This is a thought I have held true for a very long time, men’s magazines are better than women’s magazines. There, I said it. And, yes, I am the kind of girl that subscribes, buys and browses magazines. If I am waiting, even in a short grocery line, I am reading a magazine.
True story: When I was 17 years old I purchased a wedding magazine at my local grocery store (Publix) and the cashier congratulated me and asked if I was getting married. I love magazines, but I didn’t buy another wedding magazine until I was securely engaged (7 years later).
Anyway, I prefer men’s magazines over women’s magazines for actual entertainment for many reasons. Primarily because when men’s magazines are being funny, they are actually funny, a little cynical, sharp, witty. Of course there are the gross out jokes, the obviously shots, but the good men’s magazines actually make me laugh, or at least make me think. When a magazine for women is being funny the humor stems from “this one time I got my period when I was wearing a white pencil skirt… my boyfriend walked in on me when I was bleaching my lip.” That is not funny. It is maybe embarrassing, it is awkward, sure, but more than that it tends to put down and degrades the events that fall into the category of “it could happen to you, at any time, you poor girl” Haha, and when you do spill coffee on a silk blouse while catching the elevator and snagging a stocking on the way into a job interview, we’ll be laughing, you know with cute cartoon illustrations.
The other reason I enjoy men’s magazines is because no matter who they interview, man or woman, they speak to the reader the way it seems they (as a magazine) would want to be spoken to. There seems to be a sense of partnership, camraderie between reader and writer, and like any good relationship it is mutually beneficial (the magazine stays in business, the reader learns something/confirms something/feels better about themselves).
This morning I read an article in women’ magazine written about the author’s struggle with dieting. She yo-yo’d, she skipped crepes in France, banished butters and creams, and then would devour a box of Oreos, she went raw, she starved, and then after realizing that diet and exercise go together like peas and carrots (obviously, without a cheese sauce) she finally accepted that she was no longer a size 4. This would never be in a men’s magazine.
After reading the article I thought about all the ways that women, friends, colleagues, friends of friends, and myself have at one point struggled with body image, diet, exercise and being motivated to do the right things in order to feel right, never mind striving to look “right”, which today tends to mean a photo-shopped version of someone else. Sidenote: you are rarely going to see an image in a retail venue, or magazine that hasn’t been photo-shopped. I have been on the other side of the computer, and if the fabric doesn’t wrinkle the image isn’t real.
I find that magazines for women are designed to be aspirational, but tend to be so far out of reach that they become unattainable instead of inspiring. The desire to live like a celebrity, look like a model, entertain like Martha, well none of it is possible for one person alone, they all have teams of people. You don’t know about the teams of people when you read the article.
In a men’s magazine they give a soundbite like this: