Are Magazines Inherently Bad?

Blogosphere; Vogue; Cosmopolitan; Glasseshop.com Glasses; Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Set Muse & Angelic; Maisons Du Monde Pineapple Dish; Primark Rings; Fresh Roses
I haven´t opened a magazine in almost two years. In fact, the last magazine I actually tried to read is from April 2016 and I've still only read like half of it. As a teenager I was quite obsessed with magazines but as I got older and wanted to read more magazines targeted toward women I realised that most of them are pretty much soul destroying. It´s like trashy gossip, you need to lose weight, here's a cake recipe, do a workout because you need to change, your horoscope. I don't think this goes along with the general very positive outlook I want to have. I had the impression that magazines were inherently bad. But with the new year (and because I'm genuinely interested) I ordered 3 magazines - Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Blogosphere - to see what I thought of them now.

Cosmopolitan

These are the kind of women's magazines I'm talking out. I only knew the German Cosmopolitan (and other magazines like them) before so here's what I thought of the British version.

Issue: February 2018
Coverstory: Jennifer Hudson Dishes On Hollywood´s Other Scandals

My first thought when I opened it was "adverts... just a ton of adverts" and some are really well hidden too. Also there are a lot of featured products on almost every page. I get that it´s not always hidden adverts (I recommend products on here too) but I find that I always skip over those pages because I just don't trust the product recommendations from magazines as much as I trust other bloggers! I just like to know exactly who recommends things to me.

There always seems to be a bad side to everything. If someones rocking their outfit, another person isn't; if someone's hot, someone else is not. That's just not a view that I agree with. So seeing that reinforced in a magazine just leaves me with a bad feeling. Maybe that's why I enjoyed the fashion, career and fitness categories more. Once I got through the main gossip and bulk of adverts I actually found quite some useful tips as well as interesting stories and articles. I found that the articles actually venturing off the typical route were the best for me. For example, one article talked about how often fitness trainers are offered to sleep with their trainees. It was really interesting to read!

Blogosphere; Vogue; Cosmopolitan; Glasseshop.com Glasses; Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Set Muse & Angelic; Primark Rings; Fresh Roses

Overall I did get a big YOU NEED TO CHANGE; YOU NEED TO GET IN SHAPE vibe but that could be due to the early year issue and general resolutions vibe. Because this vibe was more centred around certain pages than others. Another thing I noticed was that there were no horoscopes to be seen which surprised me. But maybe that's a sign of a better magazine.

I found that there are a lot of gorgeous ladies featured that had amazing success stories and I'm kind of on the fence as to how I feel about that. On the one hand I love that they show off amazing success of women because that's what we need to celebrate. But on the other hand they all seemed to be too great to be real. It almost felt like they were shown with a blur on top and I couldn't really make out their different voices as they seemed to blend into each other a lot. That meant that while I adore their success I couldn't relate to them which in turn just made me fell bad about myself.

But after all, I did leave with quite a good feeling. I was expecting to absolutely hate reading Cosmopolitan but actually I quite enjoyed it. Maybe that's due to it being the British over the German issue? Are German issues generally worse?! Anyway, I can see myself flicking through another issue when I've got an afternoon to spare!

Would I buy/read it again: Yes, if I saw something the cover that interested me.

Blogosphere; Vogue; Cosmopolitan; Glasseshop.com Glasses; Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Set Muse & Angelic; Maisons Du Monde Pineapple Dish; Primark Rings; Fresh Roses

Vogue

I have never read Vogue before. Now that the shockwaves of that statement have ebbed off, let me explain. I guess I was just never enough into fashion to really get off my seat and buy an issue. But I thought this was the perfect opportunity to finally try it out.

Issue: January 2018
Coverstory: Fashion´s New Energy - Night & Day 24-hour Dressing

Again, the first thought was "ughhh, so many adverts". It was quite a struggle to actually find the start of the magazine and it made me almost want to give up even reading it. If the first content starts at page 55 you kind of get to wondering if there's even any good content left in there. But once you get through the bulk of adverts there are actually some articles and photo series to be found which all seem very high-end. I'm so sad to say that I didn't love most of the articles though. Maybe reading about fashion and design or art just isn't right for me because I did very much enjoy the View Point and Living articles. As I said all the articles were very well written though - it was just the content that wasn't really gripping to me.

I have to say that Vogue definitely wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting it to be full of photo shootings and a way bigger focus on fashion trends. Instead, there was a great focus on big people in the fashion industry which is really cool. Yet it also meant I wasn't insanely drawn into reading more as these weren't the people I could personally relate to. It was interesting to read their perspective on things and some articles I really enjoyed but it wasn't something I necessarily needed in my life - I´d have liked to read my neighbours opinion on the topics just as much. I really, really appreciated the critical view on trends though. I find that magazines can often sugarcoat things but it was so nice to read both sides on things like cleaning the air in your home!

I also really loved that I didn't get the feeling that I need to change or that they were putting anyone down. Everyone who was featured was celebrated and nobody was bashed for something they did. But after all, most of the articles didn't really grip my attention so I couldn't really follow them. So despite seeing that it´s a high-quality magazine I don't think it´s necessarily for me as I'm not involved or interested in the fashion industry that much.

Would I buy/read it again? Honestly, not really, just because it doesn't go along with my interests.

Blogosphere; Vogue; Cosmopolitan; Glasseshop.com Glasses; Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Set Muse & Angelic; Maisons Du Monde Pineapple Dish; Primark Rings; Fresh Roses

Blogosphere

As a blogger how could I not also try out THE blogger magazine? Similar to Vogue I've never read Blogosphere before and haven't actually seen much of the inside despite the amazing covers and how much other people rave about it. It´s time to get my own opinion now!

