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.
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”
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.
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!