(….but we still remain friends)
I’ve had a long and meaningful relationship with women’s magazines over the years.
Our relationship began when I was around 12 when my friends and I moved on from Smash Hits magazine onto the heady heights of Just Seventeen. We would all sit huddled around the same copy in the playground at school, reading the problem pages, make-up how-tos and advice about safe sex, all the while feeling very grown up and mature (Despite the fact that no self-respecting 17 year old read it). I moved onto high school and again my magazine preferences changed. This time More was the magazine of choice. Once again we’d all huddle around the same copy on our break reading the problem pages out loud, dishing out our own advice (because we were world-wise women of the world, don’t you know) and giggling at THAT page at the back.
If you went into to the local newsagent a few years ago, you would have seen racks heaving with titles – Look, Company, Grazia, Red Magazine, Easy Living, Marie Claire, and the aforementioned Just Seventeen. Sadly, some of these are no more and are now merely publishing legend. I mean, does anybody even remember Minx? The most recent titles that have met their demise are Easy Living and Company. I mourned their loss momentarily, but I was not surprised to see them go. Nowadays when I scan the magazine aisle at my local supermarket, I often walk away empty handed.
I was always prepared to accept that not all the content of a women’s magazine was going to be relevant to me. Hair and make-up advice for women of colour was always thin on the ground, the constant scrutiny of celebrity lives always seemed to me a little intrusive and I cared little for advertising for brands that I had very little chance of being able to afford. Don’t get me wrong, I still bought magazines avidly and enjoyed the odd article here and there, but finding one title that was wholly relevant to me became more and more elusive.
Then I started reading blogs and my feelings towards magazines changed.
It’s not you, it’ me…
For me a good magazine has to have a mix of a few key ingredients:
- Aspirational – it has to make me want to buy certain items, make me want a certain holiday. Nothing too expensive that I couldn’t possibly afford it, but just slightly out of my reach, so that I want it more.
- Friendly/relational – I want to see myself. I want to know that the articles are written by women just like me. Women who have the same life experience, same joys, same problems. I want to identify with them.
- Encouraging – I love to see women uplifted, no matter their size or colour. The world spends too much time tearing people down. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect size 10 woman’ and if there was, there would be so much more to her than the way she looked. I want to read about women making a change.
From the comfort of my own home I can find all of those things in the blogs that I read and it doesn’t cost me a penny. I can be inspired by sunny beaches and designer dresses, get real relevant make-up advice or even read about other women like me and it’s all just a click or two away. Not only that, but if I want to join in the conversation, or give a blogger a (virtual) high five, I can – either through their comments pages or on Twitter. It’s all become a bit more, well…real.
Sorry magazines, I’ve moved on.
But that doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on magazines completely. I must admit to flirting with them every now and then, just to see what’s out there or to get a freebie or two. But blog reading has definitely taken their place in my heart
I use Bloglovin’ to keep me up to date with all the blogs I follow (at the last count I was up to 86! eek!). Here are a few of my favourites that I really enjoy reading:
Encourage – Honest Mum – check out her Wonderful Women blog posts.
Have you stopped reading magazines too? What blogs do you enjoy reading? Feel free to put any suggestions below.
Ps. You can follow me on Bloglovin’ here