The Problem with Women’s Magazines

The Problem with Women’s Magazines

I remember as a teen I used to spend hours reading Cosmopolitan from cover to cover, I was engrossed by the articles and interviews and didn’t want to miss a word (shock, teenage goths also liked reading Cosmo!). So I was quite excited at the prospect of revisiting the magazine world.

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I mentioned I got a free copy of Elle magazine with my Look Fantastic Beauty Box. I haven’t read a women’s magazine (or any magazine really!) in a fair few years and this reminded me why.

It was a nice day so I sat out in my back garden and opened it up. I was promised Spring Fashion, New Rules to Know and the Face of Now starring Winnie Harlow. And from what I could remember there would probably be something about sex and dating, new makeup trends and maybe another few interviews.

Imagine my dismay when I opened it up and had to flick 5 pages to get to the contents page and another 5 to get to the first article! This was 10 Things – from what I can tell this is monthly feature on 1 page in the teeniest writing ever telling you what you should see, listen to, eat, wear etc for the month ahead.

We then have the editors letter which is probably the most text of any article in the entire magazine being just under a full page of text!

There’s the obligatory Horoscopes page (are horoscopes really still a thing?), some fashion spreads and articles, suggests books to read, makeup looks and some travel info.

There are a few other articles in there, but not many. I was looking to find out what Winnie Harlow had to say as I imagined she would be talking about breaking into the industry and the struggles she faced…sort of like the old question and answer format I remember but no, there was some great pictures and little bit of text about her and her friends.

Out of 194 pages, 86 pages were of adverts. That’s almost 45%, for a magazine that costs £4.40 do you really want to see this much advertising? And this isn’t including their fashion spreads or items to buy, which there are many!

I understand that companies make money from advertising and it’s likely as I blogger, I will too in the future; however, would producing quality content and articles that help people not be a better use of their pages??

In a society where we are struggling to ensure we have the perfect little lives on social media but in reality struggling with self-esteem, mental health and money worries wouldn’t it be more productive to have articles the help these problems rather than adding to the pressure of having to buy these items to fit in with the crowd or be “on trend”

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The most useful article in the whole magazine was an article about a girl who found a mole on her “lady parts” and went to the doctor to get it checked out and make sure it wasn’t serious. It was written in quite an amusing way and in an age where women don’t want to get a smear because it’s embarassing I think it could be helpful.

The downside – at the end of the article it promoted cosmetic surgery as she got the mole removed!

I know the magazine and fashion industry as a whole has been under fire for promoting unhealthy expectations of body image and this is starting to change but at the end of the day there are other issues there too when it’s impressionable young women (and men) that are reading the shallow articles and being slowly brainwashed by the fashion and beauty industry to BUY, BUY, BUY – even when you don’t need it.

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I feel like the worst part may be the fact the products aren’t reviewed, they are put on a page with a nice flatlay or on a pretty model and you’re sometimes given the brand and the price – not information of whether the product is good or your making a good choice by spending your money.

I know, as a young adult you are thrust into the world expecting to know how to handle your money and only buy what you can afford but the reality of this is far from the truth.

Having that perfect holiday, brand new car or newest gadget is the order of the day – especially when we live our lives on social media and see others doing the same we’re under constant pressure to keep up.

The Debt Charity Step Change published their figures for the year, showing in 2017 620,000 people contacted them for help relating to their debt. Two-thirds of their clients were under 40 and 14% of those were aged 18-24.

With statistics like this, why would magazines aimed at this age group not try to give information about money worries or mounting debt and ways to get out of this rather than trying to add to that debt?

It unfortunate but we know the real reason – it just doesn’t sell.

This was something that came to me as I was flicking through the magazine so I’m sorry if it sounds a bit disjointed or out of place. I’d love to be told my opinion of the magazine industry is wrong and that there are beauty and fashion magazines out there that do try to promote a sustainable way of living and aren’t obsessed with pushing their third party ads!

I was just so disappointed with this and how such a massive platform was not being used to help these growing problems that I see getting worse every day!

Please let me know what you think of this in the comments below, I’m really keen to hear your thoughts and hopefully find out it’s not just me that feels quite sad about this!

Claudia xxx

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Make Money, Get Free Stuff💰

Make Money, Get Free Stuff💰

Who doesn’t like earning a little bit of extra money for doing very little? *tumbleweed* I thought so 😊

I haven’t been blogging for long enough to know much about monetising my blog or having brands rush to send me PR related stuff (hopefully that time will come 😉) but I do have some top tips for making a little bit of extra money!

These things aren’t going to mean you can quit your job and become a millionaire over night (I’m sorry, I wish it did!) but I thought I would share what I’ve been doing for the last while to give myself a little treat now and then!

