It promised much ("the first women´s magazine that is about what we are really like, not just what we look like").
It seemed to have a proven formula (its French equivalent
sells hundreds of thousands of copies each month).
Pulses were racing. Hopes were high.
So, in keeping with the (sometimes) public service nature of this blog, I have waded through all three editions of 'Psychologies'
behalf...Edition #1 [October 2005]:
I've felt the fear and beaten it (p.31). I've plotted myself on the extrovert/introvert scale (p.64). I've learnt five tools to control negative thoughts (p.75) and acknowledged ten different styles of negative thinking and the ways in which to beat them (p.77). I've not only established my own boundaries (p.87), I've also figured out how strong my boundaries are (p.89). I've figured out my dreams and listed the things that might be standing in the way of me achieving them (p.104). I've named my core values (p.108) and learnt how to 'honour' them (p.111). I've also worked out whether or not I am happy with my work/life balance (p.110). I've been advised what to do in the event that I discover that I don't like the 'me' I've discovered (p.111). I've carried out exercises designed to help me take the first steps towards change and self-discovery (p.114). And I've established how my birth order has affected my personality (p.115). I've taken a test to discover 'the real me' (p.126), discovered how to find inner peace (p.156) and established five ways to say 'no' (p.178).
I was left thinking 'what else is there to learn about ME ME ME?'. More, much more, apparently...Edition #2 [November 2005]:
I've taken a colour test which is the key to understanding my needs and desires (p.31). I've decoded men (p.49). I've talked about sex and been advised of the new rules for sex and dating (p.65). I've set my goals (p.66) and established how to achieve them (p.69). I've figured out how to avoid emulating my parents' relationship (p.72). I know now how to bear a burden (p.81) and how to engender an all-round healthy attitude when faced with the opinions of others (p.87). I've been given some cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to reprogramme my reactions (p.88). I've also learnt some clinical hypnosis techniques to overcome fears, neutralise sadness and rehearse skills (p.89). I've got to grips with change (p.97), realised my potential (p.98) and worked out whether I might view any impending mid-life crisis as a crisis or as a turning point (p.112). I've established the wisdom of ageing (p.113) and my attitude to change (p.118). I've been explained the sleep rules (p.143).
But there's no time for a little shut-eye right now, because the good people at 'Psychologies'
have other plans...Edition #3 [December 2005]:
I've learnt how to cope with too much choice (p.44) and established how exactly I make choices (p.45). I've been told how to avoid infidelity (p.49) and what to do about my own social anxiety (p.54). Someone who should know has shared their secrets on how to talk to anyone (p.55). I've discovered how to raise confident children (p.62) and to how to handle a self-esteem surfeit in others (p.62). I now have a good idea of where my core strengths and passions lie (p.69) and how to play to those strengths (p.71). I've taken on board tips for connecting with my real emotions (p.82) and tips to recover from emotional labour (p.83). I've learnt how to talk to my children at the different stages of childhood (p.85) and how to talk to children if I am not a parent (p.87). I'm finding out what is making me blame my parents (p.94) and how I can find new ways of relating to my parents (p.95). I'm now trying not to get stuck in one role (p.100) and working out how my partner fits into the family drama (p.101). I'm brimming with tips for managing Christmas (p.105) and maintaining happy stepfamilies (p.106). I've established my role at Christmas (p.116) and I now have a Christmas vitality plan (p.123) which includes: quick energy boosters, five foods to pep me up, three instant relaxation techniques and how to minimise the morning-after feeling and stoke up for the day. I've memorised fast-working boosts for instant results when it comes to problems with dull skin, pasty complexion, broken nails, flat hair, low energy levels, neglected feet and fuzzy brows. And finally, I've worked out what to do when I can't help getting involved in other people's business (p.170), although given the extensive navel-gazing exercise I'm engaged in right now, I'm not sure I will ever again have time for anyone else but ME ME ME.My verdict:
Well, if this is what Madonna
meant by an examined life, I'm not sure I want it. I feel rather exhausted. If unabashed introspection is the only alternative to shameless superficiality, bring back the handbags, the shoes, the stick thin models and the cute shiny accessories.
Vogue, Tatler, Marie Claire: all is forgiven!Afterthought:
Re-skim-read the October edition and caught sight of the Readers' Survey (p.172). Herein might lie the rub...
Q10 On our covers we want to represent modern, interesting women. From the following list, select the three women who most appeal to you:
* Teri Hatcher
* Nigella Lawson
* Victoria Beckham
* Angelina Jolie
* Catherine Zeta-Jones
* Sharon Stone
* Linda Evangelista
* Renee Zellweger
* Winona Ryder
So, six Hollywood actresses, two pop stars, one supermodel and one celebrity chef. Erm, try 'none of the above' (although this isn't given as an option). Where are the Susan Greenfields, the Lisa Jardines, the Cherie Blairs? Hey ho. Perhaps we just differ on our definition of 'modern' and 'interesting' (where theirs is 'attractive' and 'youthful' and mine is 'modern' and 'interesting'). Hmmm.