Now I love to read glossy magazines. From the tender age of 10 onwards I have devoured august publications such as Diana and Jackie, then Look Now, Woman, Woman’s Own and of course Cosmopolitan.
I remember the first ever edition of Company magazine with its radical glossy paper and in those days, the freebies were things like sachets of shampoo (remember Silvikrin Lemon & Lime? You could have cleaned a car engine with it).
But these days I have a couple of gripes (you’ll get to know that this is a standard response to most things with me).
Things I hate about glossy magazines
The ludicrousness of the fashion spreads
One magazine this week has what appears to be a tribe of badly painted clowns cavorting in clothes only Timmy Mallett would think chic. Prints are in and the wackier the better. Dots is the other big trend apparently. How the full stop has been reinvented to be this year’s ‘le dernier cri’ I’m not sure.
My question is: who on earth wears this stuff?
When out and about I very often look to see how many women are modelling new trends, high fashion looks, fantasmagorical accessories (none under £1500) and I must need my eyes testing because I find not a one. They’re all in sensible, weatherproof clothing – a sprinkling of Superdry, an iota of Jack Wills but the rest of us appear to be welded into our casual wear.
The fashion trends are a nightmare of course for women in the 50+ age group. Unless you have the sass of Helen Mirren, adopting these trends unsupervised can make you look like you ran naked through a jumble sale covered in glue.
The infantilisation of editorial tone
Do you remember New Woman magazine? I used to love it until a new editorial team came in and decided its audience were apparently pre-pubescent school girls with too much pocket money and a dad with a trust fund. They duly went south. I find the breathlessness of the ‘OMG’, ‘totes amaze’, ‘all emosh’ or, on last nights Celebrity Big Brother ‘having a discush’ language deeply irritating.
Are we so Twitter-bound (egg bound if you haven’t bothered to add a photo) that we can now only speak in sentences of 140 characters? Worse, even THINK in sentences of 140 characters?
I find it incredible that print media must surely be aware that the popularity of social media has numbered their remaining days. How many people read a newspaper or a printed magazine cover to cover?
The failure to cater for older readers
The UK also has a reportedly growing population of older people. Government sources say that one-in-six of the UK population is currently aged 65 and over, by 2050 one-in-four will be. The biggest future market for print sales is unlikely to be pre-pubescent girls and their Hello Kitty purses.
My solace in all this is Woman & Home Magazine and even (including to my surprise) Saga Magazine. It’s so refreshing to read informed, ‘mature’ features and articles. I also like Red (despite it’s rather top heavy balance between advertising and copy) and Good Housekeeping.
My plea to the editors of the glossy magazines is simply this: please, please talk to us in the language of mature women. Otherwise the dots I’m seeing before my eyes are not a fashion statement but a sign of raised blood pressure.