"Big Four" Highlights


Behind Those Covers

There’s a world of distortion at the magazine racks

By Hallie Lord

While standing on the supermarket line, your eye may wander to the magazine racks filled with glossy photos of airbrushed beauties. You may wonder what kind of message these magazines send to women. The answer is: nothing good. Judging by the covers, you would be correct to conclude that three themes dominate: sex, weight loss and the power that comes with being “hot.”

These women’s magazines also don’t think too highly of you. In fact, in many articles you – the man – are the enemy who must be fought and conquered. You are needed for sex perhaps, but otherwise are expendable and certainly not worthy of something called fidelity or marriage.

In the world of woman’s magazines, the ladies sleep their way to the top on their own terms, learn to be entirely self-sufficient, and free themselves from the control of men and the confines of the misogynistic society they claim we live in.

Women Magazines

This is the misguided message women get from those thick, ad-filled magazines, and even “good girls” can get sucked into the mindset.

Misguided Media

The divorce rate in America is currently hovering around 40 percent. The reasons for this are many but some of the blame goes to these ever-so-popular women’s magazines. The dangerous messages they seek to impart are wreaking havoc on the lives of women and their relationships. 

The message that the healthiest women are the ones who are sexually liberated (read: promiscuous) is not a new one. Feminists —who remain at the helm of most women’s magazines — have been pushing it for years. They claim that modesty and chastity are products of a puritanical society and are “virtues” that must be overcome. It’s rubbish, of course, but by including such ideas in magazines that are read by preteens they catch those who are most vulnerable to dangerous sentiments packaged in pretty paper.

The inordinate amount of time these magazine spend counseling women on how to become hot and sexy would shock most men. But it follows. When the goal is no-strings-attached sex, your looks are your only asset. Succeed in this department and you’ll be irresistible to the ravenous male species. It is in the irresistibility, they claim, that women will find the power they covet to control men.

All of this plays upon yet distorts a woman’s purest desire to fall in love and settle down. A goal that should bring joyful anticipation becomes a thing of anxiety. These magazines fill her with doubt: Is she attractive enough? Will any man want her if she insists upon remaining chaste? Will another girl, less buttoned-up, steal the heart of the guy she fancies? In the end, lacking confidence and feeling pressure, she caves.

And gets hurt.

Emotional Bonding

Whether consciously or not, in each sexual embrace most (if not all) women are ultimately seeking a man who will cherish and protect them — a man who has their best interests at heart. Even if the man is honest about his intentions, on some level it will come as a shock to the woman that he didn’t become as bonded to her during the sexual act as she did to him. When he eventually moves on this will leave her bitter, resentful and suspicious of men — scars she will carry with her into her future relationships with men.

This bitterness plays right into the hands of feminists who, rather than recognizing that God created men and women to complement one another, view men as feebleminded enemies whose only goal is to subjugate women.

In addition, having embraced the belief that men are inherently untrustworthy, women may be tempted to keep one foot out the door. They may resist fully committing for fear of heartbreak and abandonment. Though they hope and pray for a happily ever after ending, they prepare for the worst, putting career over family against every longing of their heart.

As both a woman who grew up devouring these magazines and as a woman who loves her husband dearly and is committed to him for life, I can tell you that these magazines continue to have negative repercussions in my life. Even though I love, trust and cherish my husband, who is a very good man, there is still a little voice in my head that questions his motives. Because I long ago fell hook, line and sinker for the propaganda espoused by these insidious magazines, this struggle continues to plague me. That is what I resent, not some imagined persecution by males.

But our God is a merciful God. For though there’s a devil on one shoulder whispering lies in my ear, there’s always an angel on the other reminding me of the truth: my husband and my marriage are treasures both, no matter how much the glossy pages of the magazine try to tell me otherwise.

Hallie Lord, a convert to Catholicism, resides in the Deep South with her husband and five children. She writes at BettyBeguiles.com.