Exploring being female (for that's what we are) in a world of media myths, publishing incompetence, and marketing madness -- as well as the female submission and subscription to those messages.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Itty-Bitty Images Of Lingerie Inspired Fashions Assembled Like A Collage

This specific page was found in the January 2010 issue of Elle, but lots of the big so-called glossy magazine do this and it annoys me.

Hey, Elle and others, there's a reason you're called the big glossies and I expect you to give me big beautiful images, not a Where's Waldo or I Spy version of fashion hunting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"If not in the Fashion, a Woman's a Fright!!!"

In my research on feminists and fashion (sort of a corset workshop), I found this poem in Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. XCVIII, February 22, 1890:

The Root Of The Matter
(The Typical Woman's Reply to the Arguments of the Rational Dress Society.)

My dear Lennox Browne, and my good Dr. Smith,
There is probably truth, there is certainly pith,
In your Kensington talk about Rational Dress.
Dr. Garson and Miss Leffler-Arnim also,
Talk sound common sense, but they'll find it no go;
The Crusade they have started can't meet with success.

No, sage Viscountess Harberton, sweet Mrs. Stopes,
You had better not nourish ridiculous hopes
About "rationalising" our frocks and our shoes.
There is just one invincible thing, and that's Fashion!
That object of every true woman's chief passion,
'Tis vain to attack, and absurd to abuse.

You may say what you please about feminine "togs,"
That they're ugly, unhealthy, are burdens or clogs,
Too high, or too low, or too loose, or too tight,
There is just one reply (but 'tis more than enough)
To such "rational," but most irrelevant stuff:—
If not in the Fashion, a Woman's a Fright!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

More Bebe, Baby!

Loved seeing Bebe Neuwirth in the September issue of More! Not only is she gorgeous, but how nice to see retro 80's re-do for women who've been there, done that -- on women who've been there, done that.

Adding neon bangles to basic black can be done without gagging me with a spoon. And that orange on black? Heavenly 40's glam!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Collecting Vanity Items: Beauty & Crime Is Skin Deep

I've written about actual beauty crimes in history, learned from this book I reviewed.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Michelle Obama On Mentoring

Michelle Obama featured in November's issue of Glamour -- the first time in 70-years that a First Lady has been on the cover!

Since she's being given a Special Recognition award for her commitment to mentoring young women, First Lady shares wisdom on mentoring:

The real role models aren’t movie stars--they’re the people you know: “They were the people in my life. My mom, for sure. My dad. The teachers. For me, role-modeling was immediate, it was touchable...Children connect with who is in their lives, present and accounted for...That’s why we’re trying to encourage moms, teachers, fathers, to be that presence in their children’s lives, in their communities, because it really makes a difference.”

Don’t wait to be “discovered” by a mentor: “I was blessed throughout my entire career. I had people rooting for me. It started with my parents, but it extended to almost every teacher that I had. When I was a young lawyer, there were other women and men in the firm who took me under their wing. Look for those mentors, because sometimes mentors don’t find you--sometimes you seek them out. Oftentimes, they’re flattered and glad to lend a hand.”

Don’t put yourself last in line: In answer to a reader question about how she keeps her sanity, the First Lady told Katie, “I have always tried to put my kids first, and then...put myself a really close second, as opposed to fifth or seventh. One thing that I’ve learned from male role models is that they don’t hesitate to invest in themselves.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

I certainly don't want to show off the wide expanse of crotch.

Yes, we get it; they're harem pants. But does the model have to pose like that? If that's how another can tell you're wearing harem pants, then I pass.

The November, 2009, Marie Claire.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Best Magazine Covers

Amazon is now holding a contest for Best Magazine Covers Of The Year; vote and discuss.

Plus, when you vote, you'll automatically be entered to win a $10,000 Amazon.com gift card. *wink*

The Overused Doll Parts Metaphor

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Support Victims Of Domestic Violence

Just wanted to let you know that today I'm participating in the blogathon for Hope For Healing, raising awareness of domestic violence & money for supporting victims of domestic violence.

Many thanks to Twolia for generously sponsoring me in this wonderful event!

