Perusing magazines before my lecture this afternoon elucidated a sad truth: I feel marginalised by Australian women’s magazines.
Even the self-proclaimed alternative ones like Frankie and Yen are just Cosmo, New Woman, Cleo etc packaged up in op-shop clothes, docs, tousled hair and panda-eyes eyeliner with the tag ‘indie’ lazily slapped across. While Frankie has beautiful art and good writers, I’ve stated my grievance with its aesthetic before. I understand that magazines need an overarching aesthetic to define themselves to readers, otherwise they’re just a bunch of opinions cobbled haphazardly together, but something about the Frankie aesthetic alienates me(I think it’s because I don’t like baking or sewing). Essentially, I feel that women’s magazines are still out to exploit women and make them feel terrible about themselves for the purpose of selling clothes and make-up.
I like fashion ok, but I don’t have the extra $600 to spend on Jimmy Choo shoes. And I also don’t enjoy page after page after page after page after goddamn page of skinny doe-eyed waifs putting their hands on their hips and extending their emaciated elbows outwards trying to look ‘underground’ whilst modelling clothes that cost more than I make in a year.
I like beauty regimes and make-up ok, but I don’t need to have a whole sizable section of a magazine dedicated to telling me how I’m doing my make-up wrong and what hair conditioner I should use because this celebrity uses it. I don’t want to be made to feel like I need to constantly improve myself simply by flicking through those pages. Make-up shouldn’t be about attracting guys or a balm for your self-esteem. It should be about you doing it for yourself because you have want to and for no one else. I don’t remember ever feeling inspired and good about myself after reading these sections. All they do is bring you down and bludgeon you with expensive cosmetics while you’re vulnerable, sobbing that you don’t have Christina Hendrick’s rack or Mia Wasikowska’s facial structure.
I like music ok but music in magazines is really redundant because more often than not you’ve already heard on the internet about whatever band the ditzy intern journo student got saddled with half-heartedly reviewing by comparing them to another band and using the word ‘indie’ like it’s a novelty. Yen actually featured a section on Pavement calling them Indie Gods or some shit. While it can be argued that these magazines aren’t music magazines and any music sections they feature should be taken as fluffy page-filler, that isn’t good enough. Sloppy journalism that’s reaching so many impressionable young women is not good enough.
I like social issues ok, but they’re always centred around global/racial issues that most young, white, privileged Australian women would, most unfortunately, not give a shit about. I’m not saying that magazines should aim their social issue articles more directly at their targeted audience, because I doubt many of their consumers care either way. But a privileging of glossed over issues would be nicer. Anti-racism isn’t the only thing people have to be concerned about. What about its affiliated movements? Where’s the articles attacking anti-ableism? Anti-feminism? Anti-homophobia? Anti-classism? Where are the articles attacking gender binaries? Oh wait. You guys perpetuate that shit. Sorry.
Tl;rd: Fuck this. I’m sick of being marginalised by Australian women’s magazines. Therefore, I’m proclaiming this is call to arms for all tumblr girls + guys who feel the same way. If you’d like to be involved in/contribute to a zine that will be the conscious antithesis of this shit, email me at email@example.com or reply here