Sometimes I find it difficult to keep up with my reading pile, especially now that I've inherited a coffee table so enormous it almost begs for piles and piles of magazines, books, and zines to be stacked atop it.
But I set aside some time this weekend to catch up. A few things I enjoyed. Maybe you would, too:
After fetching tonight's food and drink, Lisa and I took the train out near Boston College to meet up with two of the folks at Our Bodies Ourselves, the Boston Women's Health Book Collective — Judy Norsigian, one of the founders and current executive director, and Wendy Brovold, who handles communications and outreach.
Years ago, Joe Kelly noticed a Maidenform ad reading “Inner beauty only goes so far” on the side of a city bus, and was horrified to imagine one of his young daughters as the subject of it. As one of the founders, with wife Nancy Gruver, of New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams, an award-winning, youth-edited publication, Kelly was well aware that the relationships between girls and their fathers hold an importance that’s too often dismissed or overlooked.
When we heard that Jane Pratt, the former editor of Sassy—the sharp, celebrated teen mag that above all was absolutely unwilling to pull its readers into the spiral of insecurity and product consumption so endemic to all others in the genre—was launching a new grown-up glossy, we, along with other feminist pop culture junkies nationwide, squealed with excitement. Then Jane launched. And we weren’t excited anymore. Here’s why.
My arm fell asleep, I got so engrossed. This issue of Harper’s Bazaar is about as big as a bible—and just as full of prophecy.
I fall in love with the models, their blackened eyes and plaster pigment, all pinched and compressed into vinyl and leather, looking hot hot hot and totally unfazed. They are the visions of me that I will never see.
Irony of the month: While the Editor’s Letter says, “Shut up and eat,” and bemoans the fact that women are always “self-surveilling” their caloric intake, the mag gives information about: “Aromatrim” products (you smell them and they make you eat less); a new diet pill; “liposhaving” (you can guess what that is).
I’ve always been a media junkie. Magazines, movies, television—I love them all and tend to consume them voraciously. But indiscriminate media consumption, maybe more than any other binge, can make you sick.
Esquire’s annual “Women We Love” feature gives with one hand and takes away with the other. Hidden behind the premise of honoring them, the article puts women firmly in their place by using the traditional patriarchal tool of male approval—rewarding certain traits in the female while disparaging others.
Back in March a horrible thing happened. After a few months of checking the newsstands for my beloved Sassy, wondering what the hell was up and why I couldn’t find it anywhere, suddenly there it was—mutilated almost beyond recognition. Peterson Publishing (they also own Guns & Ammo) bought Sassy, replaced the entire staff, and gutted the editorial philosophy—and the new staff is trying to pretend that it’s the same magazine it always was.