The Doctor’s Office and the Rag

STARI hate going to the doctor’s. I don’t know anyone who really likes it, but sometimes its necessary…like it was today. Here in Canada we have walk-in clinics…very handy when its hard to get into see your own doctor on a weekend or within any decent time frame. But that’s another story. Once in any office, and once you’ve registered the wait is always long. At least an hour – which in comparison to the emergency room at the hospital isn’t bad but still a good chunk of time you have to try to amuse yourself. I try to remember to bring some reading material with me so I don’t have to rifle through the odds and sods of magazines at the office. Today I forgot.

When I go to my regular doctor’s office the choices on the magazine rack aren’t too bad. They have MacLean’s (the Canadian version of Time), a few good fashion magazines like Vogue, and some variety ones like Chatelaine or Canadian Living with fashion, recipes, and success stories. I can usually immerse myself in some interesting story or trying to memorize a good recipe so I can scribble it down when I get home. So other than having to jump up two or three times to switch magazines, the wait is manageable.

But the walk-ins are a different story which is where I went today. They have the worst selection of rags you could ever imagine – or the best if you like that kind of thing. Tabloids galore. I don’t have much tolerance for them, in fact I usually find them terribly annoying and the only reason I look at them is to confirm that they are still as bad as the last time I read them. I’m never disappointed…in fact, I think maybe they’re even worse. I try to figure out what people find so fascinating about them and why there are so many in print. But then, you just have to think about the slew of reality shows on TV and the talk show craze and you don’t have to do too much figuring. Going back to the days of the gladiatorial games and probably before, people have always been fascinated with the misfortune of others…especially the stars!

So what did I learn today? Well, the first is that there’s a shocking plague of eating disorders in Hollywood. The thing that really gets me is the self-perpetuating situation. The tabloids love to show stars in before and after shots. Under the before shot the caption reads something like “so and so and her curves” and then under the after “so and so wearing her size 0” or “so and so too thin”. How much do you want to bet when the before shot was first printed in the magazine the caption was something like “so and so looking a bit chunky” (and that would be a kind remark)? Part of the reason these gals are skin and bones is the pressure by these stupid magazines for them to be thin to be acceptably sexy according to Hollywood standards. (good thing the doctor doesn’t need to check my blood pressure)

The second is that in order to look like a star you need to have a thick wallet and shit for brains. Just regarding the face and hair you “have to” spend up to about $2000 for upkeep. Four hundred and some odd dollars for highlights and another $200 for a haircut. Then makeup – another $200 for mascara, powder, and lip liner. And finally…and this was the kicker…$1200 for face cream. WTF? Okay, I know they have so much money why does it matter how they spend it…but what about those people reading the rag – like the impressionable ones in particular? And I don’t necessarily mean teens. You can find people from many age groups are desperate to preserve their youthful appearances or to regain them. Why not focus on a star who eats healthfully and show how it affects the glow of her skin and hair? Much more affordable and doable. But so many are on some ridiculous diet and that’s why they spend a ridiculous amount on creams. (you see why its good that no one is checking my blood pressure?)

The third is those stories about how the stars, and its always the same ones, who are on the verge of disaster in their lives or at least their marriages. Angelina struggles with dealing with her disciplinarian mother-in-law. Jen fights to keep the romance alive in Bora Bora (or some tropical paradise), and Gwenyth denies rumours of a break-up despite living apart from her husband. First of all…BORING!! Second of all how hard is it to make this shit up? Let’s try. Grab a photo of one of the above gals from the web and write a story.

Bora BoraJenn Alone in Bora Bora?
Although rumours of her breakup with John Mayer have not been confirmed, Jenn was spotted by our cameras alone on a beach in Bora Bora. Sources have reported that Mayer refused to take the trip with her because “it would be a waste of time”. This on again off again romance is appearing as though it can never again be rekindled if even the sands and waters of Bora Bora cannot work their magic on the estranged couple.

Believable? Well betcha some might believe it if it were on the pages of STAR!! But really, who cares?

And I suppose I should really take that attitude as far as these stupid magazines – who cares? But they’re on the waiting room tables, the racks by the cash at the grocery store, lining the magazine shelves at the book store, under my nose at the corner store, to name a few. AND THERE ARE SO MANY to choose from. So I know people are reading them and that’s what bugs me. I guess I don’t understand the allure because they repulse me so much. But seriously, can’t people find something more productive to read? Even if its a travel brochure…to Bora Bora?

I shall never forget my book again when going to a clinic! That’s a promise to myself.


4 thoughts on “The Doctor’s Office and the Rag

  1. Luckily for me I have you to read.

    This post brought 2 important points to my attention.

    1) Nothing beats intelligence when it comes to a sense of humor.
    2) Is Jenn really alone in Bora Bora?


  2. That is one thing I do NOT miss about America, the visual assault of trashy tabloids in Dr. offices and check-out counters.

    Now why are people who are such failures at relationships elevated to such levels? Why is pretending to be someone you are not well something to extol?


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