I read a ton of magazines.
I read books too, I swear to God, but as absurd, elitist, and unrealistic as fashion magazines often are, I still love reading them. On a basic level, it’s just brain candy; beautiful girls in awesome clothes are fun to look at. And I sometimes get a kick out of reading the articles.
Who wouldn’t be riveted by an in-depth expose written in CIA-level detail about what anti-wrinkle injections the rich ladies uptown are getting this month? Or a “reflection” by an East Hampton socialite on the most significant issues at play during the American Presidential election? And of course, the inside scoop on what kind of placenta-derived serum Penelope Cruz puts on her face when she’s riding in an airplane. The stupidity of most of these magazines is highlighted beautifully in Jezebel’s wonderful “Cover Lies” feature. But still, they’re fun, light, easily consumed for a little while, even if the level of delusion on the part of the publishers and writers of the magazine is ultimately kind of depressing.
Ignoring the fact that a lot of decent, hardworking people lose their jobs when magazines fold, culturally speaking I kinda think it’s for the best. A sort of trimming of the cultural fat. Like, with Rolling Stone, or Vibe, or Spin or whatever verb-heavy current music title you prefer, do we really need yet another print magazine letting us know what we probably already learned about current music from the internet? No. Hence the demise of Blender.
Same with KING magazine. I’ve never read it, but I gather from seeing it on the newsstand that it’s primary topic of reportage is expensive sneakers and girls’ asses. Worthy topics, to be sure, but hardly ones lacking sufficient media coverage.
So yes, some of our magazine friends have been taken off life support due to insufficient sales. However, the classics remain and the reductive, stereotypical breakdown below will help you to figure out exactly which magazine you should be supporting.
You were in a sorority in college and now work in marketing, sales, or advertising. You wear jeans, going-out tops and heels to bars, went to see Bride Wars in theaters, tell your friends you’re a “Carrie” and date dudes who gel-spike their hair and watch Entourage religiously. You’ve never had a G-spot orgasm but talk about ‘em all the time.
You are a gay dude who gets annoyed with GQ’s delusion that they are writing for heterosexual guys, who are at this moment reading a sticky copy of Maxim.
You want to be thought of as classier than then Cosmo girls, and you may be, but you realize after skimming through the photo spreads and reading the article on quickie wrinkle-diminishing treatments that you can squeeze into your lunch break that you don’t understand any of the things the writer means when she talks about Isabel Toldeo’s use of bias cut and peplum. You also don’t know who the hell Francoise Hardy or Barbara Hulanicki are and if pressed will admit that you only bought the magazine because the girl from “He’s Just Not That Into You” was on the cover.
You are really interested in fashion design and liked the article on Isabel Toldeo and the history of Biba, but are dismayed and irritated to find most of the rest of the magazine devoted to a discussion of $400 laser hair removal, stupid uninspired photo spreads of socialites you’ve never even heard of at some benefit you’ll never go to, and a profile of some stupid actress who once again is on the cover where a model should be.
You want desperately to be thought of as downtown and hip and want to know about the newest and latest designer/band/artist so that you can get in on the ground floor and feel extra-cool when the shit finally goes mainstream. You secretly scour the party-picture pages hoping that you come across someone you know so that you can point it out to your friends and pretend to act bored and casual about it.
Your refrigerator contains nothing but Coors Lite and Gatorade and you wear Brine Lacrosse shorts and Adidas flip flips, even in the dead of winter. Your staunch commitment to frequent and vigorous masturbation, however, is to be commended.
The New Yorker
You nod along with public speakers and have paid cash money for one of Adam Gopnik’s books. Yousupport, in some way , The Environment. You alternately hide and brandish the cover of this magazine depending on the company/neighborhood you’re in, you duplicitous bastard.
You can’t read, can you, sweetie?