When Did I Outgrow Magazines?

Magazine 1

Magazine 1

I’ve known for quite a while that magazines weren’t for me. I’m not a fan of anything that sells me inadequacy then attempts to solve it with sex advice, makeup and hair products. But I hadn’t realised, during this time of not reading them, that magazines had become so young.

No longer do they read as if grown ups were writing for grown ups, but rather as adults selling a simplified version of adulthood to adolescents who think they are grown up enough to know about the real world.

Purchasing a magazine at the airport, thinking it would help me pass the time, turned into an exercise in a anger management as I read such stories as “What guys don’t get about girls” featuring the sage advice “no man wants to date a baby or a mechanic” and “The Office Tribes” complaining about people who know if you steal their post-it’s (hot tip: don’t).

No longer do I read this and hear myself or my friends in the words. It’s more likely to appeal to my 13-year-old stepdaughter as she imagines what adult life will be like, or plays secretaries, as I so often did at her age.

When did this happen? Have I been so out of touch for so long? Or is it me? Am I so old that reading about “the ones who have their lips permanently attached to the boss’ butt” reek of someone who has never had a job in an organisation with proper organisational structure (I feel the need to clarify here that I did have a job like that once, when I was a lot younger, and pity anyone else who does).

Or have magazines always been like this and back when I was an ardent consumer I was just too young and naive to notice. I suppose when I think about it, Cosmopolitan was my favourite magazine back when I was 17 and had never worked anywhere that didn’t involve fresh produce or video rentals.

I have to say I was surprised. And I probably shouldn’t have been. I knew there was a reason I didn’t buy this propaganda, I don’t know why I thought reading it waiting for a plane would result in anything else than a rage-infueled (not a word, but roll with me here) blog post.

Do you buy magazines? Did I just get a bad one or are they all like this?


  • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    When I was growing up in the 70s, I think the only magazine we had at home was the Womens Weekly, which was a pretty good read in those days… and weekly…

    I still remember the post Cyclone Tracy edition – that just wasn’t a good magazine edition – it was great journalism!

    In the 80s I read a lot of those free music magazines… because, music…

    Nowadays I only read New Scientist (on our iPad – does that count?) and MOJO music magazine… that pretty much covers a lot of the stuff I’m interested in…

  • Monique Fischle

    It’s not just you. I used to LOVE magazines and would renew my subscriptions all the time. I realised as I got older, if the magazine hadn’t been delivered to my door, I probably wouldn’t have bought it and I would flip through it because it was there and not because I was interested in reading the articles. These days I flick through looking at the beauty products and whatnot but I fell out of love with magazines. I didn’t feel like they were speaking to me.

    I do have a soft spot for cooking magazines and wedding magazines, but even then, they can seem a bit out of touch with reality (I read a “real weddings” edition where the bride and groom spent well over $50K and while I know it can be done, I’m pretty sure most people reading the mag don’t have that kind of budget!)

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I remember being asked to renew my Cosmo subscription and realising I hadn’t even opened one in 6 months. That’s when I stopped. And I’m glad I did!

  • http://www.ispyplumpie.com/ Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie

    I never really got in to buying magazines, but I now can’t even flick through them at the hairdresser without finding myself bored and annoyed within minutes. I now get Green Lifestyle delivered to my house (I’m an eco-nerd!) because I can relate to the stories, ideas, products and recipes and feel like they are actually useful and worthwhile to know about. Other than that I will still read Frankie and Peppermint from time to time, but without any regularity, so you’re not alone!

  • http://Rowdyfairy.blogspot.com.au/ Rowdy Fairy

    That is so funny, I have been thinking the same thing lately! I havn’t deliberatly purchased a magazine in 5 years! Just doesn’t interest me anymore, but I loved Cosmo, Cleo and Dolly in higschool and that was because I liked those lame quizzes and the true and embarrasing stories and questions in the back of the mag

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I did too! But this one just made me so angry! And there were on quizzes. Psh.

  • Hayley Ashman

    I was into Cleo and Cosmo in my late teens and early twenties. Upon reflection they were pretty rubbish but I do think they have been dumbed down further. I’m actually a little horrified that I used to read magazines with articles like ‘what does his bum shape say about his personality?’ I’m convinced women are better off not reading them.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Haha! I’d love to know what his bum shape says about his personality! Mind you these days it’s probably more likely to be “What his bum shape says about how good he is in bed” 😉

  • Imogen

    I found myself thinking a similar thing at the hairdresser the other day: Have I just changed, or are they getting worse? Hard to know. I’m doing a research project on ‘blogging’ at the moment and you’ve got me thinking of a new project: Are magazines less desirable for some people now because we have access to better quality lifestyle reading in the blogging community? Articles that are deeper, more genuine, more easily accessible, and more interactive? Hmm… food for thought!

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I think you’re on to something there!! Online news has caused a decline in newspaper sales, and online magazines & blogs has probably caused a decline in magazine sales.

      • Imogen

        Yep! Or at the very least, it could explain why our perception of magazines has changed so drastically over the years. :-)

  • Jessica Chapman

    I still read magazines, but I’ve never been that into Cosmo or Cleo. I regularly read Vogue, Bazaar, Instyle and Marie Claire. They more answer my interest in fashion than anything else, I like seeing the new things in fashion and then watch as they trickle down into the chain stores, sometimes there’s a few articles I find interesting. Marie Claire in particular tend to do some ‘real life’ articles I read, but I do tend to skip some of the more juvenile articles about ‘what men want’ etc.