “just be you, whatever that is, is fine, have fun, get out of your comfort zone and take care of yourself. Do what feels right to you, there’s no set rules that work for everyone, experience as much as you can while you’re still alive, whatever that might be.”

I want people to learn that true happiness comes from the inside not the outside, I want their mind to be fuelled with meaningful, helpful things, things like what George Carlin once said “Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body”. In my opinion – trying to be happy by buying monthly consumerist magazines and believing everything in there will make your life better/happier, is also like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.


I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

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