“Quiz: Why did you do that? What the hell were you thinking?” That’s a fake cover line on our new favorite fake publication, Anxiety: The Magazine. Over the last few weeks, Twitter user @crayonelyse has been sharing magazine covers she’s designed to show just how relatable anxious thoughts can be.
Her headlines tackle everything from social anxiety (“Jessie From Work: Friend, Confidante, But Does She Secretly Hate You?”) to social comparisons (“Shouldn’t you be moisturizing? Megan moisturizes”) to body insecurities (“Fifteen adorable swimsuit trends that would make your body look like a bag of sausages!”).
Some of the lines may feel so familiar they’ll make you laugh, and that’s the point: “I hope that laughing at the absurdity of something painful like anxiety helps make it easier to handle,”@crayonelyse, a PhD student who goes by Crayon, said in an interview with Refinery 29. “I draw inspiration from my job, my friends, current events—all of which are things that I spend a lot of time worrying about.” In another interview, with Attn:, Crayon explained that looking at her anxious thoughts “from the outside,” reminds her that “these thoughts aren’t reality, or at least, they don’t have to be.”
But the viral covers are also comforting because they confirm that anxiety is quite common. Indeed, the National Institutes of Health estimates that 18% of adults in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders. So no, you’re not the only person who beats herself up over little things (such as, say, not drinking enough water). Below, check out the four covers @crayonelyse has put out so far.
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