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Should women's mags be given an overhaul now?

(29 Posts)
whenim64 Mon 29-Jul-13 12:15:51

After the debate about lads' mags, I heard part of a debate this morning about the way women's mags have evolved from having household and fashion tips, craft ideas and short stories to today's contents which comprise gossip stories about celebs, how to get a good fake tan, horror stories about women being attacked in abusive relationships, and unrealistic, photoshopped images of women that instil unachievable expectations in young girls.

I rarely buy women's mags now. When I was working, I bought the odd Take a Break or Chat because stories about offenders I knew were in the double page spreads (usually completely untrue or wildly distorted). It's the semi-scientific, gardening or Private Eye type that I'll occasionally pick up now, but I have fond memories of women's mags that I bought with the weekly shop when I was a young mum. Should all women's mags be given a spark of new life?

Sel Mon 29-Jul-13 12:31:50

I couldn't agree more when they are pretty abysmal. My Mother had Woman magazine, various relatives had a variety of other weeklies and they would all be passed around. When carried on but I don't think I've bought a magazine for at least 20 years. Maybe the sort of information they carried is available elsewhere more easily. I find the sight of magazine racks now profoundly depressing.

janeainsworth Mon 29-Jul-13 12:40:14

Agree with you When.
The only magazines I have on a regular basis are Private Eye, the Oldie and the Garden.
When I had the practice I struggled to find magazines suitable for the waiting room. The staff couldn't understand why I wouldn't have Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan but with titles like 'How to have 6 orgasms in 15 minutes' and suchlike on the covers I deemed them unsuitable for my child patients.
I remember going to stay with my aunt as a child and devouring her copies of She magazine - full of interesting articles about more than just domesticity.
Sadly it capitulated to the populist themes and I think it's folded now.
I don't think modern women's magazines reflect at all well on the aspirations of today's young women sad

JessM Mon 29-Jul-13 12:58:45

They are grim. The Australian Woman's Weekly is much better with more interesting articles.
GH and the other one are always the same, inspirational stories of women who have recovered from problems or started their own business. Fashion that does not suit over 45s. Lots of health articles, many full of quotes from naturopaths and other people of questionable expertise. Airbrushed celeb cover women almost unrecognisable as themselves.
The celeb ones are nasty and misogynistic. Celebs either shown as looking implausibly perfect (having spent half a day in hair and makeup plus more airbrushing) or getting criticised for too fat, too thin, too scruffy, too sad etc

Depths were plumbed by OK last week with the D of Cambridge baby weight article after Kate was courageous enough to show off her postpartum tummy to the world the day after delivery. Dis - bloody - graceful.

whenim64 Mon 29-Jul-13 13:05:52

That article is typical of the content I was thinking about, Jess

FlicketyB Mon 29-Jul-13 13:06:16

I have never really been interested in women's magazines per se, although I have always bought home and design magazines. My experience is that magazines aimed at women with interests that extend beyond celebrities and 'human' stories do not survive very long. I was a Nova reader, that died, Working Woman ditto and there was a magazine called Options that was good for a year or two but then deteriorated so I stopped buying it.

vegasmags Mon 29-Jul-13 13:25:40

The only time I look at women's magazines is at the hairdresser. I always take them because I don't want to look snooty by getting my Kindle out of my bag. I agree that their content is banal in the extreme, but it does make me realise that there is a whole world out there I know nothing about. I have very rarely even heard of the so-called celebrities, stuck in my little enclave of Radio 4 and BBC4. I read Private Eye and the Guardian on Saturdays, but that's all.

sunseeker Mon 29-Jul-13 13:32:45

I agree, I haven't bought a "womens" magazine for more than 20 years. I have a look occasionally but there is never anything in them to interest me and as vegasmags says I have never heard of the so called celebrities featured. I vaguely recall a magazine called Over 21 which I bought many years ago which started out with some interesting articles but stopped buying it when it went down the "how to have great sex" route.

merlotgran Mon 29-Jul-13 13:44:33

When I was a teenager I used to look forward to Wednesdays when my mother's copy of 'Woman' would be delivered. I loved the serials, the fashion tips, the recipes and medical advice. Occasionally there might be an article about a film star - they weren't called celebrities in those days but it was all about glamour not about their sex lives.

A magazine with seedy articles wouldn't have been allowed in the house. There doesn't seem to anything else on offer these days. How sad.

MiceElf Mon 29-Jul-13 13:50:59

Anyone remember Nova? That was good. And I used to buy Good Housekeeping, Susan Hill wrote for it and it had excellent cooking and design sections. Then they got a new editor and it's been rubbish for twenty odd years.

Only read History Today, Current Archaeology and the NT mag these days.

whenim64 Mon 29-Jul-13 13:53:04

Yes, I read my mum's Woman, too. It was delivered with Bunty, Schoolfriend, Sunny Stories and The Eagle. One each for mum and we four children. My dad didn't have one!

absent Tue 30-Jul-13 00:28:53

I started referring to women's magazine as ladies' comics when I was a teenager. I see no reason to change this nomenclature now I am a pensioner.

