Life According to Women’s Mags

Where the Expression “Women Are Crazy” Comes From

  • Graphic Guillaume Choinière

I don’t remember when it happened, but I’ve lost touch with what girls are supposed to be.

I use to take it for granted that I knew. I spent years subscribed to YM and Seventeen magazines, following their girl advice religiously.

When yellow lipstick was in, I spent a season looking like I had contracted adult-onset jaundice—and I couldn’t have felt more glamourous. Short jackets are a winter must-have? Goodbye $200, hello desperately pulling this thing down every time I move.

As I got older, I fell off the wagon. I stopped caring what was “in” and I stopped feeling bad because everything I did was somehow wrong. Whoops.

But recently, I moved in with three Girls—with a capital G—who still read fine girl publications. So I’ve become aware of what I was missing.

The girl world has progressed into the future, with research and studies trumping random advice-givers. Obscure studies are now the cornerstone of groundbreaking advancements in the sphere of girlology.

Perusing the pages of magazines like Cosmopolitan, Elle and Shape is really helpful. I can finally play catch-up.

First, the sight of salad is always hilarious and uplifting. Every time a woman is pictured with salad, she can’t contain herself and a burst of joy appears all over her face.

Also, if you’re microwaving some low-sodium, low-fat soup, don’t think that having a non-meal is enough girl-effort. According to Cosmo, you’re missing a perfect opportunity to do squats (as stated in the article “Easy Ways to Burn Calories”).

Another idea from the same article? Tap your toes. Do it 25 times while you’re at your desk, then switch to the other foot to wipe out a whopping 12 calories.

Tapping is good, but freezing is better. Feeling comfortable? Lower that dial, recommends Shape magazine in “22 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2 Minutes or Less.” Being cold constantly does sound like a good way to improve my room-temperature life. Girl Note: being uncomfortable = improvement.

“When you expose your body to cooler temperatures, it responds by generating more body heat, which raises metabolism,” said their weight-loss expert Scott Isaacs.

And that advice fits perfectly with the next tip—jump around.

“Do at least 15 seconds of jumping jacks for a natural energy boost that won’t lead to jitters or a crash,” the article states.

But if spontaneously bursting out into jumping jacks doesn’t suit your lifestyle, Cosmo to the rescue! Even powerful career women can get in on their advice.

“While it’s awesome that so many of us are moving up the corporate ladder, it turns out that all that time sitting at our desks is bad,” states the Cosmo article “Women Need More Activity.”

“Just get off your butt and take a quick lap every now and again. Who knows? Maybe you’ll spot a new cute guy on the floor while you’re at it.”

Finally, an incentive.

And if that cute guy brushes you off because you’re the crazy person doing laps around the office? Oprah’s O magazine has an answer to that too: Doodle. Doodle the pain away.

O uses a Boston College study to advocate doodling “things like flowers and the sun” when you’re down. Because, according to the study, it boosts mood. Thank you for sharing, O. I haven’t doodled in so long I forgot how healthy it was. This study was of adults, not preschoolers, right?

But being happy can be a bad thing, too. At least, if your boyfriend is happy, it’s a bad thing. It means he’s cheating.

“If your guy is suddenly going around all happy and whistling, then you need to find out why,” stated Mira Kirshenbaum, author of When Good People Have Affairs: Inside the Hearts and Minds of People in Two Relationships, in the Cosmo article “How to Tell if a Guy is Cheating.”

So here’s my game plan for tomorrow:

Wake up and make a fruit salad. Laugh uncontrollably. Do jumping jacks. Leave home without a jacket to maximize my metabolism. Go to school and tap feet under my desk all morning.

If people give me weird looks, pull out the crayons and doodle flowers growing under a big, pretty sun. Go to the microwave and heat up a low-fat lunch. Do squats. Say “Hi” to the communications students in the CJ Building who don’t know who the hell I am, mid-squat. “Hi guys!”

Notice a friend’s boyfriend seems happy. Warn the friend that it’s game over. Go to the office. Insist that all the windows be open so I can maximize the coldness. After two hours of sitting, jog around the sixth floor of the Hall Building. Stop jogging only to hit on random men.

This sounds great. I can’t wait to rejoin the mainstream. Although maybe all this good advice should come with a warning label on the cover of the mag dishing it out.

If it doesn’t, maybe I should wear one. It’ll say, “Girl for a Day,” and there’ll be the doodle of a sun.

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