Recently, fueled by too many vodka sodas and a serious case of writer’s block, I decided to live one week according to the gospel of women’s magazines.

What did it entail exactly? Basically, I took the advice of Cosmopolitan, Shape, Elle, Allure, and any other magazine promising “next level sex” and “the key to body confidence” to see what would happen.

Would I reach the peak of my own sexual Mt. Everest? Would I find a secret garden of body positivity in the deep recesses of my mind?

I intended to find out.

DAY 1: Sent an Emoji-Filled Sext

My boyfriend and I have been together for three years, so I thought a little sexy texty (sorry I couldn’t help it) might bring back the passion we had prior to sharing living quarters. As all of the best life coaches say, nothing will spice up your relationship like a good ole, emoji-sext! Luckily, Cosmopolitan walked me through the process, emoji by emoji.

Unfortunately, the sext didn’t spark the flames I was hoping it would. Perhaps going from three years without a single sext to an emoji-sext during work hours was too much for my boyfriend to handle.

Pro Tip: I recommend finding out if your partner/sext recipient has iMessages connected to their computer first. Receiving an emoji-sext on a work computer can definitely kill the vibes.

DAY 2: Realized My Phone Was Ruining My Skin

One thing I learned (thanks to InStyle) is that I already have terrible skin. Did your mother dab an anti-aging serum on your face as you were popping out of the womb? No? Well, in that case, it’s too late for you as well.

That said, there are a few steps we can take to stave off the damage.

First: do you use a mobile device often? You do? Well that’s not ideal. Your iPhone is contributing to your already quickly aging, decrepit skin. Every time you squint to read a text message, a fresh wrinkle makes a home for itself on your face.

Related question: do you tilt your neck to look at your phone? This a huge no-no. The phenomenon, referred to by the beauty industry as “Tech Neck,” is responsible for a massive influx of neck lines. So if you insist on keeping your phone, buy some scarves, because nobody’s gonna wanna shack up with you when they see that saggy-looking neck of yours.

The Bottom Line? You just got three more wrinkles reading this. If someone manages to find you attractive despite your crumply neck and face, you should probably hold onto them tight (but not too tight because that can cause hand wrinkles).

DAY 3: Learned How To Take the Perfect Belfie for the #CosmoButtChallenge

This task was a particularly demoralizing one, mainly because I was instructed to hike my pants up so high that I got a wedgie (par for the course, my butt guru assured me). It also took over twenty takes and this photo is the least awkward (mainly due to the flash which hides my very uncomfortable facial expression). Some girls just weren’t meant to belfie, I guess.

Additionally, upon reading the 28-Day Exercise Calendar that accompanied the belfie guide, I came to the realization that I will never achieve my “best ass ever” because, well, I just don’t care enough.

Pro Tip: Wear a pair of butt-hugging pants, hike them up so high you can no longer feel your butt, put your backside toward the mirror, stagger your feet, twist your torso so your waist looks smaller, shift your weight towards your front foot, say a prayer, then pop your hip out at a 60 degree angle… but don’t over think it, girl! The best ones come when you act natural! (But not too natural, let’s not get sloppy here.)

DAY 4: Took the “Does He Love You Quiz” and Got Questionable Results

Photo courtesy of Seventeen Magazine.

On Thursday, I decided to time travel back to middle school nostalgia and read my old favorite, Seventeen.

The Seventeen quizzes were all the rage at Lynnhaven Middle so I decided to take the “Does He Love You Quiz.” My initial thoughts were, “what a cute quiz, how fun!” but they quickly devolved into an all-too-familiar prepubescent panic attack when I saw the results… “just because we don’t PDA in front of everyone doesn’t mean what we haven’t isn’t real, okay?! God Seventeen, you just don’t get it!!”

The Bottom Line? If you’re currently living with your boyfriend/partner/sext recipient, do not, under any circumstances, take the “Does He Love You Quiz.” The stakes are too damn high.

DAY 5: Purchased and Wore Spanx for the First (and Last) Time

For the final day, I decided to purchase Spanx. After perusing an article in Marie Claire on celebrities gushing about them, I was ready to purchase a pair of my own (think: a League of Their Own, but significantly more depressing and if the movie took place in a dimly lit Macy’s).

An hour and three drinks into losing my Spanx virginity, I could feel my sanity slipping. A friend had joked that they feel like they’re smashing your internal organs. Suddenly, I started to panic — what if she was being serious? Should I have purchased a size medium to fit into the size small? What if I cut myself out of them in the middle of this birthday party as some sort of feminist performance art?

Luckily, after a few sips of water (and a quick air out in the bathroom), I was able to calm down… although, I don’t think I’ll be wearing them again anytime soon.

Pro Tip: Don’t wear Spanx unless you’re emotionally stable. If you’re not sure if you’re emotionally stable, just skip it.

And that concludes my five-day, anxiety-filled journey into the world of women’s magazines. I had honestly forgotten that there were so many things to be self-conscious about (particularly, the neck region, I really didn’t see that coming).

This week, I’ve decided to try and rebuild my depleted self confidence and resume my normally scheduled programming of Gilmore Girls and cat videos.

… Now please excuse me while I cut myself out of these Spanx.

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