By Holly Austin Smith — From her column Speaking Out in the Washington Times
WASHINGTON, November 3, 2012 – Grocery shopping with my parents on weekend afternoons was a boring chore in intermediate and middle school. However, I went along and helped to carry packages of hotdogs, baked beans, and fish sticks in order to reap my reward in the end: a fashion magazine.
I flipped through the pages and pictures, the articles and quizzes, taking my time to pick the magazine with the most relevant topics to make me cool, to make me popular, to make me Hot!
Once we were home and (most) of the food was unpacked, I sprawled across my bed to study every page. I dog-eared any article, advertisement, or beauty tip promising to make me over. I scooped mayonnaise from the jar and onto my head in order to tame my frizzy hair, and I poured peroxide and baking soda over my toothbrush to whiten my teeth. I ordered painful hair-removal products, wasted money on bronzing lotions that turned my skin orange, and I stole pockets full of products from Rite-Aid, including foundation, nail polish, and facial cleansing oils.
But it wasn’t enough. Nothing made me look like the alluring models in the magazines.