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As a child I well remember my mother reading Woman's Own every week and now we have come full circle as my grown-up daughter paid for a subscription to this magazine as my Mothers' Day present this year.
The arrival of my mother's copy was eagerly awaited by me each week - not because I was interested in the knitting patterns or problem page of course but rather because its arrival meant that my Beano or Bunty would also soon be appearing.
The Woman's Own is a real treat; it gives me something to 'dip into' without needing the concentration necessary for a book. I very rarely buy magazines for myself - normally only in airport departure lounges when, between us, my daughter and I buy so many that we are at risk of incurring excess baggage charges!
Woman's Own does have something for (almost) everybody although it does seem to have moved with the times and gone are the knitting patterns so sorry to all you knitters out there. Do the publishers not know that knitting is enjoying a revival?
So then, what does it have to offer? Well, a little of everything really!
'Celebrity' stories which tend to be less scandal mongering than in some other popular publications.
'Human interest' stories about real people and their experiences.
Fashion pages which feature clothes and accessories to suit all budgets from High
Street stores such as Primark, Dorothy Perkins, Asda , Next and M & S.
Consumer tests of products which are affordable for us mere mortals rather than just the rich and famous.
Diets - and I know that if I keep looking, sooner or later somebody will come up with one that will allow me to eat three chocolate bars and numerous cakes and biscuits every day and yet still guarantee that I can lose half a stone a week!! (Well, I can dream can't I??)
Health and beauty tips.
Recipes which actually tell you how much the dish will cost to make.
Every week Woman's Own features Richard and Judy's Book Club providing information and reviews of novels that perhaps you wouldn't normally think of reading.
As well as all the usual 'must-have' features including puzzle pages, horoscopes, problem page, entertainment and TV highlights.
Is this magazine perfect then or does it have any negative features I hear you asking yourselves? Well in my opinion, not too many. One thing I don't like is the two page spread devoted to readers who have won 'small fortunes' by playing on-line Woman's Own Bingo and, as a Sudoku fan; I would welcome its inclusion on the puzzle pages. However, the puzzles that are featured do keep me occupied during a well-earned morning coffee break!
As my magazine is a gift the price does not concern me too much but, at 92p, I think it compares favourably with other, similar publications and provides good entertainment for under a pound.
I would recommend this magazine, it is nice to see that it has stood the test of time and I'm pleased to be following in my mother's footsteps.
I have been brought up in a family of very keen 'recyclers' who have the motto "If you are finished with it then pass it on". This applies to everything from old television sets to paperback books, but one thing that regularly circulates amongst my sister and mother and I is magazines. We buy our own, read them, and then pass them on to each other, ensuring that we well and truly get our monies worth from each one!
One such magazine that my mother buys quite regularly is Woman's own, which is available to buy in the UK, for around 90 pence or so. It is a 'weekly' magazine, with a new issue coming out on a Tuesday or Wednesday of each week.
Whilst I would probably only occasionally buy it for myself, I do read it regularly, as a result of the 'passing-on' techniques that have been adopted in my family.
Woman's own is different from other glossy magazines in that a little less attention is given to following the stars. Some magazines that are available nowadays seem to focus on what eyeliner Cheryl Cole is wearing and how so and so was caught in bed with whatshisname, but this isn't really the case with Woman's Own.
Instead, we are dealt little 'snippets' about stars such as Coleen Nolan, Fern Britton and there are of course some soap star stories too. What I find is that this magazine on the whole is aimed at a more mature audience, than some of the more glossy offerings available on the market, and this is possibly confirmed by the 'gossip side' of the magazine being aimed at more mature stars.
That said, it still makes for an enjoyable read if you are interested in reading all the speculation about who is going to replace Fern Britton on This Morning and that kind of thing.
There are also plenty of real-life stories which I love reading. These are generally about such things as women who have been jilted at the alter, or women who have suffered at the hands of sadistic psychopaths or ladies who have lost huge amounts of weight. I find that these all make for a very enjoyable read and the nosy side to my personality is well and truly indulged whilst reading about other people's lives.
The magazine contains quite a lot of helpful advice too. There are ALWAYS recipes in Woman's own with quite a lot of emphasis given on 'quick' meals to prepare or 'meals on a budget'. I seldom cook from recipes any more due to limitations with my mobility, but these still provide an interesting enough read.
There is usually at least one competition where the reader can enter to win anything from a tube of foundation to a cash sum which is usually £50.
Contained nearer the back of the magazine are some of the 'usual' bits and pieces that one would expect to find in a glossy magazine like this one. We have a selection of puzzles such as a crossword and a 'Your Stars' section, where we can expect to read our horoscope for the following week.
