why i read Esquire

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why i read Esquire-instead of women’s magazines…i suppose i’m well past the age of believing there is some magic pot of expensive whatever, that will keep me young. Advertising in women’s mags., i am deeply offended by the barely twenty year old, trying to sell me an anti-aging product that will rid me of…well, aging. Or the beautiful women my age, their skin as tight as a babe’s tush AND sometimes a mannequin, when we KNOW they have filled their faces with botox AND claim it’s the magic pot of cream that made them thus. LIES, all.

Women’s magazines tell us how to organize mudrooms (who knew there were so many mudrooms around?) with bins or baskets from Pottery Barn (am i the only poor person reading Better Homes & Gardens?) or huge laundry rooms big enough to put a table to wrap our Christmas gifts in (really?!) (i can fit into my laundry room without feeling claustrophobic, almost. and i know how fucking blessed I am to have a laundry room at all).

i organized my art studio with blue plastic bins from the dollar tree. it looks AWESOME.

Hypocrisy on every page…anti-aging cream on the young, the skinny woman in the apron, cooking w/butter or the woman, dressed in expensive clothes, showing us how to put our shit away. The first few pages of woman’s mags are ‘don’t eat, but do exercise, then food receipts of cakes & casseroles on the NEXT page. If you’re not eating it, why are you cooking it?!

The undeniable truth is we women feel we do not age as well as men, or we shouldn’t age at all (unless said men proudly display their pot bellies) so we look for magic, within the pages or the drug store, department stores–to become beautiful, or younger, and stronger, and if we can’t do that, we are cooking a lot of food & being taught how to put it on the table. yet, magazine after magazine repeats these things over & over with nothing new to learn about REAL LIFE.

They depress me.

So i read Esquire. The Cold Open is brilliant (more often then not)… there are stories, cut to fit, written by authors THAT write books. WOW. men read? How come women don’t? This month’s ‘The Cold Open’ was written by Mary-Louise Parker–gasp, men read words written by women?!

The MaHB SEX section of the magazine is hysterical, not who has questioned their male parts, but the answers to them.

Instead of looking at beautiful (polished to an unnatural AND unattainable) women, I look at photographs of men in advertising. That is better. I don’t feel bad looking at men with their grey hair & wrinkles, & that ‘too lazy to shave’ look.

Even the Sexiest Woman Alive teaches me a few things about photographing women…although they are usually dressed.

Woman COULD NEVER get away with wrinkles or grey hair & not shaving everything…with their pink razors.

To simplify Woman’s magazines (because they are all the same): You are being exploited, by corporations, for MONEY, because of your insecurities, but we are all insecure about something. AND yet, we WANT to believe.

  1. You’re too heavy & old, buy this $100 an oz. cream & exercise, you cow.
  2. organize your mudroom because they are so prevalent in everyday life–although i call mine, “The Garage”
  3. After you organize your expensive home crap & put on cream & exercise, THEN go to the kitchen & cook massive amounts of Holiday food, but don’t eat it—put the damn magazine down & have a real life. i have wrinkles, bags, my kid’s rooms are a mess, my house is…nicely cluttered. And I take out the trash. What else is there to know?

Read one issue of Esquire.

I read Esquire because it is a smarter, funnier & truthful-even if it hurts, magazine. They advertise cars (women don’t drive?) Expensive alcohol (woman don’t drink?) Watches that can get wet (women don’t wear watches? Even if they are men’s? I wear a man’s watch–because i’m old & I can’t SEE the numbers…)

Mary-Louise Parker is Awesome! She pretends to write to Popeye (yup, the spinach guy) in her new book. It is funny, sad & sexy & dirty…but the ending. wow.

she writes: ” I remember when you went off to trek the Pyrenees, you brought me flowers you picked from the top of a mountain there, carried them back in a tiny woven basket that I saved to this day, even though the flowers are dust. I wrote about us while you were away in a notebook that eventually saw the end of us, but the last I wrote about that time was in ink; it was a hurried, angry scrawl reading: Time, that cold bastard, with its nearlys and untils. I think, what a shame. Time should weep for having spent me without you.”

Sigh.

She didn’t bold the me or the you. I did. In one sentence she describes (to me, anyway)  what time can do & how we waste it, wish for more of it…or try to stop it.

Which leads me to this conclusion,  i know how to bring about world peace (really just the women side)  a woman will never find, nor make, peace…until she feels peace within & about herself.

