Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's by Jennifer Nelson

By Jennifer Nelson

Glamour. Cosmo. SELF. Ladies’ domestic magazine. Vogue. In an that has been in a downward spiral for years, those magazines—and different women—focused magazines like them—have not just retained their readership, they’ve elevated it. each month, 5 million-plus girls peel again the slick conceal in their favourite journal to thumb via pages packed with tidings and suggestion approximately model, attractiveness, intercourse, relationships, eating regimen, health and wellbeing, and way of life. yet do women’s magazines provide necessary details, or do they simply peddle fluff and fantasy—and in both case, do ladies take their messages to heart?

In Airbrushed Nation, Jennifer Nelson—a longtime insider—exposes the bare fact at the back of the sleek pages of women’s magazines, either stable and undesirable. Nelson delves deep into the realm of glossies, explaining the ways that those magazines were optimistic for ladies, highlighting the ways that their agendas were erroneous, and asking the questions that experience gone unasked: What do girls imagine and think concerning the retouched images, the ever present intercourse recommendation, the consistent offensive on getting older, and the delusion model spreads that includes unaffordable clothes and niknaks? Do the unrealistic advertisements, pictures, and beliefs that permeate glossies harm women’s vainness . . . and is it intentional?

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Extra resources for Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's Magazines

Sample text

Many writers and editors assert that working in the Pink Ghetto is like being in high-school: It’s clicky, backstabbing, and hierarchical, largely due to the Queen Bee mentality among high-ranking editors. 2 Streep’s character is the epitome of snobbish disregard and catty bitchiness, hostile to underlings and viciously competitive. The lesser staffers who are portrayed in the movie are by degrees less loathsome than Streep’s character, but they’re nonetheless played off as part of the greater dysfunctional whole.

1 Today, the term has been co-opted to describe any career that attracts more than a handful of women, which includes the hallowed halls of the ladymagazine industry, whose mastheads often only boast one or two token men. What’s really made the term stick, however, isn’t the high ratio of women working in the industry so much as the content and style of women’s magazines, and the culture in which they thrive. Whether it’s the stereotype of catty work environments, the increasingly shallow fluff and false content, or the literal scenting of the pages, women’s magazines today have largely earned the Pink Ghetto moniker.

Indd 47 47 9/12/12 4:27 PM Magazines require women to be geographically diverse, so they may need someone on the East Coast, someone from Middle America, and a West Coaster. They may want a specific version of a woman’s story, say one who has been diagnosed with a certain disease in the past year who hasn’t had conventional treatment for it, but followed a naturopathic approach or used some littleknown Eastern remedy. Essentially, the editors invent the story— its trends and angles—then they send a writer out on assignment to find people to shoehorn into their stories.

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