Laughter and contemplation with the first edition of Grazia in 2016

I have been a fan of Grazia pretty much since it’s launch in the UK and while I don’t have a subscription, I do buy it weekly. Last year I tried pitching a few ideas to the editor but they fell short and I was gently reminded that the audience is mainly women in the 18-35 age bracket.

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Having bought the first issue of the year yesterday, I was reminded of the age bracket, leafing through the magazine & before I switched off my bedside lamp, I thought I would write a post about some of the things that ‘grabbed’ my ‘over the 35 age bracket’ attention.

–  January is the time of new year resolutions and one of ’10 Hot Stories’ is dedicated to stopping hibernation and getting fit, with the suggestion that on-trend trackies might inspire you to do that. Sadly all the fitness gear in that feature, alongside all the fitness ads in the magazine are ‘modelled’ by women barely in their 20s who are slim/skinny, of model height and hardly breaking the sweat. That reminded me of a recent Instagramm image of Deliciously Stella, who poked fun at the ‘workout perfection’ phenomenon. I workout not to be pretty but to be fit and well & as far as I know, mere mortals sweat when they exercise & it doesn’t make us any less attractive, in fact i prefer that to airbrushed perfection.

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– I mostly leaf through the magazine but some features or stories grab my attention and I read them from the beginning till the end. One of those was ‘ The life-changing power of giving no f**ks’.

Some of us are born self-assured, some gain that perspective in later life, as experience makes you realise that only opinions of select few people in our lives really do matter or make a difference to what or how we do things. People like to advance themselves or talk about good intentions or supporting endeavours of others, but not everyone walks the walk. Sarah Knight, a self-confessed overachieving perfectionist, writes honestly and with humour about walking away from her senior book editor job after 15 years because the pleasure was sipping away from her life. January is indeed ‘the perfect month for giving fewer f**ks because the festive season is so, so draining’.

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– ‘Let’s style it from the boys‘ – seeing those images made me hoot with laughter and made my husband look at me with raised eyebrows, clearly questioning my sanity, when I suggested he ‘adjusts’ his office attire. Neither was I inspired to borrow those style ideas and incorporate them in my own wardrobe. I know plenty of men who are in touch with their ‘feminine’ side, but I don’t know any who would be drawn to dressing like men in the images below. The whole trend of making men more feminine and less masculine is somewhat distressing, as many already don’t know how to do a simple thing like put a nail in the wall and hang a picture, thus making women less romantic and more tough. If that trend continues, I don’t know what the future for relationship between men and women will bring.

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– ‘Hottest health kicks‘: reading about the things that others say ‘will rock’ your wellness, is always fun but a timely reminder that before we start buying into trends and fads we should really question their benefits for us. The answer is clear how it benefits PR, marketing and brands.

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Streamed Classes: great for those of us who love working out from the privacy of their own home or when travelling.

Fitness Gaming: I know that even young kids love virtual reality, but personally I prefer to do real things, like actually swimming in the sea or going on a rollercoater, instead of ‘imaging’ doing it. A life is worth living & not pretending to do so.

Wearable tech: a top monitoring one’s heart rate sounds great but I draw a line at leggings telling me the amount of calories burnt. Do we really need the earpiece that tells us to chew more slowly or a gadget that tells us to sit more upright? Instead of spending the money on those, I would rather use my mind to do that, for free.

Normcore eating: bless the ‘diets be gone’ slogan – I would ban the word if I could!

Artichoke water: another fad that is based on ‘considerable research’. Instead of paying for that, why don’t we buy fresh fruit or veg and flavour our ‘plain’ water with it at home, figuring out what flavour combination we like? Yes, water on its own might seem ‘boring’ but it is the best source of hydration. I have tried many ‘flavoured’ waters and some of them taste disgusting – I have actually put my own money into somebody else’s pocket in order to learn something that I already knew.

Step it up: the idea behind Bitwalking sounds good in principle, but not sure if there are real benefits behind it for you. I will be wearing my Up3 for now, even though after a year or so of using it, the novelty of checking my sleep and exercise patterns has worn off.

Start sprouting: this idea is not new and has been advocated by some nutritionists for a few years now. Personally I don’t know much about it to say ‘yay’ or ‘net’. What I certainly don’t want to do is ‘over complicate’ my daily eating by the terms or practises without which I have been living pretty happily until now.

Salt Yoga: yes, salt can help to detox and remineralise our bodies – Himalyan salt is wonderful for that purpose in your bath and yes, benefits of salt pipes and salt chambers have been known for years but I think doing salt yoga class is just another fad that will pass. I will be sticking to my Strala yoga routine instead!

Make like a bear: I have been introduced to animal flow by Christina Howells, a fantastic personal trainer, last year and it is indeed a great workout to incorporate into your fitness practise, as it works the muscle groups that we tend to side-line. The exercises are great fun and do benefit your body and posture, plus encourage release of the endorphins, as some of the moves make you laugh, as you see yourself doing them in front of the mirror. Highly recommended!

The rise and rise of the fit robe: maybe it is my age, but I will disagree that ‘leggings are the new denim’. I have butt and legs of which I am proud and that look good in leggings, in which I tend to exercise but I definitely won’t be replacing my trusted denims for leggings any time soon. I held the same opinion aged 18 .)

Mantras: not sure about mantras on clothing or on the beauty products but I love my Mantrabands ( they were launched at Content shop last autumn) – there is a big selection to choose from and you can have it on the outside of your bracelet or on the inside ( I have one each and each plays its role in my daily motivation ). Whatever encourages you to be mindful daily is a good thing, as it helps take small steps towards big changes.

