I love good print magazines; you probably already know that.
I have mixed feelings about some magazines. You probably already know that as well. I gave up on Wired the first time around because the hypergraphic design made it nearly unreadable. I gave up on it (after a one-year essentially-free subscription that turned into two years for odd reasons) the second time around because, well, Wired: The editorial style just got to me.
Then there’s Fast Company. I subscribed to it years and years ago when it was one of several “new business” mags, including Business 2.0 and The Industry Standard (the best of them by a long shot, for its brief life). I gave up on Fast Company because it seemed to be a cult publication, pushing a specific and fairly peculiar point of view.
A little while back (maybe a year or two?), I picked it up again–for miles on an airline I don’t plan to fly again–and, this time around, rather liked it. Oh, not all of it, and certainly not the near-impossibility of separating advertising and editorial, but much of it. They offered really cheap long-term subscriptions, so I’ve got it until some time in 2016. (Hey, some magazines get so cheap on long-term that I have one or two through 2019…)
More recently, I’m finding both growing traces of, well, let’s call it FastCoIsm, not quite a cult but close to it. (That’s not unusual: there’s HBRism, to name just one more example.)
What engendered this little post, though, is a remarkably offputting Contents page for the June 2013 issue.
- The full page–really–is a “Contents” listing for the issue’s feature essay, “100 most creative people in business.” I already knew I’d approach the essay–like most of FC’s “creativity” lists–with some caution. But that’s for later.
- Most of the page is taken up with a picture of a young woman. That’s fine.
- But here’s the caption for the picture: “Fashion blogger Leandra Medine (page 144) finds the trends women love (and men hate).”
At which point–specifically those last three words–I went “Hunh?” There’s actually a blogger who claims to finds “trends” that women love “and men hate”?
If by “men” you mean what I’d call real men–people who have enough self-confidence not to need to put down women or treat them as objects, as opposed to (stereotypical) construction crews and jerks–I’d find such a concept difficult to believe. I have yet to be acquainted with a woman who I liked as a person–or, for that matter, just found unusually attractive–who wore anything she loved and I “hated.” If a woman’s comfortable in her clothes, that’s almost always attractive: Being comfortable with yourself is, well, hot. (Pardon the somewhat sexist language: I’m trying to make a point.)
So I went to Medine’s blog, “Man Repeller.” And found that I didn’t hate any of the images in the banner (although I suspected that one or two of them might be uncomfortable to wear, and I’ve never understood why any woman would wear something that’s uncomfortable, but that’s for her to decide)–quite the opposite in most cases.
And I read through some of the posts. And found interesting looks and well-written, frequently witty commentary.
What I didn’t find was anything that would justify the caption.
Looking at the About page, and spending more time in some of the categories most associated with “repelling men,” I see tongue firmly in cheek, lots of editorial and photographic skills and a lot of interesting choices.
I can easily see including Medine in the list of creative people.
But “(and men hate)”? Cute, a little irritating and wholly misleading.
Never mind. This is just a silly little post.