I’m married so apparently I understand women enough to fetch one as a wife. But I have run into something that has baffled me, women’s magazines. Well, one issue in particular. Vogue, September, 2008. I don’t have exact figures as I do not have the magazine in front of me. But at least 30 pages of 2-page ads prior to the table of contents. None with page numbers. Then, the table of contents was a single column and at the bottom. “Continued on pg. 138.” Wait… what!? The table of contents has approximately 100 or so pages of ads in the middle of it!? Oh no, it gets worse!
Not only are there ~100 pages of ads between the first column of the table of contents and the 2nd half-page of contents… yes, the other half was an ad. There were no messy page numbers on any of those ads. So the only way to to get from pg. 30-something to pg. 138 was to riffle through the ads and hope you spot the half page of actual text. But wait, what is this I see in the lower left corner? “Continued on page 204.” Er, wait… another 70 pages of ads before we get to the third installment of… the table of contents.
I gave up. I didn’t go scanning through another 70 pages of ads for the third part of the contents. I riffled back to the first part hidden back on Pg. 30-something to see when the articles really started. Pg 268 I think is when the first article started. The contents listed on Pg. 138 went up into the 600s. Who knows what page number the third portion of the contents would point to but I seriously doubt that this 2-3″ thick bo-wheam-th of a “magazine” had more than 100 pages of articles in it spread across at least 600 pages of ads… all.. with no page numbers.
It may be uncouth of me to say it but I still bought “Men’s Magazines” it was a euphemism for naked, albeit slightly airbrushed, women interspersed between the reams of articles and a smattering of ads. Sure, we had maybe 4-5 pages of ads before the table of contents but we had all of the table of contents in 1-2 pages with no ads in between. Another page or two of ads and then, tadaaaa, articles! A few articles, a page or two more of ads and then we got some uncovered breasts and a butt or two (if it was a special twins month) and back to a page or two of ads and more articles. What I’m saying is I have never picked up a 600+ page Playboy that was was 550+ pages of ads with at least 1/3rd placed between the table of contents.
I couldn’t help but be slightly offended by this particular issue of Vogue for two reasons.
- It is clear that this well known name in women’s magazine clearly considers women nothing more than mindless consumers. Considering my wife is a woman (though as far as I know, not a Vogue shopper…. er… “reader”) I pretty sure I’m husbandly obligated to defend her honor on this matter.
- I may be wrong as I was honestly trying to skip all the pictures in search of articles (Ok, searching for the table of contents to point me to the articles) but I’m pretty sure that that this woman’s magazine packed more beautiful women between the covers than at least two full years of the top three men’s magazines combined. And I mean the recent day run of men’s magazines which have as much clothing, if not more, in their pictorials than some of the ads in Vogue. Which means that this magazine has done more objectifying of women (which is supposedly taboo) in one month than 3 years of supposedly racier magazines.
I’m just not getting it.