The fact that women’s magazines are full of fluff isn’t news to any of us who receive them monthly. But we may not stop to think about the fact that behind those cotton-candy pieces about lip gloss and blow jobs are female journalists, who may want to write something more lofty but are probably not being given the chance to do so (didn’t you see “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”?).
Over at Think Progress, Alyssa Rosenberg considers the fact that as men’s magazines like GQ and Esquire publish serious, long-form, award-winning articles, there is an absolute dearth of the same in anything remotely resembling a women’s mag:
…a women’s magazine hasn’t published a nominee for a Feature Writing prize in the last twenty years. Unless the interior design magazine Nest counts, no women’s magazine has ever produced a nominee for profile writing in the two categories that have existed to recognize that form. If we count Self, six Public Interest award nominees have come from women’s magazines in the last twenty years: two in that magazine, one in Golf for Women, one in Redbook, one in Glamour, one in Family Circle. Between 1991 and 2001, no women’s magazine has produced a winner or a nominee in the Reporting category.
So I wonder — would you, as a reader, be interested in a magazine that provided more balance? In at least having the option to have your fashion up front and your “groundbreaking, beautifully-written reporting,” as Rosenberg puts it, piece in the back? Or are you content with lip gloss and blow jobs?
P.S. — This is a safe space. If lip gloss and blow jobs get you through the day, more power to you.