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May 2, 2013 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Reductress is a new site that does to women's magazines what The Onion does to newspapers. There's also an interview with the site's creators
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (42 comments total) 74 users marked this as a favorite

 
see, this was needed.
posted by percor at 7:10 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank goodnes, something to replace the void that Sarah Haskins left in my life when she left Current.
posted by windykites at 7:17 PM on May 2, 2013 [15 favorites]


L’Oréal Launches Line of Anti-Bullying Makeup for Young Girls

I laughed.
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on May 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Needs "Fat? Hate yourself!"
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:37 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh god, I laughed so hard I nearly peed myself when I saw the premise of the Rape in America interview.

It's funny because the world is dumb.
posted by phunniemee at 7:40 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I look forward to folks spreading these articles accidentally unironically:

"Challenge Your Daughter to Say One Nice Thing a Day, Even if It’s Hard for Them."
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:41 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


How Infidelity Can Spice Up Your Marriage

Some of this isn't even parody. I'm confident I've seen that one on a magazine cover in a checkout line at least once.

Also, "womanspiration" sounds like what an ex of mine used to humorously call "body dew". As in, this isn't sweat, it's body dew.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:43 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) tweeted about this this afternoon and crashed the site. It looks hilarious. Or shall I say "hysterical".
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:45 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Needs "Fat? Hate yourself!"

You Don't Do Yoga? You Obviously Hate Yourself.

(Oh my god: "Because you’re practicing to become a better human being and eventually, by breathing deeper, silencing your thoughts and moving your body into warrior and animal poses, you will become one. And you know what they say – practice makes perfect. You want to be perfect, don’t you? You don’t want to keep being such an asshole?")
posted by en forme de poire at 8:00 PM on May 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


George_Spiggott: " As in, this isn't sweat, it's body dew."

My wife insists that she doesn't sweat, she *glistens*.
posted by notsnot at 8:06 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Leave little notes that you may casually encounter throughout the day.
Stick a post-it on your bathroom mirror that says, “You are the most beautiful hooker I have ever seen.” Make the lock-screen on your phone say,“I am a powerful whore.  Success is mine for the hustling.”  That way, you’ll be reminded of how great you are every time you pick up your phone.


Man this is soooo good. This is like, yogurt commercial good.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:16 PM on May 2, 2013 [26 favorites]


Omg dying: Rain of Terror: n. Storm that suddenly starts when you’ve just gotten a blow out.
posted by estlin at 8:18 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is brilliant stuff. Thank you for finding and posting it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:30 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Beyoncé Admits to Being a Member of the Illuminati

I am in tears.
posted by mykescipark at 8:35 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Heh, most of these look exactly like those "From around the web" links at the ends of articles from any vaguely low-quality source.

From around the web:

Sixty-one shocking fruits that will give you gas AARP.com
This season's hottest chaise longues you won't want to miss! ChaiseBistro
All-new tax loopholes for rich people Forbes.com
The crazy new class binder Malia doesn't want you to see! SchoolTeenz
Why I got my children neutered Contention Today
Honestly just straight-up photos of celebrities' private parts We Give Up
posted by threeants at 9:04 PM on May 2, 2013 [14 favorites]


Also, "womanspiration" sounds like what an ex of mine used to humorously call "body dew". As in, this isn't sweat, it's body dew.

*Body dew!* That's great! All this time I've been calling it 'skin jizz'.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:56 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


My wife insists that she doesn't sweat, she *glistens*.

I gleefully tell everyone who will listen and many who would prefer not to that I am a veritable gorilla in the mist.
posted by elizardbits at 10:00 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


YES.

So glad this exists.
posted by naturalog at 10:19 PM on May 2, 2013


Aha. Hahaha. A-HAHAHAHAHAH!!!

So wrong. So right.

Thanks CIS. Bookmarked in the bar.
posted by kadonoishi at 12:21 AM on May 3, 2013


OK I thought some of this was a bit weak sauce, but Female Genital Mutilation ... well played.
posted by crayz at 1:02 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


My ideas for some strong editorial statements:

20 Celebrities With Hardly a Speck of Makeup – still way, waaay hotter than you! Just give up already.

Before & After: When Plastic Surgery Goes Wrong – These famous people look so much much worse than they did 30 years ago! Why would they do that to themselves?

How to do a 5-Minute Perfect "Smokey Eye" that Will Last All NightSssssh, don't tell! The strippers' secret no one knows: Marks-A-Lot!

The Single Girl's Apartment Makeover – Do your eyes say "yes" while your shabby Ikea furniture screams "ew"? Our DIY Guide takes you from Hornets' Nest to Love Nest in one easy bank loan!

Is Sawdust The New Superfood? Some studies show that nibbling sawdust can help you lose up to 10 pounds a week with no hunger!

