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6 months back I come across an online deal for the Esquire magazine, a 12 month subscription for £15.
At just over £1 an issue, instead of the £4.25 you would pay if you were to purchase this straight off the shelf it seemed like a bargain, and as the old saying goes, some things are too good to be true ....
The first copy arrived, and i threw it in my bag to read on my lunch break at work, so i sit down at lunch, take the magazine out of my bag, and open the cover, an advert for Dolce & Gannana Jeans, not my choice in clothes, prefer River Island or shops of a similar price/style, not jeans that are going to set me back £100 plus !
So i turn the page again, Burberry, Chanel, Moncler, Patek Philippe Watches, Gucci and so on, 18 pages of adverts before i come to the contents page, the after the contents page another 8 pages of adverts before i come across the first article.
So I'm 26 pages in and i have only come across one page of content, not a good start ...
In the end i went through the whole magazine and pulled out nearly 40% of the pages from the magazine which were adverts.
Now on to some of the more positive points about this magazine, in the February issue which is the one i am reviewing, there is an interview with Jedward, a review of the latest Ferrari 458, An insight into the world of Peter Mandelson & Katie Price, a look at the future with Cyborgs, Gastro porn (?), an interview with Ron Dennis and heaps of fashion pages.
The content is very diverse, there is something in this magazine for everyone, once i have finished, the misses will pick it up and read through.
If only it wasn't full of so many adverts it would be a great magazine !
This magazine is quite an interesting one, developed as a gentlemans magazine, focussing on articles from famous writers and journalists, interviews with relevant, interesting people and features on fashion, sport, films, music and things affecting men.
During the early 90's when lad culture came in the magazine got drawn into the battle for ratings, putting pictures of the sexiest girls on their cover and focussing more on this and less on quality.
They lost the battle for readers to magazines that focussed entirely on girls, booze and being a lad. However, there has been a reimagining of the magazine and it has been brought back much further to its original design and origins, concentrating on interesting interviews, well written articles and things relevant to men, the magazine is an interesting and challenging read. It can be bought in a pocket format and has extensive fashion spreads. The magazine can be purchased through subscription for as little as £12 for a year.
I am enjoying the magazine more as it feels aimed at adults not teenagers or in-betweeners, I don't like the amount of advertising inside which is off-putting and pads out the magazine but overall its a decent read and all the better for sticking to its principles.
Esquire magazine is a monthly glossy publication aimed at the under 45 men's market. The magazine focuses in on men's fashion, health, shopping, gadgets and entertainment. Featured articles might include interviews with famous actors, politicians of the moment or successful entrepreneurs.
Two social representations of masculinity are predominant the magazine. The first is the 'cool cosmopolitan man'. He is the emotionally distant but rather controlled figure. He represents the prevailing hegemonic ideal of masculinity promoted by the magazine. The 'cool man' is invulnerable and fearless in the face of adversity but relies more on brains than brawn. He is adept at using the tools of modernity - all the latest technology and gadgets, but is by no means a 'geek'. He is a 'smooth operator' firmly positioned within consumer culture - a consumer of up-market accessories and designer labels. He might be seen also as a controlled and calculating risk taker appearing in the films and fiction of twentieth century popular culture such as James Bond.
The second most common representation of masculinity is the 'The Action man', often portrayed as the outdoor type, an adventurer or a sportsman. He relies primarily on his physical strength, agility and skill in order to overcome his environment or obtain success. The obsession with self-image, physical and sexual appearance, clothing and perfume is a dominant theme of the magazine. Self-image is firmly located in a context of materialist consumption in which men and women function primarily as consumers. Virtually all the social representations of gender are situated within or connected to aspects of consumer culture, whether it be the selling of perfume in advertisements or the promotion of films and books in interviews.
By far the most dominant social representation of femininity in the magazine is the 'sexual woman'. Here there might be two versions: the 'sexually seductive woman', and the 'social dominatrix'. Neither of these representations see women as wholly powerless. Women are not presented as passive sexual objects. The 'sexual woman' is imbued with the power to seduce, trap and manipulate men through her sexuality. The 'social dominatrix' is presented as an invader of previous masculine domains of social power and is therefore might be seen as a threat to hegemonic forms of masculinity. But the 'sexually seductive woman' remains subordinate because remains dependent on men and is defined by their needs. She is carefully positioned and contained in a 'man's world'.
There are noticeable absences: there are no images of disabled people, of gay or lesbian people or 'fat' people. There are no images of marginalized masculinities such as the homeless or unemployed. Traditional representations of men such as working class manual workers are also absent. Also rare are representations of both men and women with families or participating in family roles.
The man who buys Esquire is probably a working well paid professional or has ambitions to be one. He is likely to be heterosexual, single, and under forty five but unlikely to be a lower working class/manual labourer.
