Huffpost interviewed Wendy Naugle, of Glamour magazine on June 24th to talk about why the serious stories in women's magazines are often ignored.
”Anyone who dismisses women's magazines, it is at their peril,” Naugle said. “This is a huge segment of the population that is looking for information and making decisions about that information.”
Rather than having a knee jerk reaction, I have calmly sat with this idea and let it infiltrate the fibers of every part of my body.
Qu: why don't I and the women I asked want to read these magazines without breaking into a round of profanities whilst looking at stick thin models in clothing the ”regular” female feels is out of her reach?
So I came to this conclusion today – I agree, ignoring women's magazines and not giving them the time and respect they deserve IS ignorant – why? Because it is a great example of how we move 10 steps forward and 10 steps back, 10 steps forward and back another 10.
Oh yes! We produce ”serious stories” and surround them with articles on the inside scoop on a random celebrities perceived ”perfect” skin, or the ”what not to wear” on the beach. And it goes on.
The latest issue of Glamour magazine is more like hanging out with me AND my alter ego and that's a dangerous concoction of – multiple personalities, meets gin and tonic infused mess in the middle of the night, after being stood up at a bar because, ”I'm too fat init?”.
We go from inspirational stories, (hallelujah!), to an article on a real woman v Gisele Bundchen 3 months after giving birth ~ erm great! To an article ”53 swimsuits that will make you look 10 pounds thinner” – pictured by models who do not need to look 10 pounds THINNER ~ not so great! Hmm. 10 images wasn't enough? NO! – We have 53 images for you, if you're a size 2. If you're not, then you need to look in a different magazine. The result on my self esteem, SO BAD. After looking at size 2, wrinkle free, cellulite free, fat free models in a slide show 53 times you feel like you need to purge all meals eaten in the last 24 hours, find a personal trainer and order some slim fast all at the same time. My only debate is – which do I do first?
This is not positive not for anyone!
And this, my public, is why we are not taken seriously.
It's so simple – the front page of such magazines are littered with images of slim women, fashion must haves and boy bands. I also understand, the audience of this magazine is probably younger than me, but by how much and how much thinner? Really? I am fashion aware and I want to read these magazines without feeling like I need to puke afterwards.
We have not moved on enough, we may as well go back to husband & family first, sex slave second, kitchen third, subservient sex slave fourth, cleaning fifth, naughty sex slave sixth, laundry seventh, submissive sex slave eighth and woman/mother/partner/wife of the house a resounding last. The irony, we can't even blame men! UGH! The only people we can look at are ourselves, the women behind the magazines! Yes I said it!
I think if women's magazines stopped trying to make us modern day versions of a 50's housewife we would be heard.
– We get ignored because, 90% of the magazine is about how to look ‘beautiful' being a size 0 and the other 10% ‘may' be more inspiring & topical with a fat woman thrown in for fun.
– We get ignored because all our models are no more than a size 2 or 4
– We get ignored because we talk about food as if it's quite possibly the evil step sister to the steamed kale.
Everything is catered towards how we should look ”perfect”.
”Perfect, is in the eye of the beholder”
What we need to do is:
Take responsibility for the mayhem we have helped support and create.
Most importantly understand how we are influencing the younger generation of soon to be women, be responsible for the messages we portray and support.
May I be so prudent to ask – equality for all?
Current up to to date issues alongside fashion trends.
4) Size 0?
Have women of all sizes represented, from size 0 up.
5) Hard times:Happy times
Talk about the deeper darker issues experienced by some women alongside happier moments we experience being exactly who we are
Provide solutions to expanding careers and educating ourselves so we can get where we need to get
7) Body positive
Provide an open forum for media influenced body positive conversations – like ”A beautiful body book project” by Jade Beall
8) Non profits for females
Showcase inspirational stories that have come out of non profits geared at females – provide hope, a solution and a way to find it.
I am a personal fashion stylist and a nutritionist – so let me be crystal clear – I am not hating on fashion/makeup/bathing suit/healthier recipe ideas or even being slim, I am talking about a balance. I too want to read the latest
‘must-have' my business and myself depend on it, but lets keep it real. I know all about aesthetic appeal, I basically sell it. Look good, feel good, feel good, look good, corny, but true.
However, contrary to popular belief, I am not looking for ways to have your size 14 body look like a ”perfect” size 4, because that would be impossible without photoshop. I have you own the body you have and love it just the way it is and just the way it is not.
We can do it all, we can add on more potlitically timely topics, we can move from unaware to aware, but until we actually represent our reader we will continue to be ignored.
I am a Personal fashion stylist. Nutritionist. Motivational speaker. Writer. Personal shopper volunteer and guest speaker at Dress for Success, San Francisco.
My Focus: Have women create their own brand, voice, style & confidence.
follow me @ravneetvohra