I graduated college on May 5th. I think. I didn’t bother going to commencement, but I do have a piece of paper.

The first thing that struck me is the fact that there’s nothing on this piece of paper, it just says “Bachelors Degree” and that’s it. Not that it was in English. Or Psych. Or anything else. I could have done underwater basket weaving for all my future employers care, apparently. I always think of that fact when people ask me “HOW DOES IT FEEL TO GRADUATE?”

“It feels like no one actually gave a fuck what I did, just that I put in the time. And it feels like I don’t have to go to class anymore. Yay me?”

To avoid the look that would follow that statement, I only include a part of it: “It feels like I don’t have to go to class anymore.”

People keep acting like this is a huge milestone. I suppose it is, but I didn’t exactly not see this coming. I’ve been working hard at making this happen for five years. It feels like an accomplishment, yeah, but frankly, it isn’t very satisfying or surprising. Or, at least, it isn’t as satisfying as everyone seems to think it should be. I’m not jet setting off to a new and exotic job. I’m not running off to get married and have babies. Those seem to be the big life changes everyone is actually expecting me to go on to and on both counts are being vastly disappointed.

Why does it matter? It doesn’t, really. But I do feel oddly disconnected from the world around me due to how strange my expectations for life seem to be compared to theirs. People seem to expect big changes at these “milestones” and  the only real difference I’ve noticed is now my job is bitching and moaning at me to go full-time, which is pissing me off. I’d like a little time to be left alone and get my shit together. I’d like a small break before I surrender to a lifetime of servitude, thanks. I realize it’s the last one I’m ever going to get.

Anyway, in my little bits of free time my job seems so desperate to take away in the name of moar money because moar, I’ve been reading. Books, magazines, fanfiction, blogs, a bit of everything. I’m trying to catch up on five years of not being able to read anything because I have to plow through plays and text books and frankly, I’m a little disappointed in what I’m finding.

I don’t know how many of you out there are biologically female, but if you are and you’re American, you’ve probably heard of Glamour magazine. It’s one of the less shitty women’s magazines out there, especially next to the likes of Cosmo. 

Or so I thought.

I’ve gotten through two backlogged issues so far and suddenly, see the problem with being a subscriber.

I’ve read the May issue before. Last May, in fact. There was just a different celebrity on the cover. All of the shit inside is the same.

Speaking of, I have a question to pose to biological females that consider themselves to be of the womanly persuasion: Why the FUCK do you let them treat you like this?

If you look inside, everything is about either babies, men, or “fixing” yourself. They tell my friend with small breasts that she needs “ruching” to fix her “lack of curves,” they tell my busty friends that they need “support” to “get the girls under control,” they tell my “curvy” friends with hips that they need to “make themselves look smaller.” Who is this ideal woman they’re trying to make them all look like?

Oh, and furthermore, if you look at your body and realize that you’re not ‘boy shaped’ (i.e. thin) or ‘curvy’ (i.e. Girl code for “fat,” I’m quickly learning) and go “hey! There’s nothing wrong with me. So, Glamour, what should I wear?” You will receive nothing but resonant silence in response. If there’s not something “wrong” with you, they want nothing to do with you. According to them, there’s always something wrong with you. And it needs to be fixed, because otherwise HOW will you get to find a man and get married and have babies and have OMG THE PERFECT LIFE?!!111!!

… Why do you let them do this to you? Here. Go check out Curve or Bust. I know they’re probably a little weird, and one is rather queer (Curve), but in leafing through their pages in the book store, I don’t feel like I’m a failure at womanhood because I want to pursue a life that is mine, not ruled by who I find attractive, by what I think is wrong with me, or by children. There’s stuff about kids and womanhood in there, but the approach is less forceful. It’s information about pregnancy and kids, but it doesn’t imply that “OMG IT’S THE HIGHEST HONOR ANY WOMAN CAN HAVE AND ANYONE THAT HATES KIDS IS A FREAK AND YOU SHOULD WANT BABIES NOW RIGHT NOW HAVE BABIES NOW.” They have articles about sex and sexuality that are not dictated by how to please your man, but how to have pleasure as a couple, or, hell, how to pleasure yourself. Some of the shit in the magazines is pretty out there, granted, but so is a lot of the shit in Glamour. 

For those of you of the less womanly gender persuasion, I would recommend hopping over to your local Barnes and Noble, and pick up a copy of the British version of GQ. No, put the American GQ down. Trust me on this one. You want the British one. The girls are less fake (and therefore, much hotter) and the writing is hysterical and high quality. I have never laughed so hard at a magazine, and that’s even with missing half the jokes because I’m a Yank. Everything in there breathes, it’s fresh, and most importantly, it doesn’t make you feel like shit about yourself. Much like Curve and Bust don’t belittle women, Brit GQ doesn’t seem to suffer from the same stupidity the American one does of making men into someone they’re not. There are health tips and things, yeah, but when they talk about clothes, it’s about the clothes, the watches, the ties, not about “look how awesome Johnny Depp looks in these. Now, you’ll never be as good-looking as him, BUT here are some clothes so you can pretend.”

Now then, I’m going to go off and catch up on some more reading, and see if I can work out a plan to blog on here weekly again. If you have any other alternative magazines, please leave them in the comments so I and other folks can try ’em out. Doesn’t matter if they’re for girls, boys, or fish. Tell me what you like to read, and I’ll go check them out.

P.S. If you want to check out the actual, physical magazines I’ve listed here, try your local Barnes and Noble Bookseller’s. I can find all three of those mags there, even in the conservative, Midwestern area I live in.