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Thread: Women’s Magazines

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break

    Women’s Magazines

    I know I’m not the only guy who does it, there must be others out there….who else surreptitiously reads articles in women’s magazines?

    One can only read so many Car & Driver articles about the merits of dual cam sway control, or acoustic reviews pointing out the Yamaha RX-397 stereo receiver doesn’t have multi zone functionality, before curiosity sets in and one finds themselves wondering what the heck are all those women’s magazines filled with? How does the ‘other half’ live? And what do They think is important in life? Guys, I’m sorry to report the fairer sex is just as vacuous as we are, only in different ways. However, that’s not to say there aren’t lots of well-written articles, or that the subject matter is dull, either.

    Based solely on the subject matter found in women’s magazines, an impartial observer would have to conclude that a typical woman’s existence revolves around three things: 1) looking better; 2) recipes (with an equal number of diet articles, often in the same volume); and 3) how to conduct relationships. The titles tell the story: ‘Is your boyfriend/husband cheating on you: look for these six telltale signs,’ ‘which bathing suit is right for your body type: take this quiz’, or ‘Three easy summer meals that won’t stretch your budget or your waistband’.

    I’m being unfair, of course, and in reality women’s magazine articles tend actually to have broader focus on a greater variety of topics than their male counterparts. But there really is a disturbingly high quantity of the aforementioned three topics. Magazines like Cosmo and Glamour appear to feature little BUT theme 1, however, the magazine’s title suggests one should not expect otherwise.

    Guys, fess up, if you’re in a waiting room and there’s little else to do, would you read Women’s Day or Redbook? Ladies, have I got it Wrong and characterized the industry incorrectly, if so, set us straight. Lastly…. right, wrong or indifferently, we’ve lumped all women’s magazines together in one group, is there a more fair/accurate way to break women’s magazines into groups? Are there women’s mags for example that tend to appeal more to women with, say, a graduate degree in urban planning than for those who work at the beauty shop?

    What’s your take on women’s magazines?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Blog entries
    I don't like the vast majority of "women's" magazines for the reasons you pointed out. I half like the Oprah magazine because it usually has great book reviews, recipes, and cool things for the house. It is a little heavy on the self help thing but that's sort of what it's known for. I like Vanity Fair and although it has women's stuff in it (mostly fashion) it's has excellent writing/feature articles. I also like Real Simple, I guess it appeals more to women, but it's excellent for all things related to home without being frou-frou and has great recipe ideas.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Guys, fess up, if you’re in a waiting room and there’s little else to do, would you read Women’s Day or Redbook?
    The old-school women's magazines seem to be dominated by recipes, homemaking articles, some parenting articles, and interviews with celebrities that aren't well known beyond daytime television, like Kelly Ripa. Boooo-ring!

    If I'm stuck in a waiting room where there's nothing but women's magazines -- and it's happened many times -- it's going to be something like People or Cosmo.

    Groups of women's magazines ... II'd break them down like ...

    * Old school: casserole recipes, dress patterns, homemaking articles, and the like, aimed at suburban homemakers with children rather than working women. Women's Day, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, and Family Circle. My grandmother subscribed to all of them.

    * Lifestyle: the contemporary equivalent of the 1950s homemaker magazines, intended for working professional women: Real Simple, Blueprint, Martha Stewart Living, Domino, and so on. Town & Country might fit in, even though it's been around a long time. Oprah bridges the gap between the Old School and Lifestyle categories.

    * Sassy: fashion/lifestyle, intended for the 20-39 crowd. Cosmopolitan, Jane, Marie Claire, and the like.

    * Runway fashion: Vogue, Elle, W, Glamour. There's a bunch of magazines that fall between the Sassy and Runway categories like Lucky and Glow.

    * Health/fitness: Shape, Women's Health, Fitness, and too many others.

    * Gossip/celebrity: People, Us, InTouch, OK, and others.

    * Grrl: Ms, Bitch, Bust.

    * Bridal: too many to mention.

    * Kountry krafty kitschy: too many to mention.

    * Mommy culture: again, way too many to mention.

    * Lesbian: usually journals and zines.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
    Dec 2008
    Northern Utah
    I'm going to shame-facedly admit that I will often prefer to look at something like People -- ooh-ooh- especially if it's the issue where they've declared the 50 most beautiful or whatever....I love that. I read this alot waiting at my dentist.

    Observe that women's magazines are obsessed with numbers: 6 ways to flatten your belly, 3 signs your guy is a cheater, 10 reasons you should kill your sister-in-law, etc. etc. Just for fun I often look for an article without a number in the title...not easy to find.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Feb 2007
    Playing at a movie theater near you
    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    I'm going to shame-facedly admit that I will often prefer to look at something like People .
    obviously you totally missed that article in OK magazine
    No Signature Required

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    May 2003
    Northwestern Ohio
    Wife.2 subscribed to Playgirl. She complained that the movies generally do not do full frontals of males and Playgirl did. Anybody remember the Burt Reynold's centerfold?

    Of course, this Bear did not care for Playgirl. My comment was usually, "That thing is so fake!"

    Bear Reynolds

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