Magazine industry joins new feminist wave

Recently while getting my hair cut, a glossy women’s fashion magazine made me feel a bit better about myself.

Magazine industry joins new feminist wave

It was something that had been catching my attention of late. Online, I see quite a large amount of content promoting women’s rights and discussing some of the expectations society in general has for women, not to mention the countless stories of girls in American schools being sent home for wearing tank tops (shoulders, it would seem, distract boys very easily).

There is a huge movement that encourages people to have a low tolerance for these incidents, including Emma Watson’s infamous He For She campaign. It’s become pretty commonplace to see women’s rights being talked about.

But fashion magazines have this stigma for ruining a woman’s self-confidence. We constantly hear about those airbrushed, photoshopped pictures that hold unrealistic expectations for women.

We’re discouraged from buying them so that we may preserve whatever shred of self-confidence we are left with despite all of these rules we must follow. (Side note: one of these rules being women’s clothes not being allowed to have decent sized pockets.)

However, every time I am at this hair salon, I am presented with brightly coloured magazines. I must admit, in the beginning, I scoffed slightly at them, flicking through them with a bored expression on my face.

One day, I stopped on a page for some reason, and scanned a headline. Mildly interested, I read on, and found myself intrigued by what the writer had to say.

Ever since, each time I get a haircut, I kill time by reading instead of mindless page turning. And I’ve begun to notice the positivity these magazines contain.

They are not the frivolous tabloids I once thought they were.

I’ve read pieces that celebrate plus size models, and their success in the fashion industry. There are stories from survivors of eating disorders, or from women who have suffered greatly due to problems with body image.

Most recently, I read an article about a woman who no longer shaves her legs, because she simply doesn’t want to.

She retook control of her body and decided she did not like to shave her legs. And so she won’t. She expressed how proud she was of herself, because the amount of people who would consider leg hair on women to be disgusting is astronomical, even though it’s a completely natural thing. For some reason though, it’s become unacceptable in today’s society.

It’s easy to turn on each other, especially in a competitive industry like fashion; however, slowly, the industry is becoming more flexible and accepting. We make no progress if we simply gossip about each other’s faults.

By working together, the world becomes friendlier and easier to handle. Reading these women’s stories was wonderful. It was comforting to think that these popular magazines are using their influence for something positive.

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