By Jennifer Nelson
Glamour. Cosmo. SELF. Ladies’ domestic magazine. Vogue. In an that has been in a downward spiral for years, those magazines—and different women—focused magazines like them—have not just retained their readership, they’ve elevated it. each month, 5 million-plus ladies peel again the slick conceal in their favourite journal to thumb via pages jam-packed with tidings and recommendation approximately style, attractiveness, intercourse, relationships, food plan, wellbeing and fitness, and way of life. yet do women’s magazines provide important info, or do they basically peddle fluff and fantasy—and in both case, do ladies take their messages to heart?
In Airbrushed Nation, Jennifer Nelson—a longtime insider—exposes the bare fact in the back of the smooth pages of women’s magazines, either sturdy and undesirable. Nelson delves deep into the realm of glossies, explaining the ways that those magazines were optimistic for girls, highlighting the ways that their agendas were erroneous, and asking the questions that experience long past unasked: What do ladies imagine and think in regards to the retouched photographs, the ever-present intercourse suggestion, the consistent offensive on getting older, and the fable model spreads that includes unaffordable clothes and niknaks? Do the unrealistic advertisements, pictures, and beliefs that permeate glossies harm women’s vainness . . . and is it intentional?
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Extra info for Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's Magazines
She is a distillation of a bunch of real women who were interviewed on the street or in cities across the country for the article, refined to fit the “ideal” woman the editor wants for that story or feature. They’re called composites because editors may take out information that is disconcerting, like her age or sexual orientation, if it doesn’t fit the angle of the story, and instead offer up only the information the magazine wants the reader to know, like her weight loss methods or how many times a week she gets busy; details that fit precisely into the package they’ve created.
Not surprisingly, by the early seventies, the standard doctrine of women’s magazines began to clash with feminism and its ideals. In 1970, feminists held a sit-in at Ladies’ Home Journal. The editor-in-chief at the time, John Mack Carter, promised change. He even tried to crush the confrontation by publishing a special eightpage supplement titled “The New Feminism,” which appeared in the magazine. However, not much changed. A year later, Carter was quoted as saying, “Some of the complaints made about our magazine by the women’s lib types were right.
Indd 17 17 9/12/12 4:27 PM which, during that time, was an elephant in the room that was rarely, if ever, mentioned in mainstream women’s magazines. glossy fact Lear’s, a magazine that targeted the overforty woman, opened the door to marketing to older women but it didn’t survive. It would take twenty more years before the industry saw another attempt at reaching the more mature woman, with the successful launch of MORE magazine in 1998. Another magazine that targeted the liberated reader was Working Woman, which launched in 1976 and was the first magazine to focus exclusively on workplace, financial, and career advice for women.
Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's Magazines by Jennifer Nelson