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Light, Easy Read with Mostly Photo Content
Member Name: Goonerette89
Advantages: Glossy photos, handbag sized, amusing
Disadvantages: Nothing intellectual, adverts, lots of photos and scarce amount of text
I have completed a Grazia review and decided to do one on my personal 'twin' magazine, Glamour. A few years ago at college, this was really the first magazine I became addicted to and bought every month. I think I was a gullible teenager and taken in by the glossiness and found the content rather comforting: ways to improve this and ways to improve that (dietary, ways to improve your sex life, meet a bloke etc.). Teenagers are susceptible to that sort of thing, aren't they. I even know the first time I bought it and I think it was the June or July edition in 2007. I'd finished high school and returned home from having decided what to study at college and it was a hot day. I had bought this magazine and decided to get it out of my bag and have a read of it. I sat on something in my porch in the heat and happily soaked up the contents on a balmy midday. From then on it became my 'must buy' women's magazine. Maybe it was simply the good feeling I was experiencing that swayed me to this magazine because I certainly don't bother that much with it all now - it was a summer's day and I was making a new start and felt like I was growing into a woman so perhaps this was part of the change. Perhaps it was simply a sign of my age and teenage vulnerability to these things.
I felt as though I was learning things from this magazine, as though it was some sort of agony aunt.
This magazine is a monthly glossy which claims to be Britain's no. 1 women's magazine and is usually on sale at £2 but is often on offer at half of that (I wonder why?). It is attractive and it is a more pocket sized magazine to that of Grazia or most of the others, so it fits quite nicely into your bag. Of course they know how shallow and gullible some women can be with anything that we deem colourful, pretty or small so I'd say that this possibly makes them a more attractive option.
On the cover you are usually presented with a posing celebrity who is featured as the main interviewee within the magazine. This is something else that I no longer understand: why was I interested in these people? Anyway, I was and to be fair, these celebrities are always women and usually successful, famous A to B-list women. Usually. I think that the first edition I bought featured Jessica Biel. It can be a slight
contradiction to constantly tell women they are great and can achieve anything yet present them with a false, airbrushed woman as their idea of perfection. Mind you, they are not the only ones as we know and I'm 100% sure women are not that silly to think that anyone can manage to look that perfect, no matter how beautiful they naturally are so they're no longer fooling us.
Elsewhere on Glamour's glossy cover they have smaller headlines featuring the contents such as Cosmopolitan-style sex or relationship advice and real life stories. Just recently there was a small headline and article asking, 'Are you good at sex?'. Er... I suppose we will have to buy it to find out!
Often Glamour give away a small, free gift of which I have had books, mascara and nail polish by the likes of Benefit; another way of taking advantage of a woman's gullible spot.
Inside you get a lot of adverts. I did mention on the Grazia review that I enjoy fashion photography so to me it's like the content but generally speaking most people see it as useless filler and let's be honest, it is.
Most adverts are of course fashion and designer orientated - perfumes (including the flaps and tabs with testers on), clothes, accessories, make up, beauty etc. Popular companies advertising in Glamour include L'Oreal, Next, Links of London, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs. So a range of companies across a relatively vast financial bracket. You're usually greeted with an advert as soon as you turn over to the first page...
Then you have got a contents page and the editor's welcome just like any other magazine as well as a letters page featuring the readers explaining how the magazine's articles helped them through difficult times - this is where the magazine gets to publicly pat itself on the back and the readers get to butter them up. A little condescending on the magazine's part?
Further in to the first few pages and you have the typical celebrity fashion scrutiny and odd one-off pages on I don't know what else - relationships, celebrities, dos and don'ts and yay, men! I'm being serious. Men's magazines are full of hot women and women's magazines are full of... other women in bikinis and dictating how they should look. Okay that is shallow I accept, but even women are human; I mean, a good looking guy versus a woman in a bikini and an accompanying article debating whether she's too thin or fat? Unless you are very insecure, it's a no debater that most women don't want other women to be bullied and endlessly scrutinised over their appearance. This is not what the sisterhood are supposed to do and yet these women's magazines get away with this time and time again. Glamour does do a lot of dietary articles but in fairness you'll never find it pointing arrows at a woman's cellulite. Not as far as I have seen which means it stays slightly higher than other magazines in my estimation. It tends to be the clothes they scrutinise. However.. they do a top 50 sexiest men list every year. Each to their own on that one but it's an interestingly shallow addition as is the magazine's annual best dressed list. Cue the debate!
They did do a recent article comparing current celebrities with old Hollywood ones and as an old Hollywood obsessive I jumped at it. Sadly all it involved was taking a picture of Jessie J and stating that she probably took her hairstyle inspiration from Louise Brooks or how Rita Hayworth inspired Diane Kruger's latest hairstyle. Clutching at straws, perhaps, but it made it another good photo opportunity.
