Magazines.com Blog

Magazine News

November 1, 2010

Staying Abreast: Does Wired Magazine’s November Issue Bare It All for Sales or Science?

When wired_nov2010.jpgWired magazine‘s November 2010 cover bared it (almost) all, tongues started wagging. But plenty of critics said the ideas and innovation authority potentially got a little too much off its, ahem, chest.

At the heart of the debate? How Wired portrayed the cover feature titled “All Natural: Why Breasts Are the Key to the Future of Regenerative Medicine” with a nearly down-to-there shot of the female form.

Such a move, though, isn’t outside of what the magazine is supposed to do, defended Wired’s editor-in-chief Adam Rogers in response to one blogger’s criticisms. “Got lucky in that a subject that famously sells magazines also, in this case, happens to be a brilliant science article,” he writes.

And it’s true. The article explores the possibilities of using the human body to naturally regenerate and repair itself. Specifically, using fatty deposits from a liposuction-like procedure is possible to “grow” natural breasts for women undergoing post-mastectomy reconstruction who prefer the non-silicone route.

But, according to research, such a procedure also holds promise for patients with chronic heart disease, those who’ve suffered heart attacks and kidney injury caused by cancer treatments. Generally in these instances, using the reconfigured fatty cells can improve organ function and breathe new life into dying tissue.

The possibilities are fascinating, provocative even. But did Wired magazine undermine the article’s ability to stand on its own? Or did they go the “easy” route and simply choose a cover that would sell? That’s at least one perspective.

Here’s another. Will the cover, though panned for being salacious, potentially draw in more readers than it would have with something more modest? It’s possible.

But the real travesty of this “controversy” is that the buzz isn’t sparking much debate over the substance of the article, and instead is hung up on what the cover image “says”–about objectifying women, about further establishing science as a “boy’s club,” about pretty much anything other than what the advances in the article could mean, not just for women, but for the field of medicine.

In short, not only could the research save what many are quick to espouse on bumper stickers, shirts and Facebook–and that’s the ta-tas–but a whole lot more.

Which maybe begs this more fundamental question: Does the Wired magazine cover image even draw you in to read the article to find that out?



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.




  • Anitabajajnewton

    I was really taken a back when I saw this cover (shock and awe). I couldn’t shake it from my mind so decided to write an entire presentation about it (URL attached). Basic question I have about Wired is — Is this a forward thinking, truly innovative magazine? or is Wired a magazine that is stuck in the stone ages…..

    http://www.slideshare.net/AnitaBajajNewton/wired-magazine-digitalstoneage

  • Sitwithabook

    If Wired didn’t spend nearly every article of every issue tittering like a geeky boy with Laura Croft posters it might have more credibility with this cover. Issue after issue are comments and images that wear its geeky boys’ club on its sleeve. It is not Maxim or SpikeTV, but more The Daily Show.

    I can easily picture a group of boy/men sitting around a table and that image being presented. They look at each other, nod, someone might raise the issue of “appropriateness”, but never do they think there might be a BETTER design.

    Lazy thinking built on geeky boy dreams.

  • Anonymous

    Almost everything that is not advanced in the article could be used not only for women but for the field of medicine.

    virility ex

  • Generic Viagra

    I can basically picture a group of boy/men sitting around a table & that picture being introduced. They look at each other, nod, someone might raise the issue of “appropriateness”, but never do they think there might be a BETTER design.
    Kamagra

  • http://hfeel.org/cheap-prednisone-online-en.html Buy Prednisone

    I was interested read this post.