Bought the latest edition of Esquire purely on the strength of the bag containing the magazine and a book which stated - "FREE 'Easy Riders, Raging Bulls' Introducing the best movie book ever written'. Got home and lo and behold it's an edited down version. How much of an edit? 10 chapters short that's how much. This is stated on the back of the book but is unreadable in the bag. What a rip-off. And the mag itself? Apart from some photos of the gorgeous Lucy Liu Esquire is the same as all the other five-pages-of-ads-to-one-of-editorial, rich man's lifestyle mags - useless. Should have kept the cash and put it towards the book. Lesson learned.
Esquire seems to distinct itself from rags like FHM and Loaded through its higher-level of content. It has an image that, though showing myself as shallow, I like and probably buy into. Its main interview is always interesting and lengthy (not scattered around huge photographs to hide the lack of journalism), I commend the editor for reducing the nudey girls-bit of the magazine to a bare (sorry) minimum. The last remains of laddish 90's writing is still present, however - please stop the stupid maps of events like the grand prix with their silly long appendices: they aren't even funny! :) It is good that unlike FHM in particular, Esquire doesn't feel the need to juxtapose a beautiful woman on one page with photos and descriptions of the worst tropical diseases or the most violent piles from mid-state USA :) I supported the introduction of b/w close up photographs on the cover of Esquire not simply because it was a change from the usual sub-standard soap totty draping themselves unconvincingly across each other, but because it made Esquire, with its distinctive red lettering on black and greys, easy to find on the newsagent shelf. The new design of the cover also means that you don't feel the need to flip the magazine over whilst walking out to show the world the tasteful advert for some cologne on the back :) or is that just me? The June issue has reverted to the colour photo of a woman - heaven forbid! - which I don't disapprove of, naturally :). I've read that Esquire's takings have gone down since the arty front covers but it's still goof to see that the cover isn't semi-pornographic to the extent of Loaded or FHM, whose main readership is the 11-15 boys who have grown tall enough to reach the middle (but not the elusive top-) shelf. Esquire attracts not necessarily an older group of readers, but definately less obsessed with Jennifer Ellison et al; probably something to do with them being less sexually-frustrat
The most refined mens magazine by far, esquire is (in class terms at least) a cut above the rest. True, it means the jokes are fairly scarce, but the writing is mature, informed and entertaining. Being the first men's magazine ever to have a man on the front cover, it's obvious that this isn't just one of the many 'loaded' spin-offs around. Also, with barely even a hint of club culture, this is a far, far more representative and relevant overview for the ‘matured lads’ of today. The fashion section is also a lot more relevant, and the pictures are attractive AND artistic- a concept virtually completely unheard of in mens magazines before.. In my opinion, only beaten by FHM.
On the Gentleman/Lad scale, Esquire has kept out of lad territory, offering a good range of articles, on a similar sort of wavelength to GQ. Most notably Esquire has given away some great books with the magazine. Although the interviews are not ground breaking, the cross section of people interviewed has been a lot wider than other magazines, and there have been some very interesting interviews. Other giveaways have included clothing vouchers, and whilst there is less eye candy than often found in Men's Magazines, the photography is very good in Esquire. If you feel that FHM is too laddish, then Esquire along with GQ is likely to cater more for your requirements, although if you read more than one Mens Mag, you may well notice an overlap in articles.
Ok so I'm a girl and so its not really aimed at me but I really enjoy my boyfs copies of Maxim and FHM so when I got a free copy of Esquire at work I thought I'd take it home for the boy to read. I thought I'd give it a quick perusal as usual but was hugely dispointed to see that it was trying to be too sophisticated......well If I'd wanted sophistication I would have bought Arena. There were no funny pictures of people who'd been bitten by sharks, no jokes, no good reviews and no lop sided looks at the world that only men can muster. It was in short lodged in a no-man's land...it failed to be interesting or fashion concious like Arena or funny and laddish like maxim and FHM....I think they need to go back to the drawing board....or perhaps I should just never read it again.
This is the upper class of the FHM dominated 'mag' world. Esquire is as their catch-phrase says "the sharper read for men". This could not be truer. Their articals don't have the immature overtones of that of maxim or FHM, although these are not to be dismissed (read my opinion on that). The team of writers tend to add more dry or sophisticated wit to their writing which you will not find in most other magazines. They also don't just interview the big busty brunettes (kelly brook in FHM - not that i'm complaining), Esquire resently interviewed Johnny Depp, this is the modern advancement in men's magazines, as they now are trying to create male role models for us men - do you think it's me beer gut :) This is simply as there catch phrase says - THE SHARPER READ FOR MEN.