Do Your Knees Make the Grade? Don't be left behind! Read about the new 10-minute miracle surgery [not including recovery period] for bony, chunky, pointy, or plain-Jane knees that is sweeping Hollywood!

Some Surprising Things You Can Learn From Older Women – Three wily women with wrinkly wrinkles share their wonderfully wicked-sick sex tips for winning hearts and minds in the bedroom!

EyeCry: Why You Weep Alone at Night – New research indicates that no matter what you do, it's probably wrong, useless, and almost certainly your fault – but these top waterproof mascaras can help!
posted by taz at 4:15 AM on May 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


Oh man, I love the "story" about DrunkGirl margarita: "100 percent pure premium tequila with absolutely nothing else in it, saving you calories and time."

I hate hate hate seeing the SkinnyGirl line of booze at stores. It insults me and my liver.
posted by Kitteh at 4:37 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


You forgot:

23 photos of celebrities who are TOO SKINNY - eat a hamburger, girlfriend!

18 photos of celebrities who are standing at an angle that makes them look FAT - might want to lay off the hamburgers, girlfriend!

34 photos of celebrities you recognize even though we've tastefully mspainted a black line across their eyes who are dressed like stupid whores - distressed jeans are a DON'T!
posted by phunniemee at 4:45 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Bologna for Her" ...oh, yesssss.
posted by psoas at 4:45 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Based on what I see on the cover of women's magazines every time I check out at the grocery store, I fear the bar may be set too high already.
posted by randomkeystrike at 5:20 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


My wife insists that she doesn't sweat, she *glistens*.

When I was a young lad another young lad friend of mine insisted that his mother never farts. Needless to say, I didn't buy it.
posted by juiceCake at 5:33 AM on May 3, 2013


I was taught that horses sweat, men perspire, and ladies glow. Me, I glow like a horse.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:43 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am happy to find a source of satire that isn't heaping scorn on me for consuming female-oriented mass culture.

There is no shortage of satire on this topic, but most of it seems to include the implicit criticism "ha ha you are a dumb sheeple whore for even looking at this". It goes hand in glove with the idea that women are damaging society every time we do anything for our own amusement. Oh the joy of having it mansplained to me that if women didn't wear makeup we would save a lot of time and money, and that I'd have better self-esteem if I swore off popular culture for a while, and had I ever thought about the effect of fairy tales such as Cinderella on the minds of girls? Had I ever thought about it? No exaggeration, this was actually honestly mansplained to me because the Lord knows the thought would never have blown into my vacuous, magazine-reading head without his help.

This time the jeering is going at the content, not at the readers.
posted by tel3path at 7:38 AM on May 3, 2013 [18 favorites]


I am happy to find a source of satire that isn't heaping scorn on me for consuming female-oriented mass culture.

Spot on.
posted by sweetkid at 8:15 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


OK I thought some of this was a bit weak sauce, but Female Genital Mutilation ... well played.

But FGM is fun and desirable. Didn't you see Insight?

In today's news, actual headlines: Models who eat tissues.
Seriously.
posted by Mezentian at 9:27 AM on May 3, 2013


INSPIRING FAITH AND GRATITUDE IN YOUR NEWBORN DAUGHTER

Everything in this one is gold. "After a stressful day of looking at you looking at your computer screen..." Hah!
posted by davejay at 9:31 AM on May 3, 2013


Are you a bad mother? really is the question it all boils down to, isn't it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:19 AM on May 3, 2013


Omg dying: Rain of Terror: n. Storm that suddenly starts when you’ve just gotten a blow out.


OMG that whole vocab list is hilarious. And valuable.
posted by sweetkid at 10:31 AM on May 3, 2013


Also I don't even have words for how genius this is.
posted by sweetkid at 10:32 AM on May 3, 2013


Since I went to my meeting and came back, this site has been blocked by our proxy. But from what I saw beforehand, it looks very funny!
posted by RainyJay at 1:14 PM on May 3, 2013


Or shall I say "hysterical".

You laugh, but there's a certain fan-operated comics site that's been featured on the blue before whose mods have banned that word because it's sexist.

The crazy new class binder Malia doesn't want you to see! SchoolTeenz

Only slightly less likely due to SchoolTeenz being a porn site.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:06 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know how people keep thinking stories from The Daily Currant are real. I laugh at those people, but even though these are hilarious, there are more than a few that I might have thought were real if they'd come to me in a different way.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:02 PM on May 3, 2013


Also:

Cum-baya
n. The short period of time right after sex when you get along with your asshole boyfriend.

I'm sorry, but this is totally a valuable neologism.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:04 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


In an effort to help young girls who are bullied, L’Oréal has launched Tolérance, a new line of junior cosmetics that gives young girls the confidence they need to stop bullying where it starts: their inferior appearance and demeanor.

