The Weekend Ritual
For at least a decade, I’ve held a certain weekend ritual. Not every weekend, but most of the routine ones. And during that blissful period I worked a schedule of 10-6 in college. Mon dieu! I miss my mornings.
The ritual goes like this. I wake up, I make coffee, I read magazines. Not books of fiction nor news articles filled with facts. Magazines focused on art, beauty, food and travel. Pure leisure for my leisure time. The hours after my coffee are when I am most productive, but the hours of my coffee are for creativity. It’s for bathing in ideas, allowing them to twist and turn and connect in my mental picture. Once that image is set, it’s on to the day.
My interest in magazines started as a way to introduce myself to an unfamiliar world -the world of women. As dear Simone says, “One is not born a woman, but rather one becomes one.” Magazines offered a way for me to learn about this unfamiliar territory so I could get there. Not Redbook and Cosmo with their diet tricks and sex tips, but Vogue, Elle, and Vanity Fair. The fashionable and avant garde journals of the modern woman. At least, so they claimed.
The standard life of the Millenial is bearing witness to great change. From the first computers and world wide web to holding pocket processors to keep us connected to everything, we’ve witnessed the revolution of information and communication. Magazines being part of that change. And in these times, they’re a welcome one. While I’m trapped in my house, I take refuge in my ritual. And I’m reminded of how far we’ve come.
When I first started with these magazines, we were still in the age of the supermodel. The Victoria’s Secret fashion show reigned. Coke thin Kate Moss models were the only ones you saw. Not just in the editorials, but in the ads too. Every woman featured was a thin skinned classic beauty. Oh yes, and definitely probably white.
Now? Not so much. There’s a surge of support for people of color. For featuring real women. Editorials still have a ways to go, but at least in the ads and articles, I can see women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and various positions on the gender spectrum. I simply can’t emphasize how much you did NOT used to see this. Now it’s standard.
All would agree it’s been a hard year. But I’ve been exhausted since that November day in 2016 when Americans decided they’d rather go backwards than forwards. To fall rather than rise. Many of my favorite publications have gone down the road of lamenting this political path. But they seem to neglect how much it’s brought them. Laser focused disparities and injustice. Every instance of shame, anger and frustration has urged them to offer a showcase to someone whose voice was previously neglected. And as much as I wish the root cause of this revolution hadn’t happened, I’ll bask in the warmth it gives me for the future.