Working as an Editor in Chief of one of the most read male magazines in the US and Europe (I am not going to disclose the name of the mag), I’ve had the opportunity to stumble upon various contents touching upon male-female relationships, male lifestyles, their behaviors and heart-full confessions; at most times, I couldn’t help but feel absolutely awed by the content they were offering, and I still do, each time.
It’s not just the packaging they come in – the glossy-sex-selling-covers, attractive men or abs wherever you look; while supposedly demeaning and shallow, whoever does the cover is a smart business person, a moneymaker if you will – absolutely aware of the importance of sex in the already twisted consumerist society this person knows that sex sells! So, why not use it to trick the buyer into getting high-quality content behind the crotch of the latest hip celebrity? Genius!
Since I’ve started working in the field, my devotion stayed reserved for the likes of such great magazines like IDKmen, Esquire and GQ. The content behind them is everything – a witty, smart and extensive take on current social issues, literature and pop culture, the male-female relationships explored through columns of those men who have something to say; trending and branding, relying on intelligence of its narrative rather than on shallow, already chewed-up topics expected to be featured inside the covers of a popular newspaper, these magazines know how to juggle the perfectly intelligent content and just the enough portion of celebrity glamour to avoid getting stuck with the “too serious” epithet.
A breath of fresh air in most of the celebrated male magazines is that they tackle upon gender issues in such a smart way; unlike female magazines that are, in a way, expected to facet such content but due to the possible angry, bitter, feminist label avoid to, male magazines often feature interweaves with successful women, glorifying (or simply admiring) their success. To me, that’s possibly one of the most amazing segments of the male-magazine industry, openly stating how forward and accepting male are of the changes in the society. Naturally, it’s not rare to come across misogynist pieces in male magazines as well, however – these particular prints target a particular group, one I’d rather not comment on.
As a woman who’s been in the industry for a really long time, and as an educated person who loves intelligent narratives and believes in mental capacity of both genders to master it, I can’t help but feel bitter about female magazine contents.
When you think about the usual display of topics in trending female magazines, what you predominantly get are talks of fashion, new ways to wax your intimate parts, ways to seduce a man or keep him happy by giving him an endless number of blow jobs a day, then some more fashion, make up and obviously the latest must-haves that revolve around sponsored items usually costing an arm and a leg.
It was a few months ago that I’ve accidentally come across an article titled “50 ways to go down on your man”. I was shocked. In a perfect world, where women speak highly of themselves and not allow the “oral” part of their nature be the thing that defines them, a female magazine would never publish such content. Unfortunately, it did.
Lady editors of female magazines, I’ve got a few questions:
Where’s the quality literature? The talk of latest inventions? Why aren’t we talking about politics and business? Why aren’t we tackling gender issues? Why don’t we feature more women role-models (and by “role-models” I don’t mean half-naked Victoria Secret dolls but rather educated and successful women who have achieved plenty with their clothes on)? Why aren’t we paying tribute to working mothers and their struggles? Why aren’t we interviewing women in position? Voicing on the already marginalized state of culture? Don’t tell me you went to college/University to spend your life writing/reading gossip about who cheated on whom and whether she-and-she were spotted in their bikinis with tons of cellulite on their thighs!
Lesson one: We’ve all got cellulite.
Lesson two: Get over it.
Lesson three: Did you say Ursula Le Guin’s latest masterpiece A Wizard of Earthsea is spectacular?
Sure, makeup tips help and so do fashion yes-yes’s. However, aren’t we more than that? Let’s give ourselves a little bit of credit and parry our male peers, content-wise. Until something changes, I am sticking with men magazines – it seems they respect me more than my girl-magazine-creators do. Such a shame.