I have made it to page 580 of the gargantuan 902 page September issue of Vogue magazine, and I trying to remember why it is I’m still subscribing to this running advertisement for conspicuous consumption. Initially I subscribed because it was one of the few magazines I thought I might enjoy from the list of magazines offered as the reward for taking some long forgotten survey online. And I enjoyed the first year. Vogue was a new experience. I marveled at the fashions, coveted the shoes, and was impressed with the writing in the articles. The people depicted in Vogue live a fantasy life compared to my small town existence. Never mind that the haute couture that filled their pages would never grace a hanger in my new closet; I could look, just the same. So I renewed my subscription for another year. But as I labored through page after page of clothes I had no place to wear, let alone the big bucks to buy, read the articles full of name-dropping and about people who would think my life dull, I wondered if surely there is not a better way to waste my time. And what about those ads? Now I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and taste is a personal choice, but some of the ads contain no beauty or good taste, as far as I can see. The really pretty models are never allowed to smile, but at least they look good. And then I turn the page and am face to face with some gaunt, really ugly face with terrible hair and make-up, and the clothes would be just as bad! Many of the ads don’t even show the clothes to any advantage, but the designer or name of the fashion house is proximately displayed. The shoes are always seductive, and I would love to have a need for a pair of six-inch heels of fabulous design. And in every issue there will be at least one ad showing shoes worn with socks! America Ferrera wore socks with heels in Ugly Betty, but I thought that was just to keep her in character as a less than savvy fashionista. And to make matters worse, in this issue a picture accompanying an article shows some hot-shot male designer in a suit, dress shoes, and no socks! Emulation of the no hosiery style rampant in women’s fashion, no doubt. I guess when his shoes get to smelling from his feet sweating, he just gets another pair. And if the shoe designer would put a pair of hose on that model with those heels, they would feel and fit and look a whole lot better than heels with socks. So it is becoming clear to me that the main problem is that I have absolutely nothing in common with the people, the lifestyle, or the clothes in this magazine. I guess I just don’t get the world of fashion. And yet I dutifully turn the pages, alternately fascinated and aggravated with how the other half lives and dresses. My subscription runs out in a month. I guess what I need to do is save my $19.97 and use it as a nest egg for a nice vacation. Or a new coat. Or a pair of socks.
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