In one of my posts from last week you may remember that I mentioned I would be writing about what my ideal magazine would be like, after mildly bashing the majority of women’s magazines (you can read this post here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/why-do-magazines-need-to-change.html ).
This post isn’t going to be a conclusive magazine plan (believe me, I’m working on that one), but a collection of things I would be saying yes and no to, and some areas my dream magazine would cover. It would be aimed at women of my own age: we’re looking at mid-teens to 20’s. If anyone else is a massive magazine nerd, then comment below: what would you say yes or no to? What areas of life would you want to cover?
Things I would say YES to…
- Proper careers articles, from inspiring women, where we don’t necessarily discuss their 5am workouts and juice cleanses.
- Mental and physical health advice, not just physical health advice, in the agony aunt pages. And this would be provided by experts in the field.
- For anyone trying to lose weight: sustainable guides to this, from actual dieticians.
- Recipes that are a mix of healthy and treat-time, but delicious and easy either way
- Fashion pages and trend coverage that shows fashion for a wider range of shapes and sizes. I came across a BuzzFeed article recently where five women were given the same dress and asked to style it. I loved all of the results, and it meant that women we don’t usually see in fashion magazines had the chance to bask in a well deserved spotlight.
- Travel features that aren’t just luxury get-aways, and show some real experiencing of culture
- A page of book reviews– and not just recent releases/prize winners. Sometimes I pick up older books in charity shops, classics even, and wish someone had written a review letting me know how fantastic it was. Just because it has been critiqued in the past, doesn’t mean anything outside of the year it was written isn’t valuable criticism.
- Film, music and arts reviews too
- Positive pages interspersed throughout the magazine, to let you know you aren’t failing at life too drastically, or just letting you know you look amazing today. Beats diet pill adverts, huh?
- Interviews with people we really want to hear from, on things that are actually interesting. Forget *insert Z-lister name*’s diet and latest range of Chihuahua clothing. I want to hear, yes, from celebrities sometimes, but ones with a good message. I want to hear from female world leaders, CEO’s, activists, bloggers, YouTuber’s…
- Articles on sex that aren’t about pleasing your other half. What, is sex just something you do just to please them? Because whipped cream and leather G-strings might not be your cup of tea. What about solo sex articles? Because is it just me, or is masturbation something openly talked about with relation to guys, but not so much with girls? Sex toy reviews anyone?
- Articles on day to day living that you need to know, but are usually too afraid to ask: saving money, things you need to know before uni, how to make a good impression at your first job interview, moving into your first flat…
- Makeup and hair looks that are not just for white women. Because this is a massive issue I have noticed in mainstream magazines; usually any “looks” are done on white women with straight easy-to-style hair, and blue bambi eyes. What, does afro-Caribbean style hair not exist? Do skin tones begin and end at white-but-with-a-peachy-glow? Does everyone have massive Caucasian style eyes? Fuck no is the answer.
- Stories that make you happy. That make you think ‘Hm. Maybe mankind isn’t so bad after all’. The stories you occasionally see about a dog being adopted after being left for dead, about a random act of kindness from a stranger, a life’s dream or ambition coming true.
Things I would say NO to…
- Quick fix diet articles. Anything saying ‘lose X amount of weight in Y amount of days’Shopping features where every single item costs the same amount as small animal surgery. Is it too much to ask that someone does a page of clothes from affordable stores?
- Women-bashing gossip features on some celebrity’s made up body part, such as cankles, thigh-brows etc. Unless it is calling for a ban on these terms in rival magazines.
- Advertisements for shit products that haven’t been tested by someone at the magazine. If someone has tested it, and it’s a thumbs up, then said advertiser can have advertising space.
- Extreme airbrushing. What is so wrong with seeing a zit? Or some cellulite? What, are your eyes so delicate that you can’t look at it? By all means, some images have to be brightened, the shadows reduced and saturation played with to counter the loss of colour from this- that’s basic photography skills. But the original image must not be scraped and slimmed and smoothed into oblivion. There is a very fine line, and my magazine would be very clear on where this line was, and what would happen to anyone that crossed it.
- Weird terms that are used seriously, and make the writer sound like a prude/parent trying to get down with the kids. Seriously, I have seen the vagina referred to as a “front-bottom” before. What was wrong with the word vagina?
So there you have it. Two long lists of what would/wouldn’t be going into my magazine. This post is already lengthy enough, and so I’ll be saying goodbye- but don’t forget to comment below with what you could/wouldn’t want in your ideal magazine. And don’t fear being specific either: which interviewees would you want? Where would you like to see a travel feature on? Would anyone actually like to see a feature on Chihuahua clothing?