Hypocrisy in a Parenting Magazine (or: No Wonder Women Are Neurotic).

It’s no secret that society surrounds women with hypocritical messages almost 24/7.

“Stay skinny,” says one ad, while another whispers, “but don’t let anyone know you diet.”

“Be a positive role model for your daughter. Don’t let her hear you calling yourself fat,” insists one book. Meanwhile, five others blare, “You’re fat! Stop eating! Get rid of that pooch! Look ten years younger!” from the same bookshelf.

But parenting magazines? Those should be safe, shouldn’t they?

They should have nothing but supportive messages. They should be filled with tips for keeping your family healthy, your wallet full and your children smiling.

They should understand the pressure we’re all under—and do their best to help us cope.

And so, it was with no little interest that I opened the latest issue of Parents magazine to read this article:

Lessons from a Zen mommy, Parents Magazine, August 2011

This sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

Slow down, the article preaches. Appreciate the moment. Try not to stress so much. Stop multitasking. And above all things, remember:

zen mommy call out, parents magazine, August 2011

Good words of advice.

That article actually made me stop and think for a moment. If I knew all I had left was this one moment, would I want to be worrying about the bills I have to pay, or the state of my carpet, or the skin tag making my arm pit unsightly?

You wouldn’t think so.

But then I turned the page to see this:

arm pit beauty from August 2011 Parents magazine.

Apparently, after I learn to slow down and live in the moment, I will realize that I can’t possibly present myself to the world without beautiful armpits.

Because, you know, that’s what zen mommies do. Slave over every square inch of their bodies rather than play with their kids and appreciate the beautiful lives they’ve been blessed with.

Thanks, Parents magazine. I didn’t realize my arm pits should be such a priority.

Tomorrow, after rising before dawn (without an alarm clock) and meditating for 20 minutes, I will make sure I get the perfect pit shave before proceeding downstairs to prepare a macrobiotic breakfast for my strong, intelligent (but not beautiful, ’cause we can’t tell a girl she’s pretty) toddler.

And I will appreciate every moment I spend shaving and moisturizing my pits. Because that’s what Good Mommies do.

Awesome. I needed something else to worry about.

14 Comments on Hypocrisy in a Parenting Magazine (or: No Wonder Women Are Neurotic).

  1. Jen
    July 20, 2011 at 10:16 pm (5 years ago)

    Preach it sister! Seriously, sometimes it just makes you want to roll your eyes, doesn’t it?

    • Amber
      July 21, 2011 at 9:36 am (5 years ago)

      I’m surprised my eyes haven’t rolled right out of my head by now.

  2. Missy @ Wonder, Friend
    July 20, 2011 at 10:47 pm (5 years ago)

    Yep. It’s a no-win & if I let myself think about everything I should do on any given day, my head feels wonky. So we pick and choose what we can manage. But I will never, ever choose my armpits over my kids. (I’m a little curious – what ARE we supposed to be doing with our pits? Aside from shave and deodorize, that is? Are you telling me there’s more?!)

    • Amber
      July 21, 2011 at 9:35 am (5 years ago)

      You know, I didn’t read the whole article. But I believe there was moisturizing and loofah-ing involved. Because, you know, you have time for that during a 5 minute shower.

  3. Rebecca
    July 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm (5 years ago)

    My advice is to get rid of all mirrors, because only when you stop worrying about what’s on the inside will you pay attention to what’s on the inside. And that is what matters most.

  4. Rebecca
    July 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm (5 years ago)

    Reposted to reflect what I *REALLY* meant to say.

    My advice is to get rid of all mirrors, because only when you stop worrying about what’s on the *OUTSIDE* will you pay attention to what’s on the inside. And that is what matters most.