You can help too: Comment at, link to, & Tweet my blogathon posts as well as use this special link to iSearch.iGive.com to perform online searches -- doing so raises money for HopeForHealing.Org.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Of Literature & Magazines

There are few barriers for authors who possess these [lightness of touch and generally in humor] in addition to genuine literary merit. Nor does the average periodical aim at mere entertainment. It must interest the reader, but it may also benefit him. It may even, to some extent, improve his taste. And there are gradations of taste by which the callow reader may ascend from one periodical to another. Some editors are men of unquestioned culture; and they are willing to experiment somewhat with specimens of what promises to be a new order of literature.

More than half of our successful American editors have been innocent of a college degree; but this can hardly be said to be in every case a misfortune, since it would be difficult to show that a college education is indispensable to either authorship or editorship. One of the most intellectual of English poets, Browning, obtained his culture chiefly outside a university; and, among our Americans, Whittier, Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Whitman and O. Henry owe something to their sturdy individuality to an escape from the conventionalizing influence of the college. They were not men cut out on a pattern; and in literature this is of the highest importance. Magazines generally encourage individuality--even though they frown upon too much boldness. Within reasonable limits, therefore, periodicals may be said to have fostered the growth of permanent literature.
I'd love to make you guess when this was written -- but you'd cheat & Google it. *wink* Plus, I'm too excited by it not to share it right away.

It's an excerpt from "Periodicals and Permanent Literature" from the North American Review, December 1920, by Harry T. Baker. Does that surprise you at all?


(There's a comment section there below even!)

The entire article has been painstakingly typed onto the internets by my friend Cliff Aliperti, who says, "'Periodicals and Permanent Literature' struck me as an article extolling the virtues of magazine collecting in an age long before they were seriously collected. Published in one helping by the North American Review, I've split it into 8 serialized parts for the VintageMeld, each of which I hope both takes you back in time and presents you with a desire to hunt down some of the old issues for yourself."

The Eight Parts:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: 18th Century Pioneers

Part 3: Lamb and Hazlitt

Part 4: Matthew Arnold

Part 5: Thackaray

Part 6: Kipling

Part 7: No Distinction in Quality Between Books and the Best Periodicals

Part 8: Conclusion

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More From The "Where Can I Wear That?!" Files

Emily Finkbinder, if you are proposing this "Look That Will Razzle-Dazzle 'Em" as a way for a conman working a dirty shell game on a boardwalk somewhere to "razzle-dazzle 'em" so they can't keep their eye on the shells long enough to track the ping-pong ball, fine; I'll let this ridiculousness slide.

But as I cannot find any mention of such a scenario in this "Strike Up The Glam" piece on John Galliano's Spring/Summer '08* catwalk saunter, I can only conclude that this black-eye, however covered in glitter, is a fist in the face to me and women everywhere.

Furthermore, calling it "flapperesque" is a raised finger to my roaring 20's sisters who had enough trouble with an establishment so scandalized by their lipstick, bare knees, & pajamas that they were already considered fair game to abuse & murder. Something one can easily argue is still with us today.

Let me spell it out for you: black & blue bruised eyes are not sexy.

* Yes, that's 2008 -- this was published in the in the December/January issue of Interview magazine; I don't always get through every page in every issue so timely. How can I when there are stupid pages like this?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Don't Hate Me Because You Think She's Beautiful

Kate Moss is no Kelly LeBrock; I only hate Kate because she's an icky, attitudinal druggie poser (and I, sincerely, mean "poser" in that 80's wannabe lingo; not in reference to her career as a model). So when I heard stick-girl was coming out with more stinky stuff for Cody I was just going to ignore it. However, her new "fragrance" has been dubbed Vintage and so it's filling up my RSS readers. For that offense, I now take the offensive myself.

Now you know I'm a lover of vintage things, including fashion; but "vintage" as a smell is not something I'd go for.

Precluding musty mildew as the base note, "vintage" sounds like the "grandma smell" (a combination of Avon cologne, pennies & mints) you find in vintage purses and on vintage handkerchiefs. If I want to smell like grandma's purse, I'll just tuck an old hankie from an old purse into my bra and let my body heat generate a wafting odor sure to make folks ask me if I'm lost -- or if they can have a mint. (By the way, the mint will also smell like pennies and cologne, so beware, whippersnappers!)