There is also a two or three page spread pertaining to 'What's on TV' which not only provides us with the latest gossip from the soaps, but gives a general opinion on many programmes 'on the box'. I do not find this section particularly helpful given that I usually receive these magazines second-hand at least six weeks from their date of issue! That said though, I still find that these opinions are quite well written, adding a touch of humour to the topic in hand.
The content of Woman's Own as a whole doesn't especially stand out to me as a reader, although one thing that I do welcome is the lack of glossy advertisements that can be seen regularly in other weekly magazines. Some of the more 'upmarket' magazines that my sister buys regularly for example have several pages taken up with advertisements for cosmetics or perfume which infuriates me somewhat, as I feel a bit cheated in terms of value for money or 'reading quantities' in these glossies. In comparison, Woman's Own has perhaps only three or four one-page ads, and one of these is generally on the back cover to the magazine.
All in all I do quite enjoy reading this magazine on occasion. It requires only minimal use of my brain, which is fine by me - if I want a 'heavier' read I will opt to read a book or something instead.
I am perhaps being a little harsh in my score as I do feel this magazine is aimed at 40- somethings and above to be fair, but I would still award it four stars. I'd probably only buy it if there wasn't much else on offer though!
I started to buy this magazine just over four years ago when I was on maternity leave with my first child. I have been buying it weekly ever since. Personally, I find it be good value for money (87p a week) although, I think the standard has dropped slightly over the years. There is a good variety of stories - gossip, stars, real life, diet tips, fashion, excercise, reader letters etc. I'd like to see more competitions but then you can't have everything! The real life stories are good and some tug at the heart strings but its nice to read about ordinary people rather than rumours about what stars may or may not be doing.
The cooking sections seem easy and relatively simple to follow - although I'm yet to try any out!
There are easy to follow diets for all kinds of eaters too, whether you have a sweet tooth or savoury.
All-in-all a very good read!
I have been buying Woman's Own now every week for many years. It may just be a comfort buy as I don't really enjoy it anymore. It may be quite a cheap magazine at only about 80p but it is filled with some complete and utter rubbish.
Only a few years ago it was a magazine which every woman would buy and sit down with a cup of coffee to read about a few real life tales and to catch up on the latest soap gossip. Now however the soap gossip has gotten smaller, probably only one page for all the soaps, I don't pay that much attention any more. Also the real life tales from people across the UK have become ever increasingly terrible to read and depressing. I'm sure that a few years ago we used to have nice stories about people getting together and people doing nice things in the world. Now it's all about rape, murder and what horrible things that families have had to endure in the world. I honestly think that these magazines really should be about relaxing and reading, not now, they are becoming more like the news!
What also bugs me know about this magazine is how much advertisement is in it. I understand that this is how they get most of their revenue but I do not want to read a magazine that every other page is trying to sell me some make up or shampoo!
Overall I think this magazine has gone downhill over the years which is quite a shame as it use to be my afternoon read. However if you really are desperate for some random rubbish and you only want to waste some time while not spending very much then this magazine is for you. If you want something actually good to read and something not depressing, go for absolutely anything else. If you want to risk it and give it a read it can be purchased at pretty much any newsagent and supermarket.
As long as I can remember my mum has got Woman's Own and in my bored teenage years, usually when I was grounded, AGAIN ( I was such a bad girl!), I usually had a read. But the years have passed and I have moved on to far grittier things like 'Chat' and 'Take a Break' (more sex scandals than you can waggle a stick at) So nowadays I have to be bored to read It, to buy it I must be so bored I'll barely have a pulse! And that was how I was today, read all my books, read all the decent mags around, not even Jenny Jones could cheer me up! So eeny, meeny, miney mo in the newsagents and I ended up with Woman's Own. And then I look at the front cover and couldn't quite believe that I'd spent 72p on it, aside from the fact that the shop assistant kept trying to charge me £2.25 because she was looking at the Euro prices! And what delights did it have to offer us, this very glossy, quite good paper, magazine? Well the main picture is of Cathy Shipton (Duffy in Casualty) and how she lost that last 5lbs and lost 10 years by cutting her hair short. Whoopee do, and being bitchy I have to say that it hasn't worked! 2 real life stories of how a woman lives with no brain (slight exaggeration, she does have 15% of it), a woman who lives as a 'Posh' double (yawn). How to lose a tubby tum (sit-ups anyone?), top 10 consumer complaints, jealousy and a 'free' 8 page slimming pull out. Like I didn't pay enough already! Undoubtedly many of you will have been tempted already, and for those who haven't I shall delve inside for you and tempt the rest of you cynics. And they have the usual stuff: Features: minicab horrors, jealous women, etc. Style: Oriental and how to look like Posh Celebrity: Melinda Messenger, Kim Marsh and other B-list hopefuls. Health: Hormones and help! Dream Bodies Extra: Figure flatterers, chocolate lovers diet and other healthy malarkey. Re
