April 30, 2007
Health Magazine: WTF happened?
Once upon a time, many, many, years ago, Crabby subscribed to a health magazine called Hippocrates. There weren't a lot of health magazines back then, and this, despite its nerdy name, was very cool. Crabby loved it. Written for intelligent non-doctors, its pages were full of actual health and fitness research, careful analysis, and sensible suggestions.
And it was fun to read. It really was! The writers were skeptical and amusing and irreverent. (Mary Roach, whom Crabby greatly admires, was one of the contributors. She's been at Salon, and wrote darkly funny books like Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Don't miss her).
But over the years, the magazine "evolved." And by "evolved," Crabby means: changed its name a bunch of times, sold it's soul, and went straight down the toilet.
The sad thing is, it's still probably one of the best women's health magazines out there. Please, dear readers, tell Crabby she is wrong and there is a better one and she will gratefully subscribe.
Let's just look at some of the informative articles on the cover of the most recent issue of Health: "The Most Slimming Swimsuits EVER," "Secrets to frizz-free hair," "Hotter Sex Tonight," and "A nice, firm butt in 10 minutes!"
Crabby is curious about that last one, having not read the issue yet. Firm butt? Ten minutes? Really? Is lamination involved?
Health has turned into a f*cking "Women's Magazine," not a health magazine. Page after page of make-up and fashion tips, skinny plastic-looking models, superficial takes on complex health issues, insanely unrealistic promises.
To be fair, there are usually a couple of good articles in there. But the whole magazine used to be good, and now it's mostly crap. (Crabby still reads it, but grouses the whole way through).
She can't even entirely blame the people who run Health magazine, because they're only responding to the market. They tried being informative instead of superficial and lame-brained, and it didn't work for very long. They couldn't sell enough copies that way, so they had to switch to what women would pay to read.
And most women apparently want another fluffy beauty magazine. Because Lord knows there aren't enough of those out there already.
So readers, ponder any of these questions: is Crabby just being a bitch? Do any of you read health magazines, or do you get your info elsewhere? Alternatively, has anything else you used to like gone down the toilet?