Of her new spray d'offend, Kate had this to say to WWD:

"I am fascinated by vintage pieces because they not only have a remarkable beauty but also an innate sense of history," says Moss. "I love the fact that each object has its own story to tell. And yet vintage items can be reinvented with a modern twist to make them very fresh and relevant today. That's why vintage looks have inspired my personal style, my work as a fashion designer and, now, my fragrance."
I wonder who wrote that? And how many puppy uppers did it take to teach Kate to speak it on command?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vintage Beauty Tips: 1941

You might snicker at many of these beauty tips published in Modern Woman Magazine (Volume 9, Number 8, 1941), but recall seeing these right up through the 80's and beyond...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Cosmo Nonsense

OK, so by now you know I'm neither a subscriber to, nor a fan of, Cosmo. But in case you are either (both?!) I'd like to point out just how silly the magazine is with a page from the June 2009 issue.

On page 48, "Sexier When They're Single?" displays the results of "100 people on the street" who responded to pics of female celebrities, with & without male mates, with their vote for when said celebrities were sexier -- when single or in a relationship.

I'm not entirely sure of what to make of this nonsense... Is it some sort of Maxim-esque "look who is single!" alert? Or is it to, once again, reduce women to their looks? Maybe it's to point out their "failed relationship status?

What do you think it is?

Your input is much appreciated.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Free Marie Claire!

Nope, she's not in a can with Prince Albert *wink*

ShopItToMe (which you should totally join, if you haven't -- it's a tailor-made daily personal shopper that doesn't babble on-and-on or eat your cake but just quietly delivers to your email inbox alerts about sales on your fav fashions and in your fav stores) is celebrating the finale of Running In Heels by giving away one-year subscriptions to Marie Claire Magazine.

To enter just leave a comment here at ShopItToMe's post with what you consider to be the greatest office fashion faux-pas! (You don't have to have been watching the show; just use your noodle and rant!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The New Pathway to Slenderness, 1938

This vintage booklet, The New Pathway to Slenderness, intrigued me right from the start.

Upon first glance, it was a simple weight loss booklet; page one made that clear:

Being beautiful isn't easy! To acquire and keep a lovely, youthful figure requires the combined effort of a correct diet, scientifically planned exercise and the gentle, yet efficient aid of a good rubber reducing garment.

...Don't be told that sweat baths, drugs or pills will reduce you healthfully and sanely.

...All women from the "should be trim twenties" to the "fatal forties" and even along into the later, or "golden years," are entitled to and can have a well-proportioned graceful figure. Classic beauty of facial features, lovely hands, any individual beauty asset, means nothing without health and vitality. A beautiful body, sparkling eyes, clear skin and real vitality are by far more important than regular features. Physical fitness, unhampered by those extra pounds, will give you charm and attractiveness and will increase your "earning" power whether your work be at home or in the office. So let's stop being lazy! Stop wishing for good looks when you can have them by making the effort yourself!

But here we were, past the cover and we still didn't know who put out this publication... Was it the makers/purveyors of "correct diets," "scientifically planned exercise" programs or "gentle, yet efficient rubber reducing garments?"

All I had to go on, so far was the booklet numbers (F9623 5-28-38) which, while possibly supporting my guess that the booklet dates to the 1930's (years of ephemera dating has helped me learn that part of the booklet code can contain the year printed; in this case "38"), still didn't give me a clue as to the publisher or product pusher...

Ah, but then we get to pages four & five, pushing Sears reducing corsets -- complete with customer testimonial.

That's pretty impressive; a promotional booklet which doesn't cram the product down your throat right away. But then again, it's pretty clear that all the care and concern for health and appearance is fear mongering to sell stuff. Just like today, it's ad copy designed to first sell women that they need to worry, feel unworthy, and then, when they are worried they aren't "earning enough," there's products galore to buy. Sears to the rescue!