The first thing I noticed about Blogosphere was how much sturdier it felt in comparison to the other magazines. The paper alone is such a nice quality and makes it feel really high-quality. Then I noticed the clean design of it. It felt generally very blogger-esque but the clean and friendly design also made me feel very calm and actually made me feel like I was spending some relaxing me-time. Also there are a lot less ads in the magazine! Plus, I felt like the ads were very much targeted to bloggers or people in the blogging world and didn't feel like the average perfume ads.

I love that so many bloggers are part of this magazine - like I actually know people mentioned in there (or rather have seen them on Twitter before)!. That's exactly what I was missing with Vogue. It made me instantly connect with the magazine. It was about people I "knew" and topics that seriously interested me. In general it also felt a lot more like it was focused on real people. Like people who actually experienced bad things in their life and aren't perfect. I instantly could connect with them and the stories they were telling.

Blogosphere; Vogue; Cosmopolitan; Glasseshop.com Glasses; Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Set Muse & Angelic; Maisons Du Monde Pineapple Dish; Primark Rings; Fresh Roses


The articles were picked out really well and written really well too. I loved the topics that were chosen - all of them were on point, very interesting, very helpful for bloggers , and actually focused on different viewpoints and topics that haven't been discussed this widely before. I truly enjoyed reading though every one of them - maybe that's why it took me quite a long time to finish the magazine. I also loved that in between the articles there were introductions to bloggers in all niches. It introduced me to amazing bloggers and not just in the sense of knowing they existed but by actually giving me one of their posts to read. That way I instantly found actual blogs to follow instead of just social media channels. That also made for a great variety for length of reading between the lengthy articles.

In general it gave me the vibe that the people involved genuinely cared about the blogging community and were part of it. Therefore they know what's interesting to their targeted readers. Plus, they have some amazing new ideas for content as well. It´s really hard to put into words how much I adored reading Blogosphere as I feel it´s much more easier to express when you don't like reading something. Just know that I was reading every page of it (& loving it) and had a pack of sticky notes sitting next to me to mark helpful articles and people I want to follow. It was a pretty amazing experience!

Would I buy/read it again? Yes, absolutely!

Blogosphere; Vogue; Cosmopolitan; Glasseshop.com Glasses; Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Set Muse & Angelic; Maisons Du Monde Pineapple Dish; Primark Rings; Fresh Roses


I was positively surprised by all of the magazines I read. Firstly, I thought that Cosmopolitan would be the worst magazine to read and despite it being the February issue I didn't find it too bad. Sure there were a lot of articles and pages I skipped but there were also great articles and tips in there (if you're aware enough to ignore the ads and toxicity). I now understand a lot more why people like flicking through women's magazines. Vogue was interesting to read and I can appreciate it as a good magazine - but it´s just not really for me as the fashion industry isn't really something I'm interested in. The thing that struck out to me the most was how many ads were in it though - just a ton of ads! Now, I was expecting Blogosphere to be my favourite ever before I opened any of them (I'm biased, judge me). I certainly didn't expect to fall in love this hard though. It´s probably the only magazine (besides those kid science magazines I had) I´ll ever subscribe to. It really connected with me - mainly because I am a blogger - and while it´s not a great magazine to go about flicking through I loved actually sitting down and taking the time to read every single article. Also the focus on big, high-quality photographs just spoke to my photography heart.

All in all, this experience was pretty amazing. It was lovely to actually take the time and see how magazines have developed in the past two years. Also I got to try out two new magazines that I never went about buying before. I'm not completely converted into loving magazines but now I can see why people like them. Plus, I might be drawn into the occasional one to flick through on a lazy sunday afternoon though. So, are magazines inherently bad? No, not at all. You just have to find the ones that speak to you!

What's your favourite magazine? Do you read magazines? What do you generally think of magazines?

5 comments

  1. Such a good post!

    I subscribed for Cosmo for years so obviously I always liked it! I actually found it was much better in quality than some of the similar magazines - if you thought there was a lot of ads in Cosmo, wait til you pick up Elle or something like that!

    My subscriptions are so random now - Blogosphere, OK and NatGeo haha.

    Nicola // pink-confetti.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Blogosphere sounds like such a great magazine and something I'd really like. As you said it's always much more engaging when you're reading a magazine if you know or are already interested in the people featured in the magazine. I'll have to see if that's available where I live.

    In general though I don't really read magazines because of a lot of the reasons you said, and just in general, WAY too many ads and an overall waste of paper to me.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to read magazines all the time, but like yourself, I stopped a few years ago due to them being focussed on tearing women down and not building them up. However I did subscribe to Vouge last year, as I am a fashion student so its all relevant and it was interesting to see how it had changed over time! x

    Han | lifewithhan.blog

    ReplyDelete
  4. I used to buy many magazines when I was younger but got fed up of them because they were so repetitive and frankly uninspiring. I did start picking up Cosmo because of the £1 price and found it to be a good read. I especially liked the expose type stories. I never buy Vogue but I did pick up Edward Enninful's first issue which to be honest I have only read half of. I have not bought the other issues though. I also bought a few issues of Blogsphere but I did not like it. I found a huge chunk of it to be very repetitive - I feel like once you have bought one magazine you don't need to read another. Plus I thought that it was over priced.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I went through a phase of buying magazines last year and was gifted a Womans Health subscription, I probably read about 3/4 copies out of all the magazines I bought and now have a big pile in my bedside cabinet! Like you, I find the adverts annoying and only enjoy a few articles. I'm dying to read the Blogosphere magazine though, it looks amazing!
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete

If you enjoyed my little ramble, why don´t you leave me a comment with your thoughts on it? Every little comment makes me really happy and I will try to reply to all of you.