Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why Are Men's Magazines So Much Better Than Ours?

I've been reading and flipping through teen's and women's magazines like Cosmopolitan, Self, and Glamour for most of my life, but recently I picked up an issue of GQ and was a little surprised by what I saw.

As we have mentioned in class, women's magazines seem to feature the same types of stories and "advice" for EVERY. SINGLE. ISSUE. However, I couldn't put down this issue of GQ. First of all, it was full of smart, witty humor from cover to cover. Secondly, it featured stories that were actually interesting and relevant, including current event news and advice for the working world.

It's also interesting how men's magazines have evolved as opposed to women's magazines. When men's magazines were first introduced, they featured nude women and ultra-masculine themes. Although these magazines obviously still exist (i.e. Playboy and Maxim), some men's magazines - although far from perfect - have proven to be more mature.

Although women's magazines can be fun to read occasionally (even though we all know they have many flaws, as many of you mentioned in earlier posts), they often treat their readers as mere bodies, sexual objects, mindless, powerless women that require "constant vigilance, attention and self-surveillance" (Gill 217).

It's unfortunate that many women's magazines often perpetuate the gender stereotypes that women have been trying to disprove for decades. Magazine headlines or stories may seem like they are trying to empower us ("His Best Sex Ever;" "The Walk That Drives Men Wild"), they are actually degrading. Women's magazines have not seemed to (semi-)evolve the way men's magazines have. Although things may be worded differently, the basic themes are still the same.

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