Letter to the Editor: Elle UK

Dear Lorraine,

I am a long term subscriber of Elle UK and in my mid-twenties. I love the magazine, it’s the only publication that has properly kept my attention, but in my time as a reader I have seen several Elle cover stars get recycled so I am really keen for someone new, someone different. I appreciate you have to cater for a lot of women and appeal to them all however, after some thought and it really has taken me some time to be able to come to some conclusions, I would really like to see Tina Fey on the cover! The Q & A with her last month makes me want to read more about her and understand where she has been, how she got to where she is and just her female approach to life. I think she would be an incredibly inspiring read and she would appeal to most if not all of your readers for different reasons and that’s what I would like to see more of. I would hope I am not alone in my thoughts as I would like to think us Elle subscribers are pretty in tune with each other.

20140428-211835.jpgAs much as I respect them, I am not interested in what more Kate Hudson has to say, or Cameron Diaz, or any of the more popular celebrity women that do the rounds on the covers on women’s magazines. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even read the interview with Rihanna, I have absolutely no idea who or what she stands for at the moment so I didn’t give her any of my time. Of course yes had I read the interview maybe I would be saying different but in the public eye, her messages are confused.

Women’s magazines I feel have a very confused idea of feminism and they frustrate me. They go all out on campaigns about the F-word but many I find still lose themselves in making women think too much about men rather than themselves. Spend too much time emphasising the pay gap but little on how we can improve it beyond just acknowledging it and asking our boss for a pay rise. Modern feminism needs to acknowledge that even though most of us disapprove of young women twerking on stage bearing all, we need to consider it from a different perspective; maybe these young women are merely playing with sexuality and experimenting? Are we still too prudish to consider this? It’s no good being told what feminism is, the bra burning era of the first wave means little to us. We’re beyond being frustrated housewives wanting more from our lives and less of our homes and our restricting family commitments. We are now in fact, beyond the all outrageous zig-zig-ah girl power of the 3rd wave. What we’re in now doesn’t even have a wave, it’s just modern and you can’t really define modern, its many things to lots of people. Feminism today encompasses all women and who cares if we’re single, or find huge satisfaction and comfort being with our boyfriends, husbands or wives (yes, we’re in the 21st century people!), or love being a home maker with children. Even the women that are hugely successful in their careers aren’t necessarily man haters or have sacrificed having a family for the sake of bringing home a large pay packet. Feminism previously has focused on one type of woman, whereas now, feminism is every woman. Striving for the want of ‘having it all’ is a very unrealistic notion planted in our heads as the thing to achieve but who honestly wants everything?

I know things are changing but it’ll be years yet before things have changed. So for now, while I am in the beginnings of what I know will be an exciting career in front of me despite still appreciating that there is much still to unravel, not all good or successful. And although I can only just afford my rent and bills each month leaving little left for me to enjoy myself with, a second job hovering on the horizon, I want to read about interesting, inspiring women to keep my own motivation going. I like to know how they got to where they are and that their mind isn’t so cleansed of their own thoughts and manipulated into voicing how the PR has choreographed them to or too delicate and precious to tell us, the Elle reader, anything.

Another cover star aside from Tina Fey that I would like to see grace the cover is Melissa McCarthy. Yes she is plus sized and maybe not Elle in that way but if I know the magazine like I think I do, Melissa champions the Elle woman voice by doing things for herself and doing things in her own right. Sometimes you can Photoshop in all the beauty you like but nothing can shine like a happy, contented personality. Who also says that what she wears wouldn’t suit a slimmer person and vice versa if that’s the elephant in the room on the fashion conscious mind that people are too scared to mention?

In a dream world, one day Jennifer Saunders would be on the cover of Elle. She is our British Tina Fey! Yes she’s older but she’s smart! She has passion and a story to tell and inspire!

Or Karren Brady? She’s smart, successful, a mother, a mentor and fashionable!

I understand that it is important for a woman’s magazine to keep themselves young and fresh and this is achieved by focussing on young Hollywood but isn’t a huge issue of feminism also that women seem to have a sell by date? Young celebrities are fun, fresh and exciting but what really, do they have to say? Fame for them is still so new and so everything that of course they have to be careful about the perception others have of them. Whereas older women (and by older I am talking late thirties-forties, hardly old) aren’t worried about what people think of them and it’s that carefree voice I want to hear a bit more of but women hit an age and suddenly the media leave them alone but its these that they should be hounding. You spend your lifetime getting good at what you do to only when, at your most brilliant, the world stops noticing and says you’re too old and someone younger should replace you.

So, I just really wanted to share some thoughts with you, Lorraine, going forward. I love it when Elle drops onto my doormat each month; I am not ready for reading magazines digitally so please keep the Elle voice and attitude alive in my hands and my mind; keep me inspired!

 

Kind regards,

Claire Way (26)

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