The majority of the book has the usual height & weight charts, spot exercises, calorie tables & menu suggestions, plus cautionary tips about "violent exercises," the proper rate at which you should lose weight, etc. But, despite being told not to trust that "sweat baths, drugs or pills will reduce you healthfully and sanely," there are early representations of advertorials for other Sears products, like the "Knead-Away" Massager -- "the massager which kneads the flesh away like the trained fingers of an expert masseur."

(OMG, where there really once masseurs who could "knead away the flesh" -- or where folks confusing masseurs with E. coli?)

Anyway, it appears the "Knead-Away" Massager was made by The Conley Company, Inc. of Rochester, Minnesota -- at least the Conley Hemp Knead-Away Massager shown here complete with original box and ephemera -- I'm dizzy with desire! -- looks like the illustrations in this booklet. (Note to seller: Why ya usin' pointy fishing lure background for a massager?)

PS This seller has a copy of The New Pathway to Slenderness dated June, 1939.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mis-Selling To Americans

Because I enjoyed it so much, let's hear about the idiocy, ageism, and discrimination of media and advertising from one of the last episodes of Boston Legal, Juiced (Season 5, Episode 11).

Carl Sack (John Larroquette) in court, presenting a case to Judge Clark Brown (Henry Gibson), on the behalf of client Catherine Piper (the delicious Betty White):

Carl Sack: Your Honor, there may have been a time when it made practical business sense to exclude the old. But not today. Americans over fifty make up the fastest-growing market.

Attorney Jeremy Hollis: It's about money! Not how many-

Carl Sack: Really? Gee! Who would ever have guessed that? The baby boomers, now all over fifty, earn two trillion in annual income. That's trillion!

Attorney Jeremy Hollis: Madison Avenue is after discretionary spending.

Carl Sack: Yes, and people over fifty account for half of that too. Choose your statistic. Go ahead. I've got you. We've got more money. We spend more money. We watch more television, go to more movies. We buy more CDs than young people do. And yet we're the focus of less than ten percent of the advertising. All the networks wanna do is skew younger. Kid's shows for kids. You know, the ony show unafraid to have its stars over fifty is Bo.. (He stops himself.) Gee, I can't say it... (He looks and points directly into the camera) ...it would break the wall.

Judge Clark Brown: Mr. Suck!

Carl Sack: It's still Sack.

Judge Clark Brown: I can't tell the networks what shows to make!

Carl Sack: No. But you can order them not to discriminate! What they're doing, it intentionally excludes a class of society. That's bigotry. You know, we should be able to turn on our damn televisions and see something other than reality shows aimed at fourth graders. Game shows aimed at those slightly smarter than fifth graders. And scripted shows with dim-witted, sex-crazed twenty-somethings running around in suits or doctor scrubs. Old people, the ones with intelligence, don't wanna watch that crap! We're fed up! You know the networks might think we're dead! But we're not! We're very much alive, with working brains! Give me something to watch dammit!
Later, Carl catches his client speaking inappropriately with the judge and there's this juicy bit about television:
Carl Sack: Uh, you know Judge, in addition to there being little for us to watch, most of it stinks. (He pulls out his cell phone.) And it's partly this thing's fault.

Judge Clark Brown: What are you talking about?

Carl Sack: Well, a lot of people are on it. While they're watching. They no longer give television their undivided attention. We're either on the phone or texting. Or on the internet. So the producers, they dumb down the plots. Make it easier to keep up with while their viewers multitask.

Judge Clark Brown: Really?

Carl Sack: Kids nowadays watch an average of three hours of television a day. That's while being distracted! People over fifty-five, we watch six hours a day, and we really watch! So why aren't they programming for us? You know what? Do these idiots a favor, Judge. Send these network bozos a clue. Be a leader. We can't wait for Congress after all. Because... well they're bozos too.
The judge's verdict:
Judge Clark Brown: At first this case was like every other case brought by this ridiculous law firm. Ridiculous and outrageous. But I can't ignore ageism is one of the last socially condoned bigotries. And it is rampant in this broadcast network business. They consider those of us over fifty to be irrelevant! How is it possible that we are not even a part of the target demo when we watch the most television and spend the most money? My God! There are eighty-seven million of us and that number will grow by thirty-one million more by 2020. Are you telling me that it doesn't make sense to make television shows that we want to watch? If I am to assume that the industry is not run by a bunch of idiots, then I can only conclude that it's dominated by prejudice. This case stands. (Pounds gavel.) Adjourned.
Oh how I miss my Boston Legal.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Vintage Cosmetics & Beauty Accessories: Not Taken At Face Value"

I feel really weird making this post, but here it is: Pink Populace Paparazzi Parade Exposé makes ink because I, Deanna Dahlsad, was interviewed for a feature article in the March 2009 issue of Collectors News magazine.

