Internet, it is 2:14 a.m. and I am looking at this issue of InStyle like I would look at some dude I’d been, uh, hanging out with for a little while but who still insisted on burping every other second and pinching my ass when I squeezed past him to get the beer he demanded I go fetch because the game was on and he couldn’t bear to remove his hands from the
wasteband waistband (*Freudian typo!) of his pants and stand up. To get his beer or put the toilet seat down. In other words, I’m casting a jaundiced eye* upon this horrible played-out stereotype of a magazine, so I’m going to end this farce of a relationship now. And not by abandoning this project, oh no. By finishing what I started, and getting the metaphorical beer and shaking it up and spewing it in that belching dude’s face. Because, frankly, he promised to get me off and he did not. Which oughta be a crime.
ONWARD WE SHALL FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, HO!
When last I left you, dear readers, I was musing about how Kim Kardashian and that dude she was getting it on with seemed to be having a good time, which is all I ask for when people decide to put their pink parts together. Frankly, as a joyless feminist who hates everything that everyone loves, I think they would have had a better time without having to constantly check the camera to make sure it was rolling and positioned correctly and capturing their best angles, but perhaps I am nitpicking too much at people like to multitask during sex. Whatevs. I guess that’s how some people prefer to get their taxes did. Listen, I’m not judging. I merely created this paragraph so that I could be all OMFG I DIDN’T KNOW THAT DUDE WAS BRANDY’S LITTLE BROTHER!!!
When Brandy was the hot shit and I was wailing in falsetto along to her (fairly conservative) singles, I think Ray J was, like, a fetus or some such. How quickly those little tykes grow up. Ray J? Can we talk for a second? Just you and me? Admittedly, I am not patient enough to sit through the entirety of your video oeuvre, as I find you and Kim Kardashian and the concept of watching other people have sex in general to be tedious at best, but what I saw of your lovemaking was not reprehensible, except for the part where you tried to eat Kim’s face. A few times, actually. When the phrase “devour” is used in a sexual context, it is not usually meant to be taken as literal. If you guys were doing some avant garde shit I’m not privy to, then more power to you, I suppose. But I really feel like you were trying to just kiss her and things went horribly wrong. I’m sorry that got caught on tape and you didn’t have the time to edit it out. Maybe next time you’re remember that *this* on camera comes out like ***THIS***. Except for in anatomical matters. Those pretty much translate directly.
What a weird coincidence! “10 Ways to Look Better Naked” all here on one page, okay actually two. Since I routinely sit in the dark and wonder what the person lurking in my house thinks of my naked form, this list is BOUND to help me out.
First up, get some red/amber lighting in that bedroom, and paint your ceiling a shade of peach to enhance the effect. Wear makeup on your face. Get your doctor to give you cream to obliterate stretch marks. Take a salt bath to shed water weight. Use a trimmer to shape up the ol’ bikini triangle, rather than shave or spend time waxing. (So far on these tips No. 1 obviously wins.)
>>> Put your hair in a French twist so it can be elegantly disheveled at night. Do squats and lunges prior to showering to feel less jiggly. Use concealer on body blemishes. Wear jewelry that points to your ass crack. Exfoliate. There, that’s it. Ladies, you’re welcome. Also? I’m sorry.
Serena Williams is really excited to not be bleeding all down her leg in this tampon ad. I know the feeling, lady.
>>> Hey look, it’s Ginnifer Goodwin, one of Memphis’s own! This mug spread follows her look from 2002 to present. Marvel as her hair is short! Grows long! Is put up into up-dos! Is let down! She blinks! She breathes! AMAZING!
First model of color in this entire magazine pops up on page 147. Aside from Serena a page back, of course, who would fucking kick my ass for insinuating that she wasn’t being used as a model in this context. Anyway, this model is advertising using baby oil as lotion. Funny story: My grandmother shaves her legs with baby oil, and one time as a pre-teen while trying to emulate her, I used baby oil to shave my legs while in the shower. I very nearly concussed myself from all the slipping and sliding around. Moral of the story is: My grandmaw is hardcore.
>>> Sarah Jessica Parker wants to talk about beauty and smelling good. What a WEIRD coincidence, since her perfume had a big ad just a few pages back. I mean, WHAT ARE THE ODDS? Best phrase on the page: “This is like a party in a bottle.” Really, SJP? Because if that were true, it’d be called “tequila.” (If I may be serious for a moment, I just went back and smelled the SJP perfume sample and I like it even more today than I did the other day. What does this mean? OH GOD.)
SJP continues her completely-unrelated-to-that-ad spiel on this page by listing her must-haves (buncha overpriced but well-packaged creams I’ve never heard of). And here’s a gallery of how she’s changed over the years! Marvel as she barely changes in a decade’s time, while I have aged a decade in two years (thanks, work and wine!). I keep getting whiffs of her perfume sample now. I like it. This is weird. Am I being assimilated? What’s that look on your face for? Dude, stop poking me with needles! Why are you putting me in this glass box? HEL-LO!!!
>>> Fish-faced model peddles fish scale-colored eyeshadow. Easiest description I’ve ever done.
Random Q&A about the looks of traditional hotties Charlize Theron and Kate “I Kind of Met Her Once or at Least Stood In the Same Room With Her” Beckinsale. No one cares so I’m not reading it.
>>> Ooooh, editors’ product picks. Surely this will be an unbiased survey of affordable shit I can add to the shit already in my bathroom I never touch!
Mascara ad: Because all our eyes should look like they have caterpillars as ambassadors.