FlicketyB Tue 30-Jul-13 06:57:26

When I go to the hairdresser I enjoy leafing through Bazaar and Vogue but would never buy them.

Ariadne Tue 30-Jul-13 07:12:46

My mother had Woman and Woman's own delivered every week - they were 4p! And I had the girls' comics too.

I picked up these magazines from time to time, out of nostalgia more than anything else as a young mum. But have you seen them recently? They are more like celebrity magazines, full of people I've never heard of. (Grumpy old woman emoticon!) and they do seem very expensive too.

We have Saga magazine delivered, and that's OK, though not riveting. Don't like feeling classified...but am on GN, so must be classifying myself. Hey Ho!

LizG Tue 30-Jul-13 07:28:15

I gave up reading most magazines when a story was written in Take a Break about someone I knew. They didn't do sufficient research and the fact he was seriously ill was ignored. He died shortly after publication. I read Yours magazine occasionally in case anyone from my youth is trying to find me smile

Grannyknot Tue 30-Jul-13 08:09:38

Saga has more ads in it than copy. I stopped reading women's mags when I realised it was a case of "another year, another season" and they trotted out the same old, same old, fashion, recipes etc year after year. You needn't even look at your calender. Also got tired of seeing famous female faces so 'Photoshopped' that you know that's not what they really look like.

Just about the only magazine I read these days is Waitrose Kitchen, and I'll sometimes pick up a Good Housekeeping. I loved my mother's women's mags when I was younger, now I find it quite interesting that my daughter doesn't read any of the women's magazines.

Gally Tue 30-Jul-13 08:22:08

There are so many of these magazines on the shelves now, all full of the same old same old! Why is this country so obsessed with so called 'celebrity' culture. I couldn't give a fig about any of them. Even the weekend newspaper magazines are full of rubbish. Years ago when first married I used to buy Woman's Weekly which was full of good recipes and knitting patterns! (old before my years blush). I buy the odd copy of Homes & Gardens or Coast occasionally on a rainy day or for a journey.
I suppose thy sell, because people want to read them but we Grannys should rise up and lead the country in a 'Don't Buy Rubbish Magazines' campaign wink

Aka Tue 30-Jul-13 08:31:27

Can't agree that that magazines were 'comics' when I was young. I too enjoyed ones like 'Woman' and 'Woman's Own' but agree that there's nothing worth reading now as they've mainly all morphed into repetitious drivel. I don't like Saga either, the lay out, adverts, size, font, etc really irritate. Pity as some of the articles were interesting.

Iam64 Tue 30-Jul-13 08:55:18

Another one here in agreement with all the comments here about the state of women's magazines. I loved Nova, and bought Spare Rib, which may be about to make a comeback, who knows. Like others here, my mum had Woman delivered, and we daughters had Bunty and Girl. The OK magazine front cover promising the details of how Kate is going to lose her baby weight in a blinking of an eye truly plumbed the depths. All the newspapers including tabloids were up in righteous indignation about the OK article, but I'm sure that didn't harm its sales. I didn't like the way every single newspaper high lighted the fact the 24 hours after giving birth, Kate still had a baby bump. The articles were praising her for being 'normal' - what ever did they expect, her to wander out wearing a girdle? The pressure on young women, the invisibility of older women, it's all rather depressing. Well, invisible older women other than Helen Mirren of course, and the Queen. ( oh yes, they're the same person now aren't they)

Elegran Tue 30-Jul-13 08:58:05

Which decade were you a teenager in, absent? (no need to be too exact if you don't want to) I think you may be a bit younger than those of us who remember "Nova" and "She". I used to buy Nova in the 70s, when I was turned 30.

However, I do remember a badly researched article in Nova on how man-made fibres were better than natural ones, we should not be shearing those poor sheep, and lambs were freezing to death because we had stolen their wool. Clearly someone who knew nothing about the details of artificial fibre production, how wool grows, or at what age a sheep is sheared and had not bothered finding out.

Ella46 Tue 30-Jul-13 09:11:45

I refuse to spend good money on magazines these days. They are indeed filled with celebrity drivel.
I used to like She, and when I was younger, I would treat myself to Vogue occasionally, to see how the other half lived.

Hunt Tue 30-Jul-13 09:22:02

Anyone looked at The Lady recently? I can't wait for mine to arrive on a Friday.Give it a go!

whenim64 Tue 30-Jul-13 09:24:22

Funny you should say that, Hunt! I read a few editions online last year and they were quite good, compared with the slebmags. I was just thinking I should have another look.

harrigran Tue 30-Jul-13 12:10:12

I never buy magazines but my sister does and passes them on to me. She buys six or seven glossy magazines a month and the articles are all much of a muchness especially during the holiday season.

Hunt Tue 30-Jul-13 12:16:21

Whenim64, there are often very good offers for the Lady magazine to be delivered to your door. Makes a great Ch*****as present!