It began with an email from Stephanie Finnegan, monthly columnist for Collectors News:

I enjoy reading your work at COLLECTORS QUEST, and would like to invite you to be the subject of an upcoming magazine profile.

My topic is "accessories and beauty," and I know from your writing that you are very articulate about these two topics, particularly in how they have been aimed at, and for, women.

Would you like to be the subject of my column?
Such a flattering request, how could I refuse? (Even when a photo of myself would be required! *Ugh*)

So there I am, in the "Collector's Spotlight" titled Vintage Cosmetics & Beauty Accessories: Not Taken At Face Value, covering two pages (24-25) in text with some photos of my collection. Just pages away from Wes Cowan (he's going to get a restraining order, I swear!)

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the article (and boy is it weird to quote myself).

How I began collecting in this area -- after falling in love with Marilyn Monroe and vintage Hollywood glamour:
There are few things as romantic as beauty products. They reveal such intimacy, both physically & emotionally. They connect you to women who have lived and dreamed before you. For example, take a tube of lipstick once tucked into a flapper's garter for late night reapplication on precise & lovely red lips. That woman once felt all the same hopeful excitement I used to feel going out -- and likely the same disappointment and rejection too. To hold that tube is to feel a connection across time.
How I began to look at things after feminism hit me:
I started to see the makeup as something more sinister. It was used to cover imperfections. Was that from the false perceptions formed of insecurities, or was it because of the violent bruising of abuse? Was it applied so that the world would see the 'brave, acceptable' face, or was it just a mask? Did we choose to put it on, or were we made to?

...I slowly started to work from one end of the continuum to the other. I still bought pretty pinup stuff and beauty products, but I continued to explore feminism in the text and the objects. I hoped my collecting and my research would meet, someday, in some middle truth.
On why I continue to collect and explore "beauty" and look at it in the constructs of culture and advertising:
Glamour is, after all, a noun defined as 'a charm affecting the eye, making objects appear different from what they really are.' It is also a verb, meaning to cast a spell over someone or something. We women use glamour to be attractive to potential mates, and to society in general for health and productivity is important to the whole group. The notion that there are biological components to beauty -- and that we'd dare to manipulate them to our advantage -- is political. And it is not so easily admitted. Humans like to believe they are not in any way animals. However, there's also a cultural overlay to the biology. How are women to behave? What is her role? What does the proper woman look like? It's a 'nature versus nurture battle' of beauty and gender roles.
But it's Finnegan's own words about my viewpoints and my "collecting acumen" which make me blush the most:
Dahlsad is a touchstone of where women have been, what they wore, and how they carried themselves to get there. She is a historian of how powder puffs and nail polish have both ensnared and enshrined the image of womankind.
Good heavens, I think I'm getting the vapors!

(Or maybe that's my head expanding.)

All photos of me and my stuff were taken by hubby, including the cover, so he's pretty stoked to "make a cover" too. *wink*

The only disappointment is that the article doesn't directly mention Collectors' Quest, which is where Finnegan found me. I feel bad about that. So I now direct you there, to see these specific articles which likely (I'm guessing) are where Finnegan found me to be "articulate".

Vanity Collectibles

True Confessions Of True Confessions

Collecting Female Uniforms: Vintage Aprons

Pick A Shelf, Any Shelf: Collections In Context & Construction

The More Things Change… Vintage Women’s Publications

Old Etiquette Books: How To Be A More Interesting Woman

And, when I have time, I'll add more photos to My Vintage Makeup & Beauty Stuff Collection in the CQ community.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fashion Straight-Jacket

Via Rasmusmogensen.com.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"It is very little to me to have the right to vote, to own property, etcetera, if I may not keep my body, and its uses, in my absolute right."

