Women’s Mags… and Lazy Writing

“Her depressingly high cheek bones,” was possibly the third sentence of a feature on Leigh Lezark in a popular women’s magazine I read a couple of months ago. And I just sat there thinking… “actuallyno”.

It quickly got me thinking back to various articles that I’d come across with an identical rhetoric to this particular writer’s. Why is it that when it comes to a lot of women’s magazines there tends to be a retort to the cut and dry, tried and true method of lazy writing; lazy comparisons, lazy imagery created for readers and lazy information?

Why do a few physical characteristics of a person – albeit an attractive person have to be hyper-magnified and fawned over in order to make a ‘good’ story better?

Yes, pretty as Lezark may be, beautiful to some of you – I don’t actually find myself falling into a pit of depression when I compare my non-existent high cheek bones to her high pointed ones. I don’t run away from the mirror in detest. After all, she is a model and DJ. She makes her money for looking the way she does and props to her! But can’t we glorify our differences instead of dividing ourselves up over them and creating in a very subtle way – a trap using language that falsely appears to unite us but really does nothing more than partition us further?

I’m aware that it’s a powerful technique many journalist’s (and ‘general’ people) use: find a collective point of negativity, create a collective sigh of despair and you have united a whole group of the readership with just a few words.

Honestly, though? I’m way less interested in whether she appears ‘bitchy’ because of her looks – as is implied by the feature but I’m more intrigued to discover what she’s doing as a woman in her line of work; how did she get there? What are her little quirks? Why should I care? What the hell does she do at 4am when she’s in a hotel room away for a modelling job and can’t sleep? Surely there is more to her and more to women reader’s than petty things like whether she is “dinkier in the flesh” or not. What does that change? Yeah, we get it, traditional models are thin – it’s kind of in the job description.

I’m just a little bit sick of writer’s skirting around their subject by putting them on a pedestal but instead of uplifting the esteem of themselves or their readership they simultaneously put them down with comments such as “And we take great comfort to know it’s not just us ‘normals’ who suffer from a touch of the booze bloat.”

Well, if she’s not ‘normal’ too then I’m not quite sure what her DNA is made up of. Extra-terrestrial blood and the chromosomes of two Unicorns?

Yes, I get that the article the story ran in was a Fashion/Pop Culture magazine and there is a very specific style that runs in the magazine – and I do enjoy it, don’t get me wrong but I just feel that if a publication of any sort that relies heavily on text and not just pictorial aesthetics to get their circulation high then they should utilise the time given to them by each unique subject that gives up their time to be interviewed for that said publication.

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