Freedom Trash Can: Women's magazines

Magazines image
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The first ever women's magazine was thought to be The Ladies Mercury published in the UK in 1693.

The magazine pledged to cover "all the most nice and curious questions concerning love, marriage, behaviour, dress and humour" for women "whether virgins, wives, or widows".

Today's magazines are more likely to pledge themselves to cover fashion and celebrity gossip, though, of course, they cover a wide range of other topics too.

Publication owners and editors might argue their success shows they are giving the readers what they want.

Select an object from the list and find out how it might be considered an object of oppression.

  • Make-up

    "Men aren't judged for leaving the house without a full face of make-up." - Anonymous

    Read more about Make-up
  • Uncomfortable fashion

    "I cannot fathom why people wear heels. They're painful, impractical and can cause permanent damage to your body." - Anonymous

    Read more about Uncomfortable fashion
  • Home cooking

    "I'm fed up of the idea of women belonging in the kitchen being normalised." - Emma

    Read more about Home cooking
  • Domestic chores

    "Equality begins in the family, so get off your backside and get cleaning, guys." - Anonymous

    Read more about Domestic chores
  • The bra

    "I shouldn't be forced to look 'pretty'. I am beautiful and intelligent without it." - Lisa

    Read more about The bra
  • Celebrity culture

    "All the models have the same body shape, and they look miserable. It's boring!" - Wendy

    Read more about Celebrity culture
  • Marriage

    "I believe engagement rings are anti-feminist - signifying that the woman with the ring belongs to another person." - Matilde

    Read more about Marriage
  • Social media

    "It's very toxic for young people's mental health, especially girls. They are constantly faced with unrealistic and dangerous ideals." - Roshan

    Read more about Social media
  • Gendered toys

    "All the gendered children's toys tell girls and boys they should only like certain things." - Anna

    Read more about Gendered toys
  • Bonus object

    What are objects of oppression? Discover the thinking behind the Freedom Trash Can and suggest your own object.

    Read more about Bonus object

But the modern obsession with celebrity has also been blamed for affecting young people's mental health.

A recent UK survey found that 58% of 11-16 year olds blamed celebrity culture for the pressure to look perfect.

Pick another object to explore