Once hailed the bible of fashion, glossy magazines are soon disappearing from supermarket checkouts, with Glamour announcing that their January 2019 issue will be the last. For a majority of glossies, print media is officially dead; Teen Vogue virtually disappeared from magazine stands sometime in 2017 and Seventeen magazine which was once the go-to for teens all over the world, now only published special issues. There was a time when these pages filled with everything girls and women needed to know about life, love, fashion, and beauty was the ultimate standard, however, now thanks to a departure from feminine conventions, a new era has begun. Once the staple of teenage girls, housewives, and so many women, has the age of women’s magazine approached the grave?
People just want to look up stuff online
“Sentimentality is probably the biggest enemy for the magazine business. You have to embrace the future,” said David Carey, the president of Hearst Magazines. There was a time when being the editor-in-chief of a magazine was a huge deal, drawing a salary in millions, but gone are those days as even publishing giant Condé Nast is keeping a close eye on their empire. One of the reasons why this could be happening is that old-school editors are fearful of going the way of online publishing, Jann Wenner strongly opposed having Rolling Stone articles online. The truth is that since media is constantly changing, media platforms must also undergo certain changes. From the 1920s to the 2020s was sort of the glamourous century of magazines, and now the same industry is seeing a fall in fortunes. Thanks to Facebook and Google, the average person doesn’t want to buy a magazine anymore, when he or she could just “look stuff up online.”
Magazines are going the way of body-positivity, fitspiration, and #MeToo
Today, a cute cat video can be even more successful than a huge magazine name and that it the power of social media. Therefore, publishers are realizing that in order to succeed they must partner with those on the outside, like when Condé Nast, collaborated with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop to release a print quarterly under the umbrella of lifestyle. Meanwhile, a majority of these glossies were being taken seriously since they were meant for only the female demographic, “to create a desire for products, teach how to use products, and make products a crucial part of gaining social approval, pleasing a husband, and performing as a homemaker.” Therefore, in an era of body-positivity, fitspiration and #MeToo, women are looking elsewhere to find a community that will give them a boost. At the end of the day, the consumer is queen and therefore, though magazines may not become completely extinct, they always remain a nostalgic piece that you own, just like your sister’s hand-me-down sweater.
Image credit: What’s New in Publishing