In general, I think of women’s magazines as pure, unadulterated evil. I’ve never finished one and thought, “You know? I feel pretty great about myself as a human being right now.” Most women’s mags exist just to make you feel like you’re not pretty enough, not thin enough, not rich enough, not sexy enough, not whatever enough. Unless, of course, you follow this weird diet plan, or get this new lipstick, or buy these $900 shoes, or try these impractical sex tips that are almost certainly going to result in a yeast infection (Cosmo, I’m looking at you and your constant use of food in your sex tips). And if you’re not a tall, thin, white woman? Then you don’t fit the beauty standard, so you might as well not even exist.
So thank God for BUST, the only women’s magazine I subscribe to. BUST understands that being a woman is about more than just frantically chasing some impossible standard of beauty. Instead, it’s about politics, food, friendship, sex, reproductive rights, crafts, music and, yes, makeup. As a 12 year old who wrote to BUST this month put it, the magazine features “smart yet girly” articles. I think that’s the best explanation ever. BUST understands that being a feminist doesn’t mean you don’t also care about girly things, and being interested in makeup doesn’t mean you don’t also care about politics. Maybe I want to get a taco recipe, learn about men who breastfeed, read about Bikini Kill and find a new leave-in conditioner. Actually, there’s no maybe about it–that’s exactly what I want in a magazine. Plus, BUST’S fashion spreads always have weird, interesting themes (this month’s is Doctor Zhivago) and there’s an advice column by Roseanne Barr.
BUST also features the absolute coolest ladies on its cover. In the past year, they’ve featured Aubrey Plaza, Mindy Kaling, Kat Dennings, Maya Rudolph and Tavi Gevinson, among others. In fact, HelloGiggles co-founder Zooey Deschanel was on the cover a couple of years ago!
I love BUST because it never makes being a woman seem limiting, or boring, or like a burden. When I finish an issue, I actually feel good about myself.
So if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for your BFF, sister, daughter or any other lady in your life, get them a subscription to BUST! Or just get one for yourself (I won’t tell). A whole year will only set you back $20.
Image via style.mtv.com