Stylist magazine

I held off reviewing Stylist as I was hoping it would build on a promising start and really begin to offer something after a couple of issues. Annoyingly, this doesn’t seem to be the case. When the ladies from Bitchbuzz tweeted that they thought it was the worst issue yet and screamed, “WE WANT TO LIKE YOU”, I knew my lunch time would be spent working out why. It didn’t take the full hour, I can tell you.

My annoyance started when I read the vastly overused phrase “bang on trend” describing a 995 jacket on page 6. However, when a full-page in the Scoop section is given to a bland photo of designer Anya Hindmarch accompanying a piece saying David Cameron is merely considering temporary peerage titles for ‘celebrities’, whilst the oppostie page has a tiny mention for the prestigious annual Photographic Portrait Prize (misleadingly entitled “Unknown photographers showcase their snaps”), I knew things were looking bleak. Over the page, “Want to be successful? Paint your home blue” made me realise it was time to move on to the main body of the magazine, where the real articles usually are. Thankfully this week’s Work Life page proves to be a bit more interesting than last week’s, with fewer mentions of what make-up and clothing the woman in question has chosen and at least something vaguely interesting about her life and working day. However, I’m sorry to say that Dawn Porter’s opinion page really hasn’t got any better. In “what do you get a man for his birthday? You!”, she reveals the startling truth that straight men might quite like women in sexy underwear and, far from being an opinion piece as the page heading suggests, the article simply reads like a blog. Sorry Dawn, but I subscribe to many entertaining blogs – I need something a little different.

The first big article I get to is entitled “the new enemies of ageing” and begins with a double-page photo of a young model with taught skin. So far so same-as-most-other-women’s-magazines. However, when I turned the page I discovered that it wasn’t actually an article after all, but simply a list of anti-ageing products that the team have tested. Come on people, I need content! The article on eating habits was actually rather interesting but I was disappointed at the use of the word ‘diet’ in its title. After all, when most magazines talk about a woman’s diet they mean calorie counting, so it was a little misleading (if only because of my own preconceptions). An article on the following page about the differences in communication styles between genders suffered a similar fate, being given the terrible title “how to make men listen”. Is that really what you think we’re all like? Oh yes, it really is… the technology page is laid out to resemble a dating/relationship advice page. How funny! Because women can’t relate to smart phones unless you liken them to boyfriends, obvioulsy.

I’m not the least bit interested in Claudia Winkleman but for the sake of this review, thought I ought to read their leading piece. What do the Stylist gang ask this reasonably well-known British television presenter, radio personality and journalist? They ask about her family, her shoes, her make-up and her husband. Just a quick glance at her Wikipedia page suggests a whole host of questions to me, not one of which is as lame as “how easy is it to be fashionable with young children?”.

I hate to say it but this magazine just doesn’t appeal to me. It avoids the celebrity nit-picking that makes the likes of Heat so awful, but manages to fall into the trap of being like just about every other women’s magazine out there. I like fashion, but I love intelligent well-written articles even more and I’m sure I can’t be the only one. I shall continue to pick up a copy of Stylist every week, but only because I feel I’d be letting down the poor guy at Goodge Street tube station if I said no. You never know, one day it may even get as good as Shortlist.

3 thoughts on “Stylist magazine

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  1. Wow, great review! I suffer from the same problem as you – unable to find a magazine that doesn't insult my intelligence, or assume I have boyfriend troubles, or tells me that I MUST go out and buy these shoes, NOW, if my life is to improve. I can see when magazines like Stylist appear they are trying to break the mould but for some reason, they all sink back into the easychair of the mundane, targeting an audience of women who will just as happily pick up a copy of heat and scrutinize a celebrity's cellulite. What about the rest of us who want to think about interesting topics, learn things of value, and make informed decisions?
    I have to say, so far the best magazine I've found is Psychologies, as it actually makes me think, and inspires me. It has pretty things in it as well, but doesn't pretend that I won't be able to live without them.

  2. Thanks for the tips, ladies! Will have to check out Psychologies and Bust to see if they fit the bill. Who'd have thought that finding an interesting magazine which doesn't patronise me would be so difficult? Clearly that sort of thing doesn't have enough mass appeal to be able to stay afloat as a business.

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