    • Amber
      July 21, 2011 at 9:34 am (5 years ago)

      That’s a fab idea – but one I will never take. As much as I try to hide it, I’m a girly girl who needs her mirrors…

  5. Reluctant Momma
    July 21, 2011 at 6:54 am (5 years ago)

    Oh Amber – I heart this. There is a REE-Dick-Ulous amount of pressure for “Mommies” to be perfect…this just confirms that.

    You should def. slip this article into DD’s baby book…its the really important things that she should remember forever:)

    • Amber
      July 21, 2011 at 9:33 am (5 years ago)

      That’s a good idea. The world’s been infuriating with me. I think I need more sleep (or better moisturized pits).

  6. Jen {at} take2mommy
    July 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm (5 years ago)

    Well said! I used to work at Parents magazine and I’m kinda surprised that the editors put those two stories near each other in the same issue. Usually there are teams of people who look out for inconsistencies like that. I love how you called them out on it and wrote the post in a very amusing way!

    • Amber
      July 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm (5 years ago)

      Yeah, I was surprised too. Don’t get me wrong, I love the magazine. This was just… a little bit tragic.

  7. Allison Dellion
    July 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm (5 years ago)

    That’s what I don’t like about those magazines. Even though occasionally they have helpful articles, that barely makes up for their uninformative, misrepresenting of information in other areas.

  8. Jessica
    July 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm (5 years ago)

    Shaving cream for my delicate pits! Please, that is so passe. My husband would never allow that. He’d probably would punish me by making me buy all my clothes off the rack for a whole month.

    I have been using a wonderful creamy mixture that I would happy to share with everyone.

    1/2 cup of OEVOO, (organic extra virgin olive oil for those who aren’t hip)imported from Italy, grown on this wonderful rustic farm, where the olives are all handpicked by this wonderful old lady that I had a chance to meet when I was on holiday several years ago. It’s a shame that I couldn’t spend more time with her, but my husband and I were on our way back to the youth hostel that our kids where staying at, while we were staying at this wonderful B&B. We were driving and saw their house and all the olive trees, so I took my Jimmy’s off and jumped their fence. It said no trespassing, but I’m sure that was just meant for the local hooligans. I took some pictures of my husband using my 35 MM camera, not digital, mind you; and that is how we met her. She seemed so nice, but I couldn’t understand her since she didn’t know English. The nerve of her, am I right? Maybe next time we will stop back and visit. Anyway… back to the list.

    1 tbsp of minced rosemary grown from my personal garden, some hand-ground brown mustard-organic too of course,

    2 tbsp of hand-ground brown mustard (preferably a brand that used a granite mortar and pestle. Marble will work too in a pinch)

    2 tbsp of Mister Lincoln Hybrid Tea (c) rose petal water(Note Mister Lincoln hybrid tea rose is a type of rose plant, not a brand name)

    2 cups of locally raised-hormone free heavy whipping cream.

    4 cups of 2001 Corison Kronos Vineyard wine

    First, take your whipping cream and pour it in an authentic restored Amish butter churner (anything else and it doesn’t work right)and get churning to make fresh butter. Yields 1 cup of fresh butter.

    Next, combine the the EVOO, rose petal water, and brown mustard and mix in glass mixing vessel. Whisk together to form an emulsion.

    Next blend the rosemary together.

    Whip the butter using a KitchenAid Professional 620 series model.

    Fold the butter and the EVOO emulsion together using a pink silicon spatula.

    Place mixture together in a squeeze bottle-keep refrigerated at 47 degrees F. Your wine fridge would be the best. I use the one that we have in our master bath.

    Then draw yourself a warm reversed-osmosis carbon-filtered bath in your deep Japanese soaking tub, light some candles, pour the wine in your favorite Waterford stemmed crystal, but not the Marquis series-too cheap for this occasion.

    Soak in the tub for at least 45-minutes and then apply the mixture liberally to your underarms. Massage the mixture for a good minute and then shave.

    Voila, it’s that easy.

    Oh, after your done, collect at lease one gallon of the bathwater and reduce by three-quarters on the stove top. Makes a great body spray.


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