>>> Look, I was being facetious before about the affordable shit but here’s a page with HONEST TO GOD affordable cute stuff on it. Little tissue holders, little tins of wax candles, eye shadow … sure, it’s all pointless but at least it’s cheap pointless stuff, which is basically like the 28th Amendement.
Skinny Cow, which is a really dumb name for a company of ANY sort, has a picture of some sort of chocolate popsicle that seems both improbable and amazing. For 100 calories. It must be the size of my thumb.
>>> HEIDIBOT HAS RETURNED TO CLAIM HER COVER STORY STATUS IN WHICH SHE CONVINCINGLY ARGUES THAT SEALBOT IS QUITE ROMANTIC AND THAT GIVING ROBOT BIRTH WAS “BLISSFUL” (of course it was; all she had to do was sit still long enough to have the USB cable connected to the computer) AND THAT SHE NO LONGER DOES QUOTE UNQUOTE SEXY PHOTOSHOOTS wait, what? Ooooh, I guess she means she no longer poses as a dead girl in the woods. Well. Good for her. P.S. Now that your rose is in bloom, a light hits the gloom on the gray. Which, for bots, means it’s time to have your friendly neighborhood scientist clean out your lint trap and upgrade your software.
>>> Shoes in trees. I can’t even begin to continue to stay awake to make fun of this shit.
>>> Shoes on balls. Please see sentence above.
>>> Clear furniture and jewelry. Just like in that ad at the beginning of the magazine. AGAIN, WHAT A WEIRD COINCIDENCE THAT AN AD AND EDITORIAL CONTENT WOULD BE PUSHING THE SAME THING.
>>> Here we go, catching up with “divas” who had a life-changing year: Adele, Keri Hilson, Jordin Sparks, and Pink. I have to say, their photos are quite cute. Although I have to wonder how they all got their teeth to be preternaturally white. What follows is several pages of catching up with these no doubt lovely ladies, which I don’t have the patience to read. Except I would like to sarcastically say GREAT JOB ON PHOTOGRAPHING ADELE FROM THE NECK UP. We wouldn’t want anyone to be offended by her larger-than-a-size-6 body, now would we?
>>> Disney Cruises. They exist!
>>> Inoffensive smoothie ad.
New magazine department called “Life, etc.” wants you to cut out food in heart shapes in February. I’m not sure why, exactly. Maybe because you’re 12 and you find that adorable?
>>> DiGiorno 200 calorie pizza: For when you need pizza to have STUPID FUCKING RULES.
Here’s a list of ways to say “be mine” or some such February-approved shit. The one and only thing this magazine has urged readers to do that I can also endorse: BUY A BOTTLE OF MALBEC. For serious. That shit is so cheap and so yummy and will SO make you want to make babies.
>>> More Valentine’s Day gift suggestions, all of which are interesting but none of which are as good as the Malbec.
Fancy dog food ad. That little white dog is cute but he looks neurotic as fuck to me.
>>> Creating a serene room comes down to natural fibers, less furniture/clutter, and cool colors. SCIENCE!
Essence.com is advertising some wedding-related contest that triggered my natural revulsion-o-meter, so I had to turn the page.
>>> Here’s a spread on Christie Brinkley’s home style, which is basically as inoffensive as it gets, except for this sentence, which makes no effing sense to me: “For years Christie Brinkley lived the supermodel life of a vagabond.” Huh? Are we talking about homeless supermodels? BECAUSE I WILL NOT HESITATE TO WRITE MY SENATOR ABOUT THIS.
Actually, this spread is interesting because Brinkley lives in Bridgehampton, which is more or less the stomping grounds of my BFF Amber, so looking into Brinkley’s house feels like the kind of familiar voyeurism we all cherish when our friends gain proximity-based notoriety from time to time. That seaside, Hamptonsesque style is really interesting to me. “Casual nautical,” I’ve heard it called. Lots of blues and distressed wood and relaxed white tones. I’m not saying I don’t like it (I actually like it a lot). I’m just saying you don’t see that in Memphis living rooms, for the most part. Also, Christie Brinkley paints. And the things in her house are whimsical. Sigh. I cleaned up a lot of cat puke yesterday and paid bills today. That’s more or less the same thing, right?
>>> InStyle wants you to work out “unpleasant gym situations.” Basic questions are answered with basic answers. You guys know what Google is, right?
StriVectin is a thing that comes in a container that looks like medicine you feed to ailing cattle. Is that my country roots showing through?
>>> OH GOD MY EYES (it’s a credits agate page)
Here’s an ad of V-Day tips and trends that looks more or less that the *real* magazine page a few pages back. Same deal, though: All of this crap looks useless and it’s even more badly designed.
>>> Some crap about Olivia Wilde, who has a great name but ain’t hittin’ on nothin’ with me. Except that she’s a Scrabble fan. Word, lady. Look me up on Words with Friends.
Inside back-page ad for something completely unintelligible involving Ford. And Jessica Biel. And Valentine’s Day. And Jennifer Garner. And Jamie Foxx. And something about the color pink. Is this about breast cancer? Oh, IT IS. Well, by all means. Have a completely unintelligible message involving … awareness … or whatever. I guess if that works for you, then it works. So. That works? Okey dokes.
>>> WE HAVE A BACK COVER. I REPEAT. WE HAVE A BACK COVER. It’s photographically blown out and advertising a skinny blonde lady and her giant handbag. That’s cool, right?
* and I am stealing language from my favorite radfem blogger because, well, she fucking owns.