Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's Magazines

By Jennifer Nelson

Glamour. Cosmo. SELF. girls’ domestic magazine. Vogue. In an that has been in a downward spiral for years, those magazines—and different women—focused magazines like them—have not just retained their readership, they’ve elevated it. each month, 5 million-plus girls peel again the slick hide in their favourite journal to thumb via pages choked with tidings and suggestion approximately type, attractiveness, intercourse, relationships, eating regimen, future health, and way of life. yet do women’s magazines supply worthwhile details, or do they purely peddle fluff and fantasy—and in both case, do ladies take their messages to heart?

In Airbrushed Nation, Jennifer Nelson—a longtime insider—exposes the bare fact in the back of the sleek pages of women’s magazines, either reliable and undesirable. Nelson delves deep into the realm of glossies, explaining the ways that those magazines were optimistic for girls, highlighting the ways that their agendas were faulty, and asking the questions that experience long past unasked: What do ladies imagine and think concerning the retouched photographs, the ever present intercourse suggestion, the consistent offensive on getting older, and the delusion style spreads that includes unaffordable clothes and niknaks? Do the unrealistic advertisements, photos, and beliefs that permeate glossies harm women’s vainness . . . and is it intentional?

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Indd 1 9/12/12 4:27 PM Airbrushed_3. indd 2 9/12/12 4:27 PM AIRBRUSHED kingdom the entice & loathing of women’s magazines Jennifer N elson Airbrushed_3. indd three 9/12/12 4:27 PM Airbrushed state The trap & Loathing of Women’s Magazines Copyright © 2012 Jennifer Nelson released via Seal Press A Member of the Perseus Books crew 1700 Fourth road Berkeley, California 94710 All rights reserved. No a part of this publication might be reproduced or transmitted in any shape with out written permission from the writer, other than by way of reviewers who might quote short excerpts in reference to a evaluate. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication info Nelson, Jennifer, 1965Airbrushed kingdom : the trap and loathing of women's magazines / through Jennifer Nelson. p. cm. ISBN 978-1-58005-413-3 1. Women's periodicals, American. 2. Women--Press coverage--United States. three. Women's periodicals, American--Illustrations--Themes, reasons. four. ladies in mass media. five. physique photograph in women--Social aspects--United States. I. identify. PN4879. N47 2012 051. 082--dc23 2012012417 nine eight 7 6 five four three 2 1 hide layout by means of Erin Seaward-Hiatt inside layout through Tabitha Lahr revealed within the us of a disbursed by means of Publishers staff West Airbrushed_3. indd four 9/12/12 4:27 PM For Ashley —and the entire appealing girls examining all over Airbrushed_3. indd five 9/12/12 4:27 PM Airbrushed_3. indd 6 9/12/12 4:27 PM Contents advent | ix | bankruptcy 1: A Chick-Slick background bankruptcy 2: | The red Ghetto bankruptcy four: 27 | bankruptcy three: fact in advertisements | style ahead fifty five eighty three | bankruptcy five: It Ain’t approximately internal good looks 117 bankruptcy 6: To Age or to not Age | 137 bankruptcy 7: | a hundred and fifty five female worry issue bankruptcy eight: To the Left | 177 bankruptcy nine: the massive O | 201 bankruptcy 10: big name crucial notes Airbrushed_3. indd 7 1 | | 221 247 9/12/12 4:27 PM Airbrushed_3. indd eight 9/12/12 4:27 PM n o i t c u d o r t n I O ften, aspiring journal writers reduce their specialist tooth writing for smaller newspapers and magazines sooner than transitioning to the massive leagues of nationwide magazines. now not me. I knew what i needed. I’d grown up with my girly nostril buried within the smooth pages of every little thing from Tiger Beat and younger leave out to Cosmo, form, and Self. i used to be enthralled and infrequently appalled, yet nonetheless i used to be absolutely smitten. on the time, it didn’t take place to me that those women’s magazines, which had imparted a lifetime’s worthy of likely pleasant suggestion to me on every little thing from relationship and intercourse to style and future health, approached its readers as though they wanted solving, nor did i believe my vainness and self worth have been lowered just by studying their glossy pages. in truth, like thousands of alternative girls readers, I craved their content material and made no connection that any of my insecurities may be traced again to women’s magazines. So whilst it got here time to release my profession, I went directly to the resource of the love—the perfumed pages of the chick slicks. one of many first actual pitch letters I despatched went to Woman’s Day, one of many nation’s oldest and most generally learn women’s magazines.

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