Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's by Jennifer Nelson

By Jennifer Nelson

Glamour. Cosmo. SELF. Ladies’ domestic magazine. Vogue. In an that has been in a downward spiral for years, those magazines—and different women—focused magazines like them—have not just retained their readership, they’ve elevated it. each month, 5 million-plus ladies peel again the slick disguise in their favourite journal to thumb via pages choked with tidings and suggestion approximately model, good looks, intercourse, relationships, weight loss plan, overall healthiness, and way of life. yet do women’s magazines provide worthwhile details, or do they in simple terms peddle fluff and fantasy—and in both case, do ladies take their messages to heart?

In Airbrushed Nation, Jennifer Nelson—a longtime insider—exposes the bare fact at the back of the sleek pages of women’s magazines, either solid and undesirable. Nelson delves deep into the area of glossies, explaining the ways that those magazines were confident for ladies, highlighting the ways that their agendas were erroneous, and asking the questions that experience gone unasked: What do girls imagine and think in regards to the retouched photographs, the ever present intercourse suggestion, the consistent offensive on getting older, and the fable type spreads that includes unaffordable clothes and accessories? Do the unrealistic advertisements, pictures, and beliefs that permeate glossies harm women’s vanity . . . and is it intentional?

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Brilliant, humorous, fascinating, imperious, Diana Vreeland—the type editor of Harper's Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue—was a girl whose ardour and genius for variety helped outline the area of haute couture for 50 years. between her eclectic circle of acquaintances have been the most well known and recognized figures of the 20 th century—artists and princes, motion picture stars and foreign legends, together with Chanel, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Isak Dinesen, Clark Gable, and Swifty Lazar.

Moving from English palaces to the nightclubs of Thirties Paris, the wilds of Wyoming to the particular venues of recent York excessive society, D. V. takes readers into this iconic woman's unbelievable lifestyles, evoking the luxurious and brio of an period that encompassed Josephine Baker, England's Queen Mary, Buffalo invoice, and Diaghilev.

Vibrant with the bright, impossible to resist voice that increased each tête-à-tête and ceremonial dinner, D. V. brings this well known and uninhibited raconteur alive, no matter if recalling herself as a tender woman, her look for the precise purple, her piquant observations approximately her global, or her abhorrence for nostalgia. Like her legacy, Vreeland's tale, instructed in her personal phrases, is a vintage to be celebrated through either unswerving admirers and a brand new iteration of tradition professionals and magnificence savants.

About the Author
Diana Vreeland used to be born in Paris on July 29, 1903. starting because the writer of the notorious "Why Don't You . . . " column for Harper's Bazaar, Diana's monstrous luck propelled her to type editor on the journal, and she or he speedy grew to become a unique authority within the style global. In 1962, she left to be editor-in-chief at fashion, and her tenure there has been marked by way of her extraordinary skill to translate the zeitgeist of the days, her clairvoyance for tendencies, and her inimitable sort. She was once an idea for a new release of designers, between them Yves Saint Laurent, invoice Blass, Issey Miyake, and Valentino, and she or he could support release the careers of a few of today's most sensible designers, between them Diane von Furstenberg, Manolo Blahnik, and Oscar de l. a. Renta.

In 1973, she grew to become a distinct advisor to the dress Institute on the Metropolitan Museum of artwork, curating indicates that featured the garments and costumes of former Hollywood stars, ballet businesses, and grasp designers. From then till her loss of life in August of 1989, she remained the preeminent voice of the style global, its grande dame, and one among its so much memorable characters whose lasting effect maintains to motivate.

Extra resources for Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's Magazines

Sample text

Out of this grew the apron-clad ideal of the perky, pretty fifties housewife, who appeared suddenly like a Stepford Wife in product ads, articles, and as iconic characters in television shows. But this idealized version of the American housewife chafed at women early on, primarily because it didn’t reflect real life. The age of the airbrushed ideal was taking root. One housewife, who received a Ladies’ Home Journal makeover in the early fifties, complained that the magazine presented an ideal impossible for women to live up to.

Many men’s magazines (think Maxxim and GQ) are unapologetically sexist, to be sure, which presents its own knotty issues about messaging, but even the least chauvinist among them (Men’s Journal, for example) share a common purpose: they’re a respite for their male readers, a distraction from their stress and real-life shortcomings, great reading material to peruse while on the john: In other words, they entertain and enlighten, not criticize. indd 39 39 9/12/12 4:27 PM Not always the case with women’s magazines.

One housewife, who received a Ladies’ Home Journal makeover in the early fifties, complained that the magazine presented an ideal impossible for women to live up to. She claimed the magazines flaunted the false notion that women should be on pedestals and also be skilled housewives, seamstresses, decorators, cooks, mothers, and lovers, ensuring they could land and keep their man. The woman, Julia Ashenhurst, a housewife, wrote: I cannot but question the wisdom and fairness of presenting me as the wife of a teacher and mother of four young children in clothes not my own with a face and hairdo not my own.

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