[Warning: mild swearing/language and mild sexual references, though by mild swearing I guess I mean the Aussie standard so tread cautiously, perhaps…]
When I was nine, I picked up my very first magazine. Glossy pages filled with beaming girls and interesting fashion styles were flicked through eagerly. Pretty toys and amusing articles were pored over by me repeatedly. This magazine, Total Girl, essentially elicited my interest in fashion and would culminate in a magazine obsession.
Yet in recent years, I have been looking through magazines less and less. Of course, we all know the main reason. Magazines are expensive. $8 – $15 dollars on a booklet that is half-filled with advertisements and the other half with information easily accessible via the net (thanks based Internet!!) is simply money better spent on other things.
My old favourite, Vogue, has quickly become disappointing in print as the magazines become ever thinner with more ads and at a higher cost. Why the hell would I pay to look at ads anyway when I could waste time ignoring them online… for free?! While I still adore Mina magazine very much, the lack of popularity means that it isn’t distributed here in Australia (not even Chinese grocery stores/newsagents!!) nor are the Chinese scans ever uploaded onto the internet. I could forego Mina for a local indie piece but Yen and Frankie’s quirkiness isn’t quite what I seek. They cover lifestyle, but I don’t care about those topics much at all, and if I do want to, I’d check elsewhere. Magazines in general also lack the interactivity of social media and online blogs we have become accustomed to.
While the paperback book stays popular as ever, you may argue, I find that what value a book holds compared to a magazine is sadly but simply different.
For many, a novel is an experience and a getaway. The organic feel of the pages as you breathe in a new world in perfect peace is very much at odds with the cosmopolitan, glossy editorials of fashion magazines. Both readers want escapes perhaps, but while the novel reader seeks an abode to revisit every so often, the magazine reader demands instantaneous information to reflect their fast-paced lifestyle.
Additionally, with the almost information overload of fashion blogs on the net and fashion brands/magazines taking to social media, does anyone really need those glossy magazines anyway?? You can access your favourite bloggers’ sites from your smartphone on the way to school/uni/work with 3G, check up on updates for whatever event is coming up through social media and connect to Wifi to browse the fashion tag on Instagram in your lunch break. A magazine takes resources and at least half of it is already rubbish from ads. Lugging it around is also a pain.
Oh and who can forget some of the pure rubbish that the “big magazines” have put out? You know, Cosmopolitan’s “sex tips” (listen… I may not have any relationship experience but I’m almost certain that “chewing on mango then giving [oral stimulation]” is not something that most people would like) and Seventeen’s infamous “tuck your hair inside your necklace” advice. Sure, cherry picking, but I’d like to think that a supposed influencer would know what they’re doing, you know?
In any case, forking over a good $10 for a magazine which may have brilliant insight but may also have glossy toilet paper inside is almost like playing Russian roulette. Without, you know, the actual dying part. (Though a part of me dies on the inside.) In all seriousness, it’s ludicrous to expect consumers to pay money for this stuff.
(I’ll admit though, if I’m in the doctor’s waiting room and see a magazine, whether it’s trash or filth I WILL flick through it. That “who wore it better?” section is a particular weakness of mine, their columnist’s/readers’ shitty taste be damned!)
Major fashion magazine companies duly note: your products are becoming obsolete. The Age of Information is here and damned be those who try to fudge their ‘zines to stay relevant. ■
What are your thoughts on the magazine versus blog debate? Leave a comment below~ Till next time!