Picked up O - The Oprah Magazine at the airport this weekend. It's the poetry issue - Oprah shares her private journals, and there's "words that soothe, ideas that delight". For the most part, it's not a bad read. It's poetry lite or poetry for dummies, and I'm all for getting people into poetry at any level. But just when I started to think this could really impress me, I get to "Eight poets accessorized with snippets of their own verse - celebrate freedom of expression". One up-and-coming young poet has this byline:
"By day, Whited is the communications director for Schools That Can, an educational nonprofit; by night, she's working on publishing her first book of poems. "I write a lot about questioning the boundaries of self," she says. "I like experimenting with new things." Case in point: this suede miniskirt, shorter than Whited would normally wear but comfortably balanced by a long-sleeved oxford and cotton sweater."
I'm sure a pink suede miniskirt is precisely what Stephanie Ann Whited has in mind when writes. It's such a shame that Oprah couldn't get to the end of an issue without commercialising the heart out of it. And, without getting all feminist on ya, it points again to a greater issue with publishing. As women, magazines only offer us reasons to hate ourselves and feel ugly, unfit, unhealthy, poor and bereft of Jennifer Aniston's upper arms.
Wired and Fast Company (the other mags I picked up), however, are packed with men's advertising insinuating I am an interloper to these publications, yet they always leave me inspired and excited. You don't see 10 page spreads of "Tech's Hottest App Developers Programme Pool Side in 2011's hottest swim trends"!
Can't now decide if that's a good or bad thing. There's my feminism argument out of the window.