I have finally figured out (or maybe just accepted) that I prefer men's magazines to women's magazines. The tone and intensity of the writing in men's publications is more direct and there's a lot less fluff. Now granted, I really do like the damn things "for the articles". And, okay, of course, the fashion direction is going to be off mark for me. And I am unmoved by pictures of actresses/ singers/ socialites tugging on their underwear, but other than for those three discrepencies, I prefer the men's stuff.
The viewpoint in men's publications is just so uncomplicated. Women's magazines have such torturous stuff in them: like your body? We can ruin that for you. Just bought something you feel pretty in? We'll teach you that it's now all wrong and hopelessly outdated. Content with your life? Allow us to fuck that up. Feel free to be/ look like anything you want? Step this way, because, sister, you are not allowed to feel/ look anything like free. You're too old/ fat/ intimidated for "free".
I read women's magazines and I want to kick somebody in the shins. (All except for the fashion, of course, but when it's too careful it's boring and when it's too freaky it's all concept and practically speaking, useless.) Women's magazines ruin my good mood.
I have found exceptions, of course. Years ago, I used to read Mirabella. Of course this particular glossy was aimed at women who were 45 or so and I was, what?, 14 or so? Old soul. And then it was no longer published. All good things must come to an end, huh?
I had a subscription to MODE magazine the first two years it was on stands. My inner feminist was so frickin' pleased that a women's beauty/ lifestyle publication actually was attempting to encourage woment to feel content, beautiful, etc. To this day, MODE is the only women's magazine that I have ever read that actually made me feel lovely. The rest are out to make you feel shitty so that you'll buy product. After two years of this kind of MODE-inspired happiness, I failed to renew my subscription. I'd finally faced the facts: I don't wear any of the clothes they were showing in MODE because I'm too thin. (If I take care of myself, I look like the girls in every other fashion magazine out there. But no other fashion magazine out there has ever made feel as good as MODE did. I miss MODE. I'm having a moment of silence for MODE.
Moving right along- as far as those other fashion magazines are concerned, Elle stands the test of time. Sort of. They're irreverent, which is helpful, but they still wander into insecure/ constant craving territory often enough. Plus their fashion layouts tend to give one the impression that their fashion editor is constantly on a tropical vacation. (What's up with that? And then also- what's wrong with that?) Other then having the overwhelming desire to make over E. Jean (whose attitude I adore, but whose advice I outgrew a while back), I liketh this mainstream one.
Then there's V. V makes me happy. Seriously happy. This is because V's writers are always asking people to explain their creative lives, processes, collaborations, inspirations, etc. I crave creative community- in fact it's one of my top three cravings- and V is the next best thing to being there. Plus V has a serious committment to always finding the new and the next. There's no creative glass ceiling to it and connections are NOT the only way to show up on their pages. Every once in a while I get a letter or e-mail from them regarding some contest or other they are having for cool new designs in glass or what have you and I am terribly, terribly jealous of whoever it is that could actually participate. (What do I know about glass making?) V probably sparks more stuff for me creatively than any other magazine I read. (Well, fashionwise, anyway.)
Surface isn't bad, either. It's kind of V trying too hard and without the cool creative process stuff. Surface feels kind of like Wallpaper or Veranda or some other such pretentious metro-muckity-muck mag. (Surface is still better than Wallpaper or Veranda, in my none too humble opinion.)
Nylon rates a mention, but they tend to get a hard on for a particular indie designer and get kind of stuck. Plus their "letters to the editor" are so sugary and grovelling that I feel kind of ill if I read them. Still, they did introduce me to Inner City Raiders vs. Deth Killers of Bushwick (fake motorcyle gangs whose names make me laugh and also remind me of Charles Dickens for some reason.) Click on April 2003 Nylon p. 116 to view this particular t-shirt of theirs which is lodged in my brain. (It doesn't hurt, if you were wondering. Unless I think about the fact that I should have bought it from them when they were still selling through their site. Now if I want it I'll have to track it down in North Carolina or some such ridiculous thing.)
I suppose Jane deserves an honorable mention, too. Jane probably comes closest to the tone of mens mags, however, they then proceed to step right on over the line, and brave woman that I am, I just cannot hang. However, they did pioneer the phrase "feeling a touch crimson" if anybody out there has a use for it, and also, I guess I'll be forever grateful to them for letting me in on the fact that Pamela Anderson has a real brain in her head, no augmentation required. Who knew? V.I.P. was goofy enough that I decided to like her anyway, but her Jane articles clinched it. She's nowhere near perfect, mind you, but I don't like perfect. Perfect makes me itch and want to do very bad things.
But if I have to read about politics, science, technology, cooking, wine, cigars?, travel, culture, etc., I think I'd just rather sit with the menfolk and read what they're reading. Maybe this is because in a lot of instances I think and communicate in a very strong, direct way (which is classically kind of masculine. At least the editor-in-chief types seem to think so.)
So, I like men's magazines. What does that mean? (That boy needs therapy. He's crazy in the coconut.) Who cares? Uck, this is a slow news day here. Does it show? Seriously, folks, I got nothing.