Toss the magazines that make you feel less then who you are AND read about how cool & unique you are. Find something to read that will make you stronger, smarter & funnier. Instead of worrying about aging…go do something that brings you peace. like dancing around your living room.

35 thoughts on “why i read Esquire

  1. Hello Amy Saab, Greetings from France – just found you via JulieAlleyn liking a post of mine and trawling, as you do, and came across this – irresistible title line – and find myself smiling and agreeing with every word! Way past time for us girls to throw aside the anxieties and get down to some real life, warts, flabby bits and all! Very best wishes from View from a French Hillside – an English girl in France who loves bikes, cars, men’s stuff and men and wouldn’t know what to do with a mud room if I had one! 🙂

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    1. Hello! I am so very sorry about what has happened there. I do hope you knew no one who was injured or…worse. I love that you liked what i wrote, my dad gets on to me for not editing my stuff more carefully, but in my defense, i admit i can mangle a sentence without any effort at all, its in my about page. Here is to embracing what truly matter in life. Thank you for writing! ~amy

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  2. Amy, wow – I LOVED This!! I can’t even look at those magazines w/o shaking my head at the blatant hypocrisy of teens trying to teach elders how to. I just don’t even bother with any magazine at this point. A most Excellent Post 🙂

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    1. Deb, wow – Thank you! I’m glad to read from women, that they too feel a bit ticked off by the hypocrisy. If you are ever in a dr. office & find an Esquire, i promise you won’t believe how great it is. I have found so many authors. I have laughed at food articles. brilliant writers & interviewers there. HONEsty on all pages. I read it cover to cover. ~amy

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      1. I doubled checked, Amy; on my email follow. I definitely do! I have about a people who have done it, not a lot but about 15. And question… could you click follow on the WP part?

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      2. Clicking on the WP part just has you on my readers list via wordpress. I want to get your posts via email, since i don’t have a lot of time to go through my reader. Although winter will have me doing that more often–no gardening! ~amy

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      3. I might ask my sister, as she also follows via email only in the USA…. she could tell me where precisely she clicked on? there are 20+ other email only, followers too.. so I’m not sure WHICH Button they are pressing! 🙂 I wonder, if its from my Facebook Debi Riley artist page? do you want to check that?!!

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      4. that would be fantastic! in Australia. perth. i have 2 pages, either will do. debi riley or debi riley artist FB doesn’t see me as often as WP though, (WP is a time beast)

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      5. Amy, I fixed my “email follow” issue!! 🙂 when you look at my home page on the right side now… is a big button. lol it takes me awhile to figure out wordpress 😦

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    1. Thank you, Joe the author…did you forgive me for my mistakes? Cosmo…i used to sneak it with friends, when we were teenages, because there was a lot to learn there, then. ~amy

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    1. I have a mudroom too, although i call it a foyer or garage. all that matters is mud collects there, yes? I’m kidding. My high school boyfriend had a real mudroom, in Vermont. All the hockey, football, etc was stuck there. it was cool. Thank you for reading it! ~amy

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  3. I am with you, sister! 🙂 We don’t have a mudroom – haven’t a clue what that’s supposed to be, I don’t waste time and money on buying or reading women’s magazines either, and our house is, as you put it, ‘nicely cluttered’, but I love every single bit of it, wobbly wooden floorboards, not-properly-insulated windows and all. It’s Our Home, and that’s all that matters.

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    1. Hello Steven,
      i went to your blog & read your Bio…so similar to mine. I watched my father developing & printing black & white in his darkroom at the age of five. He put his Hasselblad in my hands at age 7. High school, i got a job printing 35mm & 120mm, 220mm (& groan 110mm) film. I was a natural, born to it. I read about your reluctance to let go of your film for digital…i was like that too. Until i realized the final version of color prints, done by a good printer, had been already been edited before they were put in hand. When computers could catch up to edit the digital (and i could afford one), i was happy to see that my images were just as good as they had been. I’m rambling. Apologies. And your comment, “Women are so strong…” that was a fantastic thing to read, written by an honest man. Cheers. ~amy

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  4. An interesting perspective. And yes, you are right, women magazines suck. (The ones one can leaf through at the dentist) And having been in marketing and advertising for a lifetime, I agree totally about the stereotypes. (Plus the ads are getting worse every day.
    “Ye be good naw.”
    Brian

