Are Women's Magazines Worth Saving?

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Kara Eschbach
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There’s been quite a bit of fanfare lately about the state of women, especially how we’re portrayed in magazines. One statistic that gets a lot of airtime is that 75% of women feel “depressed, guilty and shameful” after reading a magazine for just three minutes. When fourteen-year-old Julia Bluhm petitioned Seventeen Magazine to show one un-altered image in its publication each month, signatures climbed to over 25,000 in just days. The initiative made national headlines and prompted Seventeen's recent “Body Peace” campaign.

You would think that this dissatisfaction would make women so fed up that they would just abandon magazines altogether; I’m sure plenty of women have. Yet the circulation of the top women’s publications has remained relatively steady over the past five years, unlike most other print titles. So even as the public has been condemning women’s magazines, we continue to gobble them up by the millions.

So what exactly do we want from our magazines? Are they even worth saving?

The Verily team thinks so, although we understand it will require more than just a new photo-retouch policy. We want to know what you think: Are women’s magazines worth changing? What really needs to be addressed to make them better?

(image via flickr user bravenewtraveler)