A fascinating article by Kate titled, Fashion's Revolution since the late 18th Century: Beauty's Evolution in Female Fashion. Here's the intro, and I do hope you all read it:

How true it is that the general style of the dress is a sign of the times, and an indication of the morals of society. In the last century or two, female fashion has taken a dramatic turn. Beauty in the 20th century consists of reference to an outward appearance and one's sexual attractiveness to the opposite sex and society in general. Nancy Baker once described beauty as "intangible personal qualities" about a person and not based upon one's looks. Although this is quite true to those who appreciate a person for who they are and not what the appearance is, most of the world since the late-1800s refers to beauty of a person by their looks and styles. As Arthur Marwick once said, "the beautiful are these who are immediately exciting to almost all of the opposite sex." As sad as this statement might be, it is still none the less true in today's society. A woman’s standards today are based on television and magazines. Women are compared to the unattainable air-brushed goddesses you see modeling the new fashion. Beauty has become a goal for most women in today's society rather than an attributed aspect of themselves.

Throughout history beauty has always been based on certain aspects of a person from wealth to age, but for the first time beauty is being based upon and associated with one's sexuality. No longer is beauty based on a person and their character but rather on a sense of [one's] 'sexual self worth' (Source 2, pg.11). The most recent generations of women have even resorted the deadly cosmetic surgeries to attain a sense of beauty based upon what society classifies it as at the time. Sometimes beauty is found in the narrowness of our waist or the body of our hair, never even glancing at the person themselves. Ever since the 1830’s each generation of women and men have had to struggle against their society's own beauty myth. Today women have accomplished almost near equality to men but with the equality they still bear the stress of appearances. Men never really had to fight to vote or be treated as an equal, they simply co-existed, but women had to fight for their equality all the time also maintaining their desirable aspect in society. As our society flourishes and cosmetics are mass produced along with new clothing and new revolutionary surgeries to take off the years of worry and struggle, women must face the inevitable challenge of meeting the goal of what our society believes a woman should look like. (Source 2)

"It is very little to me to have the right to vote, to own property, etcetera, if I may not keep my body, and its uses, in my absolute right." Lucy Stone stated this in 1855 and yet today women still struggle with the same idea as she did.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Who Reads Cosmo?

I'm pretty relentless in my mocking of Cosmo; I make no secret of stealing people's copies of the mag to protect them from the rag. I can't think of a single person, let alone a demographic, which should be reading it.

So just what are Cosmo magazine's supposed demographics anyway?

Historically, the magazine's readership has been described as:

Brown always focused her magazine's editorial slant on the reader she termed "the mouseburger." Clearly a self-referential term, Brown defined it for Glenn Collins of the New York Times in 1982: "A mouseburger is a young woman who is not very prepossessing," Brown said. "She is not beautiful. She is poor, has no family connections, and she is not a razzle-dazzle ball of charm and fire. She is a kind of waif." With a heavy editorial emphasis on sex and dating features, tell-all stories, and beauty and diet tips, Cosmopolitan had become an American institution by the 1970s, and the term "Cosmo Girl" seemed synonymous with the ultra-liberated woman in her twenties who had several "beaus," a well-paying job, and a hedonistic lifestyle. The magazine also introduced the male centerfold with a much-publicized spread of actor Burt Reynolds in its April 1972 issue.

Yet the reality was somewhat different: Cosmopolitan's demographics were rooted in the lower income brackets, attracting readers with little college education who held low-paying, usually clerical jobs. The "Cosmo Girl" on the cover and the few vampy fashion pages inside reflected this--the Cosmo style was far different from the more restrained, elegant, or avant-garde look of its journalistic sisters like Vogue or even Mademoiselle, which focused on a more middle class readership. Though often a top model or celebrity, the women on Cosmo's covers were usually shown in half-or three-quarter-length body shots, often by Francesco Scavullo for several years, to show off the low-cut evening wear. The hair was far more overdone--read "big"--than usual for women's magazines, and skimpy beaded gowns alternated with lame and halter tops, a distinctly downmarket style. The requisite "bedroom eyes" and pouty mouth completed the "Cosmo Girl" cover shot.
Currently, Cosmo pushes themselves via their media kit, which varies, as you can see, from the information gathered by Quantcast.

