the future, the lion and the gloss


From where she sits! C/O Picture as taken by Cherry Healey at her local newsagents

Whenever I read about magazines, print, THE FUTURE of these things, independent publications and ‘what women want to read’, I always – of course – prick up my ears/eyes and read with interest. I guess now you could say that Lionheart is part of it all – it’s in newsagents, shops etc. But then I wouldn’t say – and I know I’ve said this many times before – I ever spend time pondering over ‘What Women Want’, I just put together what I’d like to read and what inspires me and then (myself and my contributors) chat about whatever it is, on completely the same level – not talking up, down, or around. Actually, there are no levels at all – it just comes instinctively, easily and with a little spirited hope that you’ll find the subject/style and substance interesting. And, it really is – 100% independent. Built on lion like faith in you, me and THE FUTURE of these things.

These two articles particularly struck a chord:

Firstly, Tom Lamont: Full article

Magazines will always have a place on people’s shelves’
Mainstream magazines might be struggling to survive against digital media, but their independent counterparts are thriving
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Tom Lamont
The Observer, Sunday 15 April 2012

Magazine enthusiasts trade publications at a Printout event in London. Photograph: Antonio Zazueta Olmos
In the basement of a London bar, gathered like a resistance movement or thralls to some secret perversion, 100 people have come together to discuss their passion for magazines. They particularly like the independently made, keep-it-on-your-bookshelf-afterwards type of mag, but organisers have encouraged the aficionados to share any and all new treasures they’ve found, regardless of subject or appearance. So long as it’s made of paper and ink.

Fittingly, the event is known as Printout; it takes place roughly once every two months. On a bench by the entrance, new arrivals – designers, journalists, students, assorted enthusiasts – are asked to put down what magazines they’ve brought along. Fan, Meat, Shoestring, Ctrl+Alt+Shift, Arty, Buffalo… Quickly, the table is covered with colourful titles, and at the end of the evening, after presentations by visiting magazine-makers as well as a bit of boozy mingling and lots of jokes about font kerning and paper density, departing guests will pick the publication that catches their eye and take it home.Con’d

And then, this weekend -Eva Wiseman – Full article

How time stands still in women’s magazines
Women’s magazines are still offering us the same take on weddings, weight and work that they were a decade ago. Is it time they evolved?

Eva Wiseman
The Observer, Sunday 13 May 2012

I suppose it’s like a failing relationship. That final morning where you wake up and lie staring at the ceiling until the alarm goes, and the first thing out of your mouth is a hoarse “It’s over.” It feels like a shock, until years later you look back and join the dots – those silent car journeys, the misunderstandings, an odd summer evening where something sort of happened – and you see the path of change. Of things going wrong. Women are at that point, I think, with our magazines.

Flicking through one of June’s glossy women’s mags is like entering a time machine. You look down at a page and lose a decade. The brief for a women’s magazine’s celebrity interview requires that the writer include information about her diet, what she’s wearing and who she’s going out with. Sometimes this is relevant; often it is not. But it suggests that their ideas about what a woman should be today appear more limited than ever. As if we’re looking at women from a long, long way away.

One piece begins: “Between working, writing, moving to the US, dating inappropriate men and making sure to test-drive every cocktail New York City had to offer, I really hadn’t given myself a chance to catch a breath.” Reading it, I feel the tension of the millennium bug settle upon me once more. I hear Geri Halliwell singing “It’s Raining Men”. Not only are we in a world where Sex and the City is our go-to “glamour place”, but the horror of its second spin-off film is but a twinkle in Carrie’s eye. I mean shoe. I mean Manolo. I mean kill me, please, and quickly.

Turning the page, a feature about brides’ “Big-Day Budgets” from £500 to £500,000 could have been written at any point in the past 10 years. Any time but now, when our poorness makes it seem a bit gauche, when our living standards are declining at the fastest rate since the 1920s. When the hysterical bride has been parodied on every TV channel, the image of their princess dresses so rife we see them on our inner eyelids when we blink.

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