Posted in Design and style

Reinventing women’s magazines: time for a radical change

I hate women’s magazines. I am waiting for a woman’s magazine that does not feature:
– celebrities
– diets
– relationships
– babies and children

My ideal magazine would cover:

(1) Fashion

Not just mainstream boring designers like Louis Vuitton, but up and coming young designers from around the world as well as developments in fabric and cut. There would be no gossip around drug-addicted fashion models.

(2) Beauty

No advertorials masking as editorials where the editors’ choices just happen to coincide with the top three advertisers of the magazine. I’d rather have honest opinions about products and of course, features on what does not work (the $300 creams don’t *really* make you look like the 18-year old model they use in their ads).

(3) Cuisine

Not the usual Good Housekeeping style, but discussions about Slow Food, eco products, the truth behind food fads (Atkins, etc.), recipes from around the world. I think it’s time to bring the JOY back into food and wine (which is why the magazine will not discuss dieting, which we all know, does not work anyway).

(4) Travel

No glowing features about “hip” hotels that are nothing more than over-priced chain hotels. I would rather see features on small B&Bs and charming hotels where the owners have brought the accommodations up to today’s design standards and where they greet their guests. The magazine would also cover out of the way places. Please, no more reports on the Sireneuse in Positano or the same ten Tuscany-Capri-Provence hotels.

(5) Technology

And what would we do without technology? The magazine would review the latest mobile phones, laptops, tablets, GPS devices, etc.

(6) Health

The health sections of most women’s magazines are nothing more than advertorials for the diet-fad-of-the-day featuring protein powders and other ghastly materials not fit for human consumption. My ideal magazine would have a health section that focuses on health (what a novelty): frank discussions about diseases, aging, injuries, etc.

(7) Literature

No, not the chick lit garbage that trees are dying for everyday. My model for this section is the French magazine, Muze. And it would not feature only English language writers. Let’s have the good stuff: Tolstoy, Cheever, Naipaul, Murakami, Kafka, Woolf.

(8) Art and Design

A bit of Wallpaper* mixed in with the French Elle Decoration is what I have in mind for this section.



Author of "The Secret of Angat", a novel set in the Philippines during World War II. Founder,; Founder ( - travel) and (beauty, style).

One thought on “Reinventing women’s magazines: time for a radical change

  1. I find Real Simple a very nice alternative. It’s not just a women’s magazine but geared mainly toward women… and real people leading real lives who are trying to simplify and even occasionally get to what’s meaningful. Nice, calming photography and layouts, some stories with substance. Still a little too domestic in some ways for me but nothing’s perfect.


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