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August 10, 2007

Are the Boys Getting Better Content?

Esquire_2
If we are talking about the most popular mainstream magazines for men and women, then I think this writer might have point:

If you’ve ever read through an issue of Esquire, GQ or Men’s Vogue
and thought, "this is just like my favorite women’s magazines, only a
lot smarter," you’re not alone. Lately I’ve found myself getting more
excited about picking up the latest issues of these popular men’s mags
than my own Lucky, Vogue and Glamour.

Why are men’s magazines consistently better?

Where
these magazines succeed is in the merging of style and substance,
pairing beautiful fashion spreads with really intelligent,
well-researched articles about current events and pop culture
phenomena. And they don’t take themselves nearly as seriously as
women’s fashion mags do, prioritizing humor over pretension.

I admit it, I’m not a regular reader of the magazines she lists–Lucky, Vogue and Glamour–nor do I frequent the pages of GQ, Men’s Vogue or Esquire all that often. (Though I read Esquire more than any of them.) But can anyone argue that those three women’s magazines aren’t entirely humorless? I mean, come on. I don’t scan Lucky for the giggles. I want outfit ideas and some clue on how much it might cost. I look at Vogue for the high fashion photography and chiseled models. Glamour…well, Glamour only gets picked up at the dentist’s office to be honest, but all of three of those magazines are distinctly Not Funny. Oh, Glamour tries, with it’s plethora of puns and sex jokes, but falls pretty flat.

But the boys! Esquire has some fine writers. You get the sense that none of them take themselves too seriously, which is essential when devoting 8 pages to Angelina Jolie, I mean let’s be real. And GQ doesn’t talk down to its readers like some of the women’s mags do. But, I wonder, are we comparing apples and oranges here?

What about Maxim? And Stuff? Aren’t these more comparable to Glamour than Esquire? However, those aren’t men’s fashion magazines, so much as flesh rags. Which inevitably raises the question, what is the female equivalent of Esquire and GQ? Is it Cosmo? It’s certainly not Bust, they are too edgy and small. So many questions, too many magazines…

Perhaps these reads are too varied and unique in what they offer to be compared in this way. But I stand by my thoughts that mainstream women’s fashion magazines could really step up their writing game for the benefit of all involved. Maybe that would leave less room for advitorials?



About the Author

Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.