Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I like magazines. Or at least I WANT to like them. Especially when I have to spend alot of time in airports and airplanes where I have a bit of time to read, but I'm not really focused enough to get lost in a book. That's why it's so frustrating for me to stand in front of rows and rows of magazines in the store and realize that there is a dull and predictable sameness to them. I suppose they're not ALL the same - I could pick up Popular Mechanics or Motorcycle Repair - but those that are marketed for women sure look homogenous to me.

Seriously. Here's a list of the headlines you can find on the front of almost every woman's magazine:
"Spice up your love life"
"The diet that will change your life"
"Dr. Phil's relationship tips"
"Tips for managing your household budget"
"Fashion feature - clothes for the real you"
"Simple exercises to fit into your busy day"
"Five meals you can make in under half an hour"

If I were to start a magazine, I would call it "Smart Woman", and this would be my list of criteria for its contents:
- There would only be ORDINARY women featured on its pages. NO airbrushing
- There would be NO fashion tips - or if there were any, they would include SENSIBLE SHOES
- There would be smart articles for women with IQs higher than Paris Hilton
- Dr. Phil would NEVER be quoted. NEVER.
- The word "diet" would be banished from the pages. Anyone who dared to use the word would be forced to do penance by eating the whole magazine, cover to cover.
- The index would be easy to find - on the FIRST page (now there's a novel concept!), not buried in the middle of sixteen pages of advertisements
- There would be book recommendations by ordinary people, not those who'd been courted by big publishing companies
- There would be less assumption that women are self-centred, egocentric airheads and more assumption that they are smart and worldly-wise, caring about things like the environment, the millions of people dying of hunger and HIV/AIDS, and the world outside their walk-in closet
- If there were any celebrities featured, they would be the people who had shown strength in the middle of adversity, lived a moral and ethical life, made a difference for social causes, or proved that a marriage and family can stay together even in Hollywood - REAL inspiration
- It would NEVER mention anything about the assumed battle between stay-at-home moms and working-outside-the-home moms because it would assume that women are REALLY smart enough to respect each other's lifestyle choices
- In every issue, it would include some piece of writing that was of literary value - a poem, essay, or short story. Again, it would assume that women are smart enough to want to read that kind of stuff.
- It would also include artistic images - photographs taken by someone other than the fashion photographer, paintings, etc. There would be visual surprises throughout - things that made you just stop and stare at a page for awhile.
- It would not assume that EVERY woman is interested in scrapbooking and stamping
- Some of the recipes included would be about SLOW cooking, not just about FAST cooking

Anyone want to subscribe to my magazine?


Dwight said...

Hey, you might even find some men interested in that one...
Do you actually think anybody would display a women's magazine without the word "sex" or "diet" on the cover? I'm waiting for the day...

ccap said...

Are there going to be any aging ads in it? That's my current irritant du jour - NA's obsession with looking young.

Anvilcloud said...

Maybe there's anough Women's mags, and you could just publish a mag for adults?

bbb said...

I think you've got a winner! Maybe what the world needs is someone like you to start one. :-)

Eric Postma said...

Something very similar was attempted a few years back... I can't remember the name of the mag anymore, but it lasted about 6 months and then went under.... What do you suppose that says?

Linda said...

Sign me up!

Gina said...

I do! I do!

Simply Coll said...

Sounds wonderful. Right now the only magazine I enjoy is "Dogs in Canada".