Nothing New Under The Sun
February 26, 2008
Meg at Faking Good Breeding recently pointed out how little women’s magazines have changed in the past fifty years. And I quote:
“Do you ever pick up an issue of Cosmo, Elle, Lucky, Allure or any other women’s magazine and get the feeling that you’ve read the content before? The same tips, tricks, photo spreads and “serious” pieces feel like they’re recycled month after month, just with a new celebrity tacked on the cover.”
While doing research for a paper on feminism and women’s magazines, she came across this amazing 1950 article in Atlantic Monthly by British journalist Marghanita Laski about how women’s magazines just rehash the same content every month. In my opinion, this is true. For a while, I read some of the more popular magazines religiously (mostly American Vogue and Allure, although British Vogue was really my glossy of choice), but it didn’t take me long to realize that the same stories were basically given a slight update – the editorial version of a fresh coat of paint – every season.
Could this be part of the reason that print media is losing ground to the web? After all, creating something innovative, different, or outside of the mainstream is much less risky if you do it online – the barrier to entry is borderline nonexistent. Or is recycled content actually what women want? After all, there are plenty of internet fashion magazines, blogs, and websites that don’t differ too much from their more traditional counterparts.
If you are at all interested in this topic, definitely read the original article. It is kind of amazing, especially when you remember that it was originally penned in 1950.