“What are you reading on paper that inspires you?” That was the question to a panel of inspirational writers and bloggers at Blogher Food a couple weeks ago. Good question. It got me thinking.
I’m going to be completely honest here. I get the New York Times on weekends (which I love) and I’m reading a couple good books at the moment, but the print publication that’s inspiring me the most these days is O Magazine. I wish I could say it was The New Yorker, The Economist or even TIME. But that would be a lie. (I take solace knowing that I didn’t answer People, In Touch or Life & Style.)
Though I love O Magazine, I’m not that interested in what type of jewelry best fits my peach-shaped face (I’ll never buy a pair of $300 earrings) or what Vitamin D can do for me, or even the luscious photography in the food section (though I did love the feature on cranberries). What I do love is that each issue highlights a different aspect of the joy and goodness of being a woman. The focus is always on being your best self and in showcasing women who are doing incredible things. I feel inspired when I read about women who change careers, take risks, start businesses or charities or who are the best in their field. It inspires me to hear about women who have overcome adversity, who go out on a limb, who can be honest about parenting and the tough stuff in life (there was a feature by a man in the October issue that brought me to tears as he talked about the strength and beauty of his wife during a traumatic miscarriage). Is it going too far to say that I close that magazine and feel proud?
I don’t want to hear about who has cellulite, who’s aging badly or whose career is in the dumps. I don’t care that so-and-so forgot to shave her armpits before a night out or who has a truly tragic fake tan. Cutting women down is not inspirational.
I understand that O doesn’t really tell me what’s happening in current events or teach me much about history, but it has inspired me to be a better me. And unless I have that in my life (at least right now), it’s not good enough to read “important” things I can spout off at cocktail parties.
So: “What are you reading on paper that inspires you?”
*Disclosure: I think it goes without saying that Oprah and her people don’t know that I exist. I wasn’t asked to write this piece, these are my own thoughts and opinions.