Saturday, January 12, 2019

What Killed Glamour?

Image result for glamour magazine image

On the page of Glamour’s Magazine’s January issue that lists its editorial staff, sidebars highlighted tidbits called “Fun facts about this issue.”  Missing from this list was one major fact:  It is to be the last issue of the famed print magazine.

Yes, Glamour, one of the leading women’s magazines of the past half-century, will be no more.  No longer will you be able to thumb through the colorful, glossy publication and browse ads for beauty products or skim articles about dieting, fashion, health, or life advice.

We still have Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, Marie Claire, and other magazines to convince women of what they should wear, who they should date, and how they can look or feel younger, but Glamour was a fan favorite for millions of loyal readers not too long ago.  Changing times in women’s culture and the growth of the Internet have made Glamour’s existence unnecessary.

At 4.99 on the newsstand, advertisers and consumers were abandoning ship.  But it’s a treat to hold the magazine in your hand, smell its scented pages, and feel like you were taking control of your body and life as you pour through the magazine that spoke directly to 20 and 30-somethings.  I guess the magazine couldn’t retain its readership, even with subscription offers of 80% off – 1 year for just $10.

As these magazines that used to influence American lifestyles go under, who or what will hawk all of these beauty products, and where will these models writers, and photographers work?  What will happen to the printers and the staff that ran an elite publication for so many years?

As these influencer publications die out, they get replaced by influencer individuals, these dopey You Tube or Instagram stars who get lucky with a viral photo or video, probably based on being born gorgeous.  Now you have 19-year-olds with no formal training, dictating culture to the masses.

Maybe publications like Glamour and others were no better, where a gang of self-appointed experts would dictate social norms and styles and seek to turn every reader into a consumer.  Hard journalism it was not.  But something authoritative about these magazines allowed them to hold sway.  Maybe their passing isn’t for the worst, yet there’s something sad when a magazine closes, a newspaper folds, or a bookstore shudders.

I do remember when I was dating in my early 30’s, in between two marriages, that I thought women’s minds were poisoned by a lot of women’s magazines that seemed to fill readers with the wrong ideas about their self-image, dating, and fashion.  A Sex and the City mindset gripped a generation of women to think all guys were expendable dirty dogs who just can’t measure up to their needs – while asking nothing of women in what’s a two-person relationship.

Even as women complained that Playboy and Maxim objectified women, reducing them to silenced body parts, women’s magazines did more harm to the self-confidence of women.  How many times could they read about dieting and beauty and seeing they don’t measure up?  How many ads of unattainable bodies could they stare at?  How many fashion articles about outfits too tight or expensive for most readers could they consume before feeling inadequate?

Founded 80 years ago, in 1939, it was originally called Glamour of HollywoodGlamour was the first women’s magazine to feature an African-American cover girl, putting Katiti Kironde on its August, 1968 cover.  For nearly four decades it would annoint someone as Woman of the Year. It made a contribution to society and now it is no more – at least not in print.  It will live online from this point on.

Not sure what to wear for that big date?  In search of a good skin cream?  Need advice on how to feel, think, or talk?  Where’s a woman to turn, now that one of the iconic magazines in our lifetime is no longer printing copies?

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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