“We are staunchly anti-bullying and want to support the cause by teaching girls to hide their pain with a shiny, happy façade,” said brand spokeswoman Danielle Barnett. “We want young girls to look and feel less like the kind of pathetic losers who deserve to be bullied.”


Hilarious.
posted by medusa at 7:53 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


tel3path: I am happy to find a source of satire that isn't heaping scorn on me for consuming female-oriented mass culture.

There is no shortage of satire on this topic, but most of it seems to include the implicit criticism "ha ha you are a dumb sheeple whore for even looking at this".


I would never say, and don't believe, that women who read these magazines are "dumb sheeple whores" deserving of scorn, but honest question:

It sounds like you agree with the criticism of the fashion / beauty / women's media industry that's implicit in Reductress' satire. (Correct?)

I guess I don't understand why it's okay to point out that printing this stuff is harmful (or at least problematic), but not okay to point out that consuming the stuff is what gives it that power.

I mean that in two senses: (a) consuming this media encourages and financially rewards its production; and (b) reading it is what allows the problematic ideas to colonize our brains and our culture. It's like the living billboards in that old Halloween episode of The Simpsons: if you don't look at them, they can't hurt you.

If we choose not to consume it—if we say "yeah, but no thanks, I'm not interested in your opinions and expectations about [ what my butt should look like | how to have a sufficiently expensive wedding | whether I'm striking the 'correct' balance between work and motherhood ]"—then it loses a share in both the commercial marketplace and the marketplace of ideas.

I guess my question could be posed thusly: if you agree that "female-oriented mass culture" is riddled with ideas and assumptions that are harmful to women, then why consume that media? Why not spend that money and attention on media that takes a more constructive, nuanced, and psychologically/sociologically healthy view of women? (Granted, such media is harder to find.)

To be clear, I don't mean to "mansplain" (I really hate that term, FWIW). I'm asking.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:11 AM on May 4, 2013


Once, a long time ago, a new magazine came out (I can't remember the name of it) that resolved to cover topics more in depth. For example an article about jeans didn't just display a bunch of pictures and a brief caption, it had detailed product reviews of each pair. More like a YouTube product review today. Though obviously not peer-to-peer, you were still reading what Big Media wanted you to read.

I liked this approach and told my friend why I thought it was good. He smirked, nodded sagely, and said, "oh that's a [smirk] truly innovative approach. And [sneer], aside from telling you what jeans to buy, what other [airquotes]valuable[/airquotes] things are you learning from it?"

Back in the late Cretaceous period there wasn't even any Internet. If I wanted to look at fashion-related material I had to buy magazines, because that's what there was. I got an awful lot of snickering and sneering, including from other women, because of the ambivalence of looking at the pictures while ignoring the rest. It's like saying you read Playboy for the articles, you know? Fr many years I felt deep shame for loving fashion at all, though I notice that less and less shame has come from outside myself as peer-to-peer media have gained ground.

On the one hand, you have the insidiousness of thinking you can take what you want and leave the rest, and meanwhile, messages like those satirised in Reductress are pervasively embedded in it and it's pure arrogance to think I'm above it all. On the other, you have the notion that it may not be dangerous to let certain kinds of media fall into women's hands because women are capable of critical thinking and aren't taking in this material completely unfiltered.

Really, this is like asking me why I don't think women should be condemned for watching Sex and the City, a show I don't like and don't watch, given the obvious and well-established ways in which it deserves criticism. Wendy Brandes made a post in 2008 explaining why she was irked by many of these criticisms and why they were really set along the same scale of values as the thing they were criticising. She also linked to another informative post but the link seems to be broken now. Regardless, it gets at some of the ways in which criticisms of sexist media usually are themselves sexist.
posted by tel3path at 3:05 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


That particular friend also dropped out of university, after getting a 96 in quantum physics, to become a conspiracy theorist. Nearly all his waking hours were spent arguing on the Internet. He made it quite clear that he looked down on me for pursuing my master's, as it showed that I was a navel-gazer and not enough of an independent thinker. One day he was holding forth to me about how I should eat apricot kernels to prevent cancer. I asked him for a citation that wasn't a website or discussion board, but that was from a recognised peer-reviewed journal, and he got really angry with me, saying that this was another example of how I had mindlessly absorbed the propaganda of the scientific establishment and if I were an independent thinker like I ought to be, I'd give him some credence instead of submitting to anyone in authority who told me to.

I replied that by becoming enraged when asked to provide supporting evidence, he wasn't being angry that I was submitting to authority, he was angry that I wasn't submitting to his authority, and the thing getting in the way of my submitting to his authority was my own independent thinking.

So, that's analogous to the way satire of female-oriented mass culture often comes across, whereas Reductress doesn't.
posted by tel3path at 3:14 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


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