After watching “The September Issue“, a documentary chronicling Vogue’s 2007 September issue, I started thinking how the culture of celebrity has dominated mainstream women’s magazines. Go to the local bookstore or magazine aisle in the grocery store and you’ll see a common theme: Celebrities on every cover from Good Housekeeping to People. While magazines may be cashing in on celebrity obsession, readers are the ones missing out on better articles focusing on issues that impact our everyday lives.
Lucky Strikes Again
Lucky’s October issue featured a coverstory on Christina Aguilera, and I admit that while I’ve always liked Britney more, I was excited since the blind auditions on “The Voice” are my guilty pleasure. However, as I started the “The Xtina Factor,” by Sarah Miller, I quickly realized that the article would be quite pointless. Miller’s feature on Aguilera basically goes something like this: Miller goes to Christina’s house, feels awkward, meets Aguilera, says she’s nice and then leaves. The most interesting part is an awkward moment where we learn Aguilera has a carpet left over from her failure marriage that reads, “CA & JB” (for ex-husband Jordan Bratman).
It’s not entirely Miller’s fault–it’s hard to get a meaningful story out of a one time meeting with someone who’s not only famous but also very standoffish. We do learn a bit about Christina, but nothing that we didn’t already know from her public persona. That she was controlled by record companies as a young girl and basically wrote “Fighter” as a giant F-U to, well, everyone. Tell me something I haven’t known for almost a decade! We also learned Aguilera likes false eyelashes and Louboutins. Again, really, Lucky? I couldn’t find that out by just looking at her?
Viola Davis and the Glimmer of Hope
InStyle’s October issue featured a one page piece on Viola Davis, which can only be described as a glimmer of hope for what celebrity features can be like. In “Viola’s Vision,” by Amy Wallace, Davis talks openly about getting rid of her wig and showing her natural hair as well as how she wants to help other African American women in Hollywood. In the article Davis proclaims, “I thought to myself, I can never by Christine Brinkley. Why am I trying? Why don’t I just step in Viola?” The only sad part about this piece was that it was only one page long and followed by a three page article on Denise Richards’ house. Cue *head desk*.
We need–no–deserve more of this in magazines. Women, albeit famous women, sharing honestly where they go to where they are and the obstacles they overcame. Not in a cheesy way, but in a way that relatable to all women. Though the piece on Davis is short, it’s a sign things can change.
That being said, the coverstory for the October issue of InStyle was on Gwyneth Paltrow, and if it’s one thing I will never read it’s yet another article on her.
Sorry Magazine Monday is a day late! I usually work on my blog during the weekend, but last weekend I was in New York City to celebrating at my best friend’s bachelorette party!