gulars: crosswords, cooking, psychics, agony aunt and horoscopes. Obviously I cant go through everything (I do have another life), its too jam packer with goodies. I'll pick out the, ahem, good bits! Hurrah, what turns Melinda Messenger on and off, now being liberal minded I've seen enough of that over the years and it definitely wasn't Eastenders. I cant honestly take this woman seriously. Whatever next, Jordan 'fronting' Playschool? The jealousy article is quite amusing, let just say that this young lass has holes in every wall and even in the doors where boyfriends had locked themselves in rooms trying to escape through the windows! I don't feel sorry for her, its just amazing how many freaks there are in the world! And talking of freaks heres Kim Marsh. Why is this woman still around? Oh yes this ex Hear-Say 'star' is married to Jack Ryder (ex Eastenders 'star') C-List anyone? Give it 6 months they'll both be gone! I wont say too much about the woman who has 85% of her brain missing as she is being featured in 'Extraordinary People, on Channel 5, 15th April. Her worse problems is that she bears an unhealthy resemblance to Cherie Blair! Ooh and what beauty products the start us? Love Challenge? They're plumbing the depths here. Flowery tops? No thanks. The slimming special features Cathy Shipton who had an amazing 5lbs to lose, 'fat fashions' and slimming cheeses. Well that will help. Soap Gossip - why not just watch them? And my favourite bit, the foods and recipes. And its rhubarb, bleurgh! Ooh rhubarb crumble, rhubarb jam. And spicy rhubarb sauce for duck. I can imagine nothing more 'fowl' (please excuse me, I'm poorly). And the rest is just products from supermarkets. I have a sneaking suspicion this is just subtle advertising. Is the mag really impartially reviewing these items or are they getting a bit of a back hander fro
m the manufacturers? And I'm sorry but I don't understand how Gill Penny makes a living as a Victoria Beckham lookalike. She's supposed to be a size 8 but looks much bigger, has a completely different face structure, and is quite a bit older. And the new 32E breasts look completely out of place. Anyone can put on a long dark wig, big brown glasses and give a pout! And it shows you how to get a 'Posh' look. Complete waste of good glossy pages. And the rest gets even more boring, apparently I'm going to get an invite to a fancy party! I've found out about consumer law, which having read quite a few reviews people know lots about already! And whether you can marry your first cousin (you can). But I'm rather worried about the bloke and his girlfriend who counted her orgasms over 3 days and ended up with 25 as she is worried there is something wrong. I mean actually counts them, was this some kind of test? I don't think this woman needs medical help buy psychiatric help! All in all, its completely boring, the clothes are very frumpy. I hate to be horrible and stereotype but I think this mag is aimed at the over-40's (which is how old my mum is!). Older fashions, basic make-up, slimming and cooking lead to an old-fashioned magazine. Not enough gossip and scandal and gossip for me I'm afraid. I'm going back to my 'Chat' and 'Take a Break'!
As I enter Sainsburies on my weekly shopping trip, I normally cheat and pick up the magazines as I'm standing in the queue, (normally the expensive ones for £1.80-3.00). Woman's Own is an excellent woman's magazine to sit down with a nice hot cup of coffee and relax as you get whisked away into other people's lives. You can read up on the latest gossip from the hills of Hollywood and elsewhere, get ahead in the soaps, read a real life drama and giggle at some of the funny short stories. Everyone loves gossip, and don't say that you don't - I always ask myself 'Why do I want to see pictures of Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham?', especially when the press have pushed her so far she can't go no further! The answer is, it's a woman's instinct - to be nosy. That's what's so great about this magazine, and yes.. it's a magazine that I do buy!
Womans Own is published every Tuesday and nearly always has a soap star on the front and an interview inside. If you?re into the soaps you?ll love this ? it tells you a little about what?s going to happen to the characters in the interview over the next few weeks ?s sometimes this an then ruin the soap because you?re sat watching for the moment ! It has a good letters page and a decent problem page. I?d guess the mag is aimed at the 25-45 age group with kiddies. They regularly feature ?diets and fitness plans? and have a few fashion pages ? but fashion form the high street not the designer shops. They have tips in on make up and products ? testing them so you can decide. They always have some give-aways each week which you enter on a postcard. They have a short story (which I never read so can?t comment). All in all it fills an hour pleasurably on a Tuesday evening.