*I’m in no way affiliated with any of these companies, these are my true opinions and I’m not being sponsored to say this*

*I believe most of these sites are based in the UK but your country may have its own version*

Surveys

There are loads, and I mean loads, of survey sites our there! You can get different things depending on who you join with – some pay out in vouchers, some in PayPal credit and I believe I’ve found one that pays in cash!

There are main companies I use for this – Vypr, Toluna and YouGov.

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Vypr is an app that can be downloaded free from the Google Play Store or Apple Store. You are given short “steers” and awarded points for completion. The questions topics range from Food and Drink, Lifestyle, Travel and more.

The surveys themselves take seconds to complete you earn between 10-50 points for each survey completed.

You also get special surveys that you can only complete in a store and you get 100 points for completing these ones. I don’t go out of my way to complete these but they are a nice bonus if I’m going to that particular shop anyway!

You need 10,000 points to reach a payout which seems like a lot but it really doesn’t take very long to reach. For each 10,000 points you achieve you receive a £5 payout to your PayPal account.

When I first heard about this I thought it seemed like a lot of hassle but I don’t even notice any more. For a few seconds of my time each day and a payout almost every month, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s free money after all!

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Toluna awards you points for sharing your opinion on different topics. Some of the surveys do fill up quickly or you may not be eligible to complete the full thing if you don’t fit the profile they are looking for which can be a little frustrating!

They are more lengthy than Vypr, some say they take 20 minutes but I’ve never taken more than 10 on a survey. The longer the survey, the more points you generally receive.

Points awarded range from about 200 to 2220. The rewards you can get do change but at the moment you can get makeup brushes and toothbrush sets (10,000 points), £10 gift vouchers for Currys, Waterstones, Argos, iTunes and Costa (55,000 points), £25 gift vouchers for Tesco and New Look (135,000 points) and lots more.

I tend to complete these surveys while on my lunch or when watching TV. If you have a little bit of downtime it’s easy to rack up the points!

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YouGov is probably the one most people will have heard of, albeit indirectly. They use your opinions and you can see their statistics in most magazines or newspapers. They look at spending habits and political issues but have more fun topics in there too!

They don’t have a great payout rate – I’ve not had a payout yet but that is because their surveys are very infrequent. They send you a link via email and it normally takes me about 5 minutes to complete. They award you with 50 points per survey on average, some are more, some less.

You need 5000 points to be able receive your payout of £50. Not bad for a couple of minutes work here and there and getting to share your opinion on a range of topics that are affecting the country!

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If you are going to make a purchase anyway, why not use a cashback site to get some money back from your purchase.

I have used Top Cashback and Quidco. I prefer Top Cashback as I think it pays out quicker but they both work on the same premise – you log into the site, search for the merchant you’re buying from, select the offer or click their link to the merchant and shop as normal.

They have a huge number of retailers – eBay, Carphone Warehouse, Argos, Currys and Just Eat and that barely scratches the surface! I must admit, I am very happy I can get cashback through my takeaway purchases! 🤣

The biggest payouts I’ve had are from insurance companies. So if I’m needing to renew my policy, I check out who has the cheapest quote and then go through Top Cashback to make the purchase to make my policy cheaper.

One thing to note, you shouldn’t make a purchase just based on the cashback you might receive as some merchants don’t always pay out!

Both these sites also do events around different holidays where you can get free cashback for playing a game or exploring the site.

*If you would like to sign up to Top Cashback you can use my referral link, I only get a bonus if you use the site to get cashback not for signing up.*

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Yes, you can get free products from companies, if you don’t mind giving your opinion on the products – this may be publicly or to them direct.

I have been lucky enough to be able to try out some new makeup products for new brands. They are in testing stages so you may or may not ever see them on the shelves – sometimes you don’t even know who you are testing for!

I can’t say the brand, but at the moment I am testing some mascaras as part of a trial for Alba Science. So far I’m really liking them so if they get put to production I’ll be able to do a full review!

I’ve also tested out primers and makeup brushes as well over the last few months. I have been most successful with Alba Science and Clicks Research but big companies like Boots also have testing panels but I have found them very difficult to get into as tg!

These companies ask about your likes and dislikes, the products you use and the problems you have with your skin or hair. You will then be invited to take part in a trial via email.

The trials do fill up incredibly quick, especially if it’s a popular product.

I know this was a very different post to my usual but I hope you find it useful. There’s a lot more I’d like to share so may do a few posts like this if you like them! If there’s any sites you think I should check out, let me know!

As you may have noticed, I’ve tried a few different things with this post (more noticeable on desktop) and it would be much appreciated if you could give me any feedback on the changes!

Claudia xxx