How we’ll be eating in 2016 – with joy and gusto, hopefully!

The new kalejust add seaweed: haven’t most of us already been doing it while eating sushi?

Brazilian barbecue: I will try it when in Brazil or an authentic Brazialian restaurant. And what’s wrong with just flavouring your meat with different herbs and spices, instead of just putting a label on to it, in order to be on ‘foodie trend’?

The new diet: The Sirt Food Diet ‘is a new concept that encourages red wine, coffee and chocolate as they stimulate the body’s skinny gene’.Are we going back in time and choosing skinny instead of healthy? What’s wrong with just eating fresh, seasonal foods that nurture our body? I didn’t want to be skinny when I was a girl and I certainly don’t want to be skinny now that I am a fully grown woman. That is also not something that I will be advocating to my own daughter, as I want her to have a healthy and strong body that will allow her to become a mother in due time. Striving to be ‘skinny’ can compromise immunity, health, wellbeing and hormones, leading to more couples struggle to conceive.

The New super fruit: golden berries. I fail to understand why we need to label food  with ‘super’ labels. Models have to be super and so does our food? Instead of eating ‘dried’ berries that are more likely to be higher in sugar than fresh ones, I would rather eat the fresh rainbow of berries, when each is in season.

The new avocado on toast: pimped up porridge. Please raise a hand if looking at another Instagram image of avocado is making you scroll it out of your line of vision, even if you love avocados? I have been guilty of taking pictures of my bowls of porridge at 26 Grains in Covent Garden though, as they inspire me to experiment with my own bowls of porridge at home. The idea of eating porridge, like eating avocado, is not new, but after eating a bowl of 26 Grains colourful porridge ( Alex and her team always come up with new, delicious and nurturing combinations, be it sweet or sour ) you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Grazia Reader Offer: winning a place at Sweaty Betty & Grazia’s boxing class sounds great but I am puzzled why the model is wearing shades while boxing? Is she shading her eyes from bright sunshine, while boxing on the sea shore or is is because she has a black eye from a previous session? When you box, you should be protecting your head, rather that putting glasses in the way of your opponent and risk damaging your eyesight.

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Luckily I ended up my day on the ‘positive’ note last night, thanks to the singer James Morrison and his ‘Me, My Selfie and I‘. When talking about his biggest life lesson, James said something that really resonated: ‘ You  might think you’ve got yourself all figured out, but you can always make changes. You can always be better than you think you are’. Makes for a perfect new year resolution, don’t you think?

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Categories: Reviews, Women's issues

6 Responses to Laughter and contemplation with the first edition of Grazia in 2016

  1. Joanna White says:

    Galina, thank you for making me hoot with laughter. Your comments are all so true. Some fads are ridiculous and laughable, others are slightly sad, and some verge on dangerous. It is wonderful to read your article questioning what many see as “truth” if it’s printed in a magazine.

    • galina says:

      dear Joanna, thank you for your comment – I am so pleased that my post made you laugh, as well as inspired you to share your opinion. sadly many women fail to voice their concerns on those subjects and magazines continue running with those stories, so of which, I agree, are on the verge of being dangerous, if some choose to follow the advice printed.I particularly appreciate your opinion as a brand founder, as not many brand founder choose to do so, fearing it will affect their ‘standing’ with the press and PR.

      • Joanna White says:

        Dear Galina, My 14 year old daughter’s best friend is presently hospitalised with anorexia. I unfortunately have seen the dangers of valuing skinny and diets distressingly close.

        • galina says:

          Dear Joanna, I am so sorry and hope your daughter’s friend has the right help and caring attitude of not just her family but the medical professionals, who will help her get well when it comes to nurturing herself and her body for good. As a mother to a daughter as well, I find it distressing that such young girls suffer from this sadly quite common condition – did it exist when we were growing up?-, which can have a significant effect on their long-term health.That’s why we, as mothers and women, should make sure that we do our best in raising girl with a healthy attitude to nutrition and beauty. We are all different but for each one of us home-made food and fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables are fuel that are essential.Thank you for sharing your experiences and for voicing your opinions, together we can try make sure that our children grow up healthy, happy and strong.

  2. Liz says:

    Oh Galina, this is brilliant! I’ll have to admit that I’m not reading a lot of magazines, as the eyebrow-raising articles (*cough, body skinny gene, *cough) outweigh the fun and informative ones for me. It all seems repetitive, every year the same posts about workouts, fashion trends, weight loss etc. I sincerely hope that Grazia reconsiders their decision and have a look at your suggestions, I bet your ideas would please their “18-35” bracket too. xx ps. Are you familiar with the “jeggings”, a cross between leggings and denims? I actually enjoy these, thicker than leggings and easier to wear than denims 😉

    • galina says:

      Thank you my dear Liz, it feels comforting not to be the only person who finds this approach of the press somewhat ridiculous. Are we, women, so vain and so shallow, to continue being satisfied by such coverage or is it something that the majority of us really responds to?
      Alas, neither Grazia’s editor nor anyone from the team has responded, so I would imagine that that the status quo will remain as it is for now.
      I do like light-hearted things and variety of views on the issues, but sadly less and less magazines seem to satisfy my urge for education, interesting insights and nurturing the soul.
      As to jeggings, I think I will stick to jeans for everyday wear – where would we be without their comfort and practicality -and leggings for the gym .)

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