This week, outraged magazine readers fought back and opted to unsubscribe from their favorite monthlies over a disagreement with the editor in chief’s choices.
First it was Vogue. People love to hate Kim Kardashian, and when Anna Wintour put her and fiancé Kanye West on the cover of this month’s issue, the backlash was strong and swift. Many readers began campaigns to cancel their subscriptions, citing that Ms. Kardashian had no right to earn the highly coveted spot. She is not a model, reached fame through a homemade porn video,and has displayed questionable fashion sense in the past. She is not only one of the most “disliked” people in the business, she is also one of the most talked about.
It is always mind boggling to me, that every time a website posts a story about Kim Kardashian, a plethora of people take the time to log in, and post a derogatory comment. First of all, websites measure click throughs and comments to gauge the popularity of a post. Each of those people clicked through, presumably read the article, and then logged in, often to tell the site that they don’t care about her and that they should stop featuring her. Those click throughs and comments all add up, and send the editor and cyber bean counters a very different message.
While we are here, let me ask you another question? When was the last time a model graced the cover of your favorite fashion bible?
Uh-huh. Not recently. Celebrities, i.e. actresses and musicians sell more magazines at the newsstand than models. Models all want to be actresses anyways (and then they get their cover stories!) actresses all want to be fashion designers, and who knows what designers want to be anymore. Kim Kardashian and Vogue just experienced a huge PR boon, thanks to all the articles, interviews and Facebook posts that came about from people expressing dismay over her cover story.
A few days later, Self magazine came under fire. They featured a photo of 2 women running a marathon in tutus, and ridiculed the look. When readers discovered that one of those women was a cancer victim and made the tutus to raise money to fight the disease, they were outraged. Self’s editor in chief, Lucy Danziger issued a quick apology, which riled up her readership even more. She subsequently spoke to the women personally, and wrote a very positive article about her. Tutu sales jumped to the point that they cannot accept anymore orders. Readers responded with threats to cancel their subscriptions.
Had this women not been a cancer patient, and her choice of running attire not been philanthropic, would the outcry have been so strong? This is a magazine about women embracing their bodies and pursuing good health through diet and fitness. Is making fun of women running in tutus keeping true to the message the magazine hopes to convey? Anyone who trains for and completes a marathon is a role model. If doing so in a tutu provides motivation, we say “go for it!” Ms. Danziger not only apologized for the faux pas, but offered to work closely with the women to support her cause. She also brought great awareness to tutu project, which in turn brought them more orders. We all make mistakes, and this was a big one. It was also resolved to the best of the magazine’s ability. Isn’t that enough?
We are living in a world where we are so spoiled, that if a magazine features something that doesn’t suit us, we retaliate. How different is this to packing up our dolls and dishes and going home when we were 5 years old and our friend didn’t want to play the way we did?
We have a right to our opinions and a thanks to the internet, a forum to express them whether anyone wants to hear them or not.
Only time will tell if the magazines in question had any significant decline to subscriptions, or if the additional press served to sell more ad pages.
Now that that is cleared up, feel free to go back to postulateing about Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling,” until someone else does something you can complian about.
photo: Glasshouse Images