I owe you an apology. All these years I had thought that women had the lock on self-hate in print form a la Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Even “health and fitness” magazines often aren’t much better in terms of building self worth and establishing realistic standards. But I had no idea until this weekend that your magazines suck every bit as much as ours do.
This weekend I happened across September’s Men’s Health
. This is what greeted me:
Men, this is quite the standard to live up to. Not only must you have an 8(!?!)-pack like D-becks but apparently real men accesorize their undies with a studded Boy Scout belt complete with shiny merit badge. What’s more, you must do your daily workout in only your high-end undies, preferably on a beach. (And with someone just off camera holding your feet.)
Reading further into the magazine, here is what else I learned:
1. David Beckham wears other things besides underwear. Like clothes
! And you can wear them too – for an outrageous price of course.
2. You can cook any food on the gril
l. Any food at all. Even oysters on the half shell and beef Burgundy! Where I come from we call that a camp stove and it’s less of a culinary delight and more of a survival tactic but whatevs.
3. Real men are not afraid of powerful women
like Bionic Woman Michelle Ryan because as long as they’re smokin’ hot and up for some back-of-the-club lovin’, who cares what they do for a living? (Note to M.H.: you picked an actress
as your epitome of a powerful woman? How about picking an actual woman with power next time rather than one who just plays one on TV?)
4. You can totally get six-pack abs in six weeks
. For reals! Just follow their totally doable diet and workout and you’ll be there. And if you’re not, well, what else was photoshop made for, right? Also, because we are good at math, if 6 weeks gets you a 6-pack and eight weeks gets you an 8-pack then by 3 months you’re going to be the hottest mutant evah!
5. Women love it
when you ask them about themselves. Except they don’t like feeling interrogated, so don’t ask them questions. Confused? You wuss. (Charlotte’s note: we actually do really like it when you show an interest in us so do go ahead and ask us questions. Just try not to make them fit in the conversation rather than a random what-do-you-sleep-in list.)
So men, tell me, does this kind of crap affect you guys like it does us women? Do you look at that picture of David Beckham with his unattainable figure and think “that should be me”? Or is there something on that Y chromosome that helps ameliorate that the negative thoughts? And women, are you at all surprised like I was?