Then you get these weird pages like, 'Hey, it's okay to..' and they proceed to giving you an amusing list of what they deem normal in spite of your fears that you are probably the only one; I think. Nothing intellectual but a little amusing, certainly.
You're given one or two spreads of fashion photography and a model or two posing in the latest fashions. Sadly these clothes tend to sit comfortably in the hundreds, maybe even thousands of pounds range rather than the high street prices. They do tend to be nicely shot photos though with nice, fresh looking models. Although they seem to be so creative with the clothes that sometimes it's as if they've just thrown anything together but any woman half-interested in fashion will enjoy it even though there's a good chance she won't be able to buy any of the items listed and particularly in the current financial climate.
In the magazine you get usually two celebrity interviews: the one with the cover girl on which is usually suppose to be the in-depth one but the interview is made up more of journalistic words about her appearance or how much she fidgets during the interview than the interviewee's own words. Nothing riveting with these interviews but if you like the celebrity being questioned you may like the accompanying photos; which again, take a lot more space than what the celebrity has to say (which is never a lot unless it's simply not published because not a lot of it seems to be). Photos usually cover whole pages and feature the celebrity in some designer clothing and make up and posing in a model-like way. Airbrushed, also. These have included the likes of Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Fearne Cotton.
The other interview is a more pretentious, smarmy one with a famous man. The interviewer from the magazine meets this celebrity at a lunchtime haunt, usually in London or L.A., and unlike the other interview, this is more of a straight out question and answer session. Again, you don't get much in way of stirring conversation. The magazine explains what the interviewer and celebrity respectively enjoyed at their lunch and off we go with about three pages' worth of questions and answers. Don't expect questions about what he thinks of the situation in Afghanistan because it's nothing like that. You're more likely to get something like, 'Who would you enjoy a threesome with?'. Marvelous.
Off the top of my head the men that have taken part in this amusing lunchtime discussion have included Jay-Z, James Cordon and some other people.
There are pages of make up and hair-styling tips which can be quite useful to girls but again, more photos there than tips. If this was a blog, it would certainly be a photo blog.
We're also given a life story or two written movingly by an ordinary woman which actually gives you the most textual content in the entire magazine sometimes. Sometimes these stories are shocking and other times simply moving.
Then you have the CD, books and latest cinema offerings section. Not a lot to put on this except we all know that most magazines feature this and this is all so subjective, anyway.
Horoscopes are given their usual magazine slot and at the back of the magazine you're greeted with what seems to be ten pages' worth of advertising, from fashion to beauty to working with Glamour or the trekking the Himalayas.
There are also the Glamour Awards which are there to represent great women and their achievements (readers are given the opportunity to vote on their biggest female inspirations from sport, music, TV etc.) and once a year the ceremony is held in London featuring a host of famous people from the world of showbiz all treated with the whole red carpet shebang. This is reported in both diary style and photos annually in the magazine. Who wore what, who won what and who snogged who as they sipped on rainbow coloured champagne. It does serve to highlight some very hardworking and successful people though, outside of all the celebrity agglomeration, which is something we don't do often enough as a nation.
I think as a magazine it is of mixed usefulness and entertainment and it depends on how seriously you take things. Of course sexiest men, sex tips and trashy interviews are probably just light fun and judging alone by the cover (not that you should ever do that of course!) it is not going to be a magazine that is back-to-back seriousness throughout.
If you want a light, easy read and are interested in gossipy style writing and fashion, then this will provide you with an hour or so of fun reading. It's quite small, about half the size of say, Hello or Grazia but double the thickness so will fit neatly into your handbag. However the thickness is definitely increased due to the perfume adverts and their smelly flaps.
Just don't expect any upmarket, in-depth Vogue-style articles with plenty of text or stimulating interviews alas even free newspaper magazines.
I commend Glamour on one thing: it is devoid of any trashiness that some downmarket weeklies offer with the latest Essex girls frolicking on the beach complete with, uh-oh, follow this arrow to her celluloid, and the Big Brother winner is dating the previous Big Brother winner-type thing. Glamour doesn't do a lot of sensationalist absurdness although bar the true life story, you'll be pressed hard to find anything all-encompassing or stimulating so I'd say if you like photos, particularly celebrity or fashion-orientated and want an easy, amusing and relatively quick read at your lunch or coffee break then this magazine will provide you with everything required.
Also, check out their website which is at: www.glamourmagazine.co.uk. They provide you with ways to subscribe to the magazine itself, latest celebrity gossip, make up / hair tips, quizzes, the editor's blog and sex and relationship features as well as the opportunity to rate the article or comment. I quite like the website, actually and with that style of content, it is probably a better option than paying the pound or two on the magazine in the shops. Again not lots of writing but it is simply designed and easy to enjoy and a laid back read.
Summary: A good light and easy lunchtime read. You'll learn nothing but whether you're good at sex.
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