*What* Magazine is This Supposed to be Again?!

Okay, enough is enough.  I’ve simply had it with inappropriately-included, Photoshopped-to-better-than-life female models on magazine covers, most specifically when the magazines in question have nothing to do with making women appear more attactive. (Yes, beauty magazines suck, too, but that’s a separate topic for another day.)
I imagine that a neighbor standing near me as I pulled this lovely bit of tripe from my mailbox probably received burns from the steam that shot from my ears:

I hid the words so that the full effect of the graphic was evident, then I asked approximately 15 people I ran into during an average workday what type of magazine this is.  The by far most common answers were women’s beauty and young men’s (e.g. Maxim, Stuff) magazines.  The next most common was was sports/fitness.

Do I need to specifically tell you, dear reader, that I don’t subscribe to beauty, young men’s, or sprots/fitness magazines?  Well, I don’t.

For comparison, this is the cover of the above-magazine’s closest competitor for the same month (November 2010).  Again, I blocked the words to bring the graphic forefront:

Look at these two covers.  If I paid you money for your honesty, would you ever in one million years have said that these two magazines were competitors?

I thought not.

Now, let’s look at these covers side-by-side with just the words applying to the main cover story of each showing:

Compare these two covers one more time and consider: If I gave you a lifetime subscription to the one of your choice for your honesty, would you ever in one million years have said these two magazines were competitors?

I thought not.

May I just say that sex shouldn’t be used to sell everything?  That there really are some things (like baby clothes) that are just inappropriately hawked when sex comes into play?

Seriously, Editors: What are you, 13?

The first magazine has been doing this for the last several years.  At first, the change was minor and could have been considered more “modern.” Then it ramped up in both frequency and audacity.  After the leathered-up dominatrix with a whip (!) cover, I really blew my stack.  I wrote an angry letter, and many other readers did, too.  I was filled with sister-love when I read their outraged comments.  I felt vindicated and justified and not, as I feared, a bit too prudish for the 21st Century.

Then the magazine e-mailed me an invitation to participate in an online focus group for an upcoming cover . . . Finally!  I could do something about this misplaced appeal-to-the-masses garbage!  I was so excited and mission-oriented as I clicked the link . . .

Yeah, all of the covers they provided for us to choose from were already inappropriately sexed-up.  There wasn’t a realistic or even non-laughable picture to be had, so I chose the least offensive one.  Of course, that one didn’t make it to my mailbox.   I guess that’s what focus groups are all about — the least common denominator.

This last cover is my last straw.  I hereby refuse to renew my subscription to this magazine, and I’m pissed off at this point that I renewed for two full years last time.  I’ve actually enjoyed its competitor more over the years, anyway.  It’s brainier and not trying to break into the god-awful beauty magazine industry.

You’ve been patient, so here are the actual, complete, unedited magazine covers.  Read ’em and weep, dear Janes and Joes.

The first was my needy best friend years ago who grew into a shallow tramp.  The other is my best friend now, the uncomplicated one who I could spend endless afternoons with drinking coffee and using my brain. 
~Riot.Jane
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About

Middle-aged, life-long Texan with a substantial chip on her shoulder.

Posted in body image, culture, feminism, self-esteem, sexism

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