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    1. Thank you, Brian. I’ve got a question for you, if you are in marketing & advertising–why don’t you start your own female version of Esquire? Wouldn’t that be awesome? You could make women happy by the thousands. “ye be good naw” is that Southern? I am a YANKEE to the core, that never washes off, no matter how long i’ve been stuck in Alabama dirt or if i’m wrong–then apologies. Thanks for your comment! You be good now. ~amy

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      1. We would need to find an editor in lieu of launching pink computers for women as some have tried. (There is no end to stupidity I’m afraid). About the “y’all be good”? I know you’re a yankee. Vermont, right. It was just a “clin d’oeil”, a wink. I went to Grad school close to your place: Tuscalooser, Alabamer (Roll Tide). And for the first three weeks I couldn’t understand a word. Eventually “Ah learned me som’ Sudern”. Ye take care naw, o’er ther yonder in Birmin’ham, where they luv the Govner. 😉

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      2. ah, You are a alum of our famous ‘Roll Tide’ grad school…although i forget the real name of that college. I remember the first time i was asked, by a complete stranger, in Piggly Wiggly, “are you for Alabama or Auburn?” i had no idea what she was asking, so i went for safe & named Alabama. As luck would have it, in that instance, she was for Alabama. after i left the store, i called my yankee uncle (who had come down for UAB Optometry school & never left) to ask what the woman was asking me. I’ve never seen such a passion for football. i’ve had the rest of my wee family move here too (not because of me, but because of Vermont Winters) and THEY WATCH BAMA GAMES now. I still march to my own drum. if i am asked why i don’t watch it, i just tell them, i’ve already seen the best football game of my life. my senior year, my high school football team (among them, my boyfriend) make state & then win. best game ever. ~amy

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      3. Haha! You did risk your life Amy. Auburn? OMG! Even worse than Notre-Dame. Auburn is the eternal nemesis, the archenemy. And congrats on your high school team making State. Quite a feat.
        And, yes Alabamian winters though chilly would be tropical as compared to vermont. Though you miss on the ski. Have a lovely week.
        (roll tide whispered) (I wish I had the option of choosing low case to demonstrate. Just turn the volume down)
        😉
        Brian

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      4. ROLL TIDE?! You dare deface my post with this whispered comment?! Brian, once you’ve seen the boys, you loved for six years, kick someone’s ass in a state football game, everything else is just…wind. can you believe i only skied a handful of times? I’m blind in my right eye & judge depth & distance by shadow & size (great for photography) so standing on skies & looking at the ground in shades of white & grey couldn’t be process visually. I sat my ass on a toboggan & sailed over it instead. Vermont is for sailing. Lake Champlain water, seen keeled over almost vertically, sprayed with water & holding onto God only knows what, for dear life…that is what i want. Alabama has wind– although its usually attached to a tornado or hurricane. rambling. apologies. Cheers & have a great weekend. ~amy

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      5. I withdraw the whisper. 🙂 I can imagine skiing with only one eye to be nightmarish. Shame. Sailing is great too. Just love it. Tried to lure my wife into a sailing course years ago, she doesn’t like the water… 😦
        As for tornadoes we had a fair share in “Tuscalooser”. Not an experience I wish to repeat.
        A good week-end to you too Amy.
        Football? Running? Skiing? Sailing? “The answer, my friend is in the wind”…

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      6. You grew up in Africa? Yet you somehow got to Alabama?! I reject your right to withdrawal your whisper, once heard, it cannot be unheard-(sometimes a whisper can be louder than a shout) You spent your childhood in water & found a woman who dislikes it? Talk about opposites attract. Someday, i will find the answer (again) on a sailboat, flying over the water, driven solely by the wind. Thank you for making me laugh, please keep it up. ~amy

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      7. Yes Ma’am! Ah shore will do mah best… Tout-à-fait raison: un murmure peut faire plus de bruit qu’un cri. (Let us not fall in the cruelty of making you deal with Google translator: Quite right a whisper may be louder than a shout) And you are right. From India to Africa to Alabama to Mexico, I feel the urge to wander “back” to the far east again. Glad to’ve made you laugh. It’s one one the greatest and hardest gifts a human being can give another. Be good. (Or bad if good is boring)

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    1. Hi Maureen. I had to buy magazines for my daughter’s fund raiser. i chose a woman’s magazine aimed at saving money (divorcing), Better homes & gardens–because of the crafts for my art kids & gardening tips & Esquire, so i had something to read. 🙂 ~amy

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