Degrading, disgusting, and demeaning: I'm ashamed of modern women's magazines says a former Cosmo editor
By Linda Kelsey
Last updated at 1:31 AM on 21st February 2009
How does the boast 'I breastfeed my puppy' strike you? Or 'I had sex with my car'? As some kind of sick joke, I would suspect. Unless, perhaps, you are an avid reader of Closer magazine, in which case you would know they are the real-life confessions of everyday folk, who might include that nice girl next door with the new dog or the chap down the road who spends a lot of time polishing his motor.
For 30 years I lived, breathed - and defended - women's magazines. For 13 of those years, I worked on Cosmopolitan, and for the last five of those years, from the mid-Eighties, I was that magazine's editor.
So it could be that the words pot, kettle and black spring to mind when I say that I am shocked, bewildered and disgusted by what has happened to women's magazines since the days when the weeklies were the cosy end of the market, all about knitting patterns and 50 ways with leftovers.
You could accuse me of hypocrisy. You might tell me I am out of touch with the interests, needs and desires of younger women. You could tell me that I'm one of the architects of the problem. But you can't take away the fact that as I browsed the magazines at WH Smith at Waterloo station this week, I felt an overwhelming wave of nausea........