It feels like people have been crying out for more ‘intelligent’ content in women’s magazines forever and yet the consistent call for this suggests that it still hasn’t been satisfied.
In a recent survey on my blog I asked you what you thought about women’s magazines, what you liked and what you felt was lacking.
Here are some of the questions I asked and the main responses:
What is your favourite section of a women’s magazine?
This was pretty equally tied between features and fashion, with a bit of celebrity gossip, and relationship advice (this was mainly the boys!)
Why do you read women’s magazines?
The most common reasons were light relief and the fact that you don’t need any prior knowledge of the subjects covered.
What would you like to see in women’s magazines that isn’t currently provided?
- Things that affect the real lives of women
- Features on more serious issues
- More original writing (rather than formulaic)
- More current affairs
- More and more varied career content
- “More debates i.e. comment columns from different viewpoints
- Motoring sections
- A section for secret male readers (!)
Why do you think magazines are important?
“The reader often forms a relationship with the magazine and it’s something quite personal. Specialist magazines keep you up to date with your area of interest and other magazines allow you to relax.”
“They can help you feel like you belong to a certain scene or group. You can learn a lot from magazines.”
“The fashion is always really interesting and sometimes the investigations are great and open your mind onto a subject.”
“Inform, engage and entertain. Neither are they as temporary or disposable as newspapers; there’s something very ‘of-the-moment’ but lasting about a magazine.”
“They are a fun way to relax. They provide a change from a book (which I really love). They can be read during a break from work or on the move and they always change. “
“They are good for getting new ideas, fashion-wise.”
“They give you advice when you don’t know who to ask”
“Creating social cohesion between groups of people with similar interests.”
“A good way to unwind and help take your mind off some of lifes more serious issues.”
“They look beyond the immediate news and open your mind to the world around you. They inform you of things you would never have known about in a way that is engaging. There is a magazine title for everyone.”
It’s clear that people have a great fondness for women’s magazines but it is still glaringly evident that content can be too trivial. Let’s hope that this can change, even if we have to do it ourselves.