You can argue the comparison of Internet apples to paper magazine subscriber oranges (and the supposed fact that, according to a very small study, only 7% of magazine subscribers visit that magazine's website) and third party metrics all you'd like, but it's clear that Cosmo tweaks their numbers by regrouping them creatively.

Tweaking/regrouping numbers to make themselves more impressive -- I guess that's a common enough biz sin. But wouldn't they do better to actually deal with the realities of women -- and I'm guessing that might start with actually facing their own demographics.

And seriously questioning why readers seem to out-grow (become bored with, not just 'age out of') the magazine.

Also, while some joke that Cosmo is really a magazine for men (I think the magazine is far more dangerous than that), Cosmopolitan magazine numbers indicate that just 15.03% of subscribers are men; Quantcast shows 39% of site visitors are men.

Make of this what you will; I just wish Cosmo would clean-up their predatory act.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dress Codes (In Film & Project Form) Rock!

In August 2005, Renaissance East Midlands organized Dress Codes, a year-long multiple museum project which culminated in Youth Culture Day in August of 2006. One of the goals of the Dress Codes: Youth Culture Day project was, "To increase museum visits and participation from minority groups, including teenagers (13-19), social grades C2, D and E*, black and ethnic minority groups and young people with disabilities," so fashion was used as a talking point.

Described as a project in which, "Six museums and youth groups came together to explore the topic of ‘Dress Codes’ - examining heritage and identity by looking at traditional dress and making connections with modern fashion and popular culture today," the result was seven projects, 16 short films, and 1,500 visitors at Youth Culture Day.

Here's one of the films, featuring the Northampton Museum & Art Gallery and the shoe collection -- which I found working on this post about collecting shoes.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm A Maxim Subscriber -- But...

I'm a chick & I subscribe to Maxim.

I'm not unusual for doing so; lots of women, including happy hetero feminist ones, subscribe to so-called "men's magazines."

While the actual numbers of happy hetero feminist women like me who read Maxim aren't known, Maxim's publishers do admit women make up nearly a quarter of their readership.

And I'm willing to bet that's lower than reality. (Hey, some folks still use the charge with hubby's name on it; other households think the mag is for him but he's not the only one reading it.)

There's a lot more to say about Maxim & why I do like it -- but today I've got a complaint.

In covering the March 2009 issue, the photos of Eliza Dushku, I was once again annoyed with the credits proffered on photo shoots. Does anyone really think stating "C'N'C Costume National bra" is all that helpful for shopping? It's not. (And some companies even make it worse.)

Now I hear what you're thinking... "But this is a men's magazine, so why would Maxim put as much work into shopping help for women's stuff as they do the men's shopping section?" Here's why, whiners.

A) Maxim knows that (at least) nearly a quarter of their readership is female.

B) Maxim should be able to make the leap that male readers might want to dress their women, their blow-up dolls, &/or themselves in the lingerie shown.

Ditto other "female shopping things".

I'm terribly surprised & disappointed to learn that Maxim doesn't think this way.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dear Cosmo, I Hate You

I told you there were far more than 13 reasons to hate Cosmo...

Here's one which I just know will send Jaynie sputtering and the feathers flying *wink*

And will someone please explain just where the hell we are supposed to wear outfits like this?

This one is counter-intuitive to bodily comfort:

Even if I can believe that there's a club someplace where I wouldn't get laughed at for wearing this, I'm pretty sure that I'll get too hot in that jacket and removing it will also remove the very "structured look" the lingerie pieces were supposed to "soften".

And as if that outfit weren't confusing enough, this one is so mixed signals I can only imagine you wear it while interviewing submissives:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Your Figure (1923)

"Has Charm Only as You Are Fully Developed" -- and, apparently, only with "bust pads and ruffles."

I also find this rather interesting as it's an ad from Beautiful Womanhood, November, 1923, which would make curves on the way out with the sleek flapper look.

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