10 Things I’ve Learned from Magazines

glamour_jlo2.jpgI’ve had a lot of great teachers in my life, but magazines have been one of the best, especially when it comes to the “school of reality.” Teen, fashion, food, home, human interest … whatever the genre, I’ve been able to learn valuable lessons from all kinds of magazines. Next to my hairdresser, magazines are where I get my best beauty and fashion advice. They’re also where I turn when I need a cool recipe to take to a party, inspiration for organizing my closet or tips to help me budget my money better.

Through the years, magazines have been my confidante in many different situations: when I’m dealing with an issue too embarrassing to discuss with friends or family; when I’ve had a bad day and need a pick-me-up; when I need inspiration to take a risk or step outside my comfort zone. Here are the top 10 lessons I’ve learned from magazines:

1. Change is the best (and cheapest) beauty product. Since I started reading fashion magazines at 17, I’ve seen lots of fads come and go, but one constant I’ve noticed: The latest fashion is always about experimentation. Sometimes trying a new ‘do or an outfit no one would expect you to wear is all you need to feel like a supermodel.

2. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Magazines get a bad rep for setting beauty standards most women could never live up to, but I’ve found the opposite to be true. I’ve seen my body type (petite, pear-shaped) and others featured plenty in magazines, along with advice on how to dress to flatter our God-given figures!

3. Inspiration is everywhere. I’m the worst at getting down on myself when I’ve hit a wall. But reading stories about women who have turned their setbacks into stepping stones to success has shown me that strength can be drawn from anywhere–you just have to open your eyes and look around.

4. A well-written list can solve a world of problems. A lesson from the ubiquitous lists in magazines: Taking time to think before you speak, act or react will keep you out of a whole lot of trouble.    

5. A well-told story can make a world of difference. I’m living proof of this, along with thousands of others who have adjusted their attitude or their direction after reading a story that changed their way of thinking.   

6. Love is a mystery. I wish I could say that all of the insight I’ve gleaned in magazine “love departments” has led me to my soul mate. I’m still single, so I can’t say that. If anything, this is where magazines have given me the most conflicting advice over the years. What I have learned from reading stories of heartbreak and happiness is that love is sacred and not to be taken for granted.

7. Cooking is an art (I have yet to master). Magazines show food the way it should be served–in all its glory with every tiny but key ingredient accounted for and explained. I know this level of cooking is attainable; I just haven’t found the patience to try it yet!

8. Laughter is necessary. Most magazines embrace the idea that life should not be taken too seriously and offer tons of ideas for finding joy in the smallest, most mundane moments.
9.  There are no rules. Despite all of the tips, hints and solutions magazines offer, the idea of tapping into your intuition to find the answers you need is an underlying theme in most of them.

10. Anything is possible. Pick up any magazine, and you’ll find stories of obstacles overcome, barriers crossed and challenges faced. That’s what makes them empowering.

How about you? What lessons have you learned from magazines? We’d love to hear your 10!

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Emily McMackin

About Emily McMackin

Emily McMackin is an editor, writer and perpetual storyteller with an incurable addiction to coffee, magazines, Neil Diamond and Caribbean travel. She resides in Music City USA (that's Nashville, Tenn., ya'll!), where you'll find her staking out live music, salsa dancing, scouring town for the best latte and working on her first No. 1 (book that is).

  • Jennifer sager

    I have learned how to lose weight, get fit, and be healthy. It is just the application I have trouble with.