How To Create a Woman's Glossy Magazine in Five Minutes

I've been addicted to magazines since my teenage years, but they are just so, so frustratingly predictable! I reckon you could cobble one together very easily in five minutes, and here's how.

Catherine Redfern, 18 March 2001

Don't get me wrong. I love magazines. I'm been addicted to them since my teenage years. Theres something about a womans magazine superficiality that I often enjoy. But oh boy, they are just so, so frustratingly predictable. I reckon you could cobble one together very easily in five minutes, and here's how.

The Cover

The cover image: Get a head and shoulders shot of a smiling, heavily made-up and airbrushed model (or optionally, a famous person). Remember to use an almost identical photo as used in all your previous issues; in fact, why not just use the same one a few months later? No-one will notice. Remember that the cover model must always be white, or else the 'mag' wont sell. Oh - unless it's Naomi Campbell, of course, which doesn't count. What about alienating black female readers? Don't give it a second thought; hell, most other magazine editors don't.

50 ways to turn him on!

Teasers: Always have tons of writing on the cover to make the mag look jam-packed full of exciting stuff! The sex article must always come at the top, and always include a number in it, i.e.

50 WAYS TO TURN HIM ON!
20% MORE ORGASMS!
101 SEX TIPS YOU NEVER KNEW!

Always ensure every sentence ends in '!'

The features

It's very simple. In every glossy magazine you just need one of each of these:

  1. The sex article.
  2. The confession feature:

'I'm a secret stripper but my husband has no idea!'

  1. The 'new-disorder-you-never-knew-you-had' article:

'Do you have compulsive worrying-disorder?'
'Are you a serial success-addict?'

  1. The 'omigod it's so true' quiz:

'If you chose mostly A's, you are...'

  1. The opinion piece column, in which someone writes in a supposedly humourous and over-familiar way about a really superficial issue and we are all supposed to relate to it.
  2. The '10-quick-fix-ways-to-improve-your-life' article.
  3. The predict your future by tarot / divining / colour therapy / numerology / dangling a ring on a thread / load of bollocks article. If you're really clever, you can combine this with the sex article, thus:

'Your 10-week summer of sex predicted day-by-day!'

  1. The boring famous person interview in which we learn that Julia Roberts likes knitting and crochet and uses vaseline as an all-purpose beauty-aid.
  2. The fashion and beauty pages. Basically a glorified shopping catalogue where they attempt to make us buy products we don't really need such as clear mascara and "age-defying" cream.

Note, in all articles, whenever mentioning anyone, always use the following formula:

name-comma-age-comma-occupation-comma

As in this example:

Sarah, 27, a chemist, says she thinks all men are bastards. Jane, 29, a weightlifter, agrees. 'I agreee with Sarah' she says. Margaret, 28, a candlestickmaker, thinks these women are prats.

Always use this even when their age and occupation is completely and utterly irrelevant, which is - oh! All the time!

Regulars

Editors letter: Must always go on endlessly about how 'exciting' and 'jam-packed' the issue is and how 'rilly rilly thrilled' they are all the time. Use phrases that if used in normal conversation would get you punched in the face for being so irritating, such as 'voila!', 'moi?', 'fabulous!' and 'hooray!'

Try to make your readers wonder how they ever lived without your god-like, wondrous publication

Letters page: Print letters so short it's hardly worth printing them at all; preferably not longer than two sentences each (remember: your readers have short attention spans!). Always print complimentary letters, but if you insist on printing a criticism just to show you are 'listening to the readers', for god's sake never bother actually replying to them in print. Best to include several letters from people who claim that an article in last months 'ish' 'totally changed my life', opened their eyes to some 'awe-inspiring' truth that's blindingly obvious to everyone else, or 'gave me enough confidence' to emigrate to New York, leave their boyfriend, or pack in their job and set up their own business. Try to make your readers wonder how they ever survived without your god-like, wondrous publication.

Horoscopes: End the magazine with the most pathetic load of shite predictions ever, which the magazine staff made up in their coffee break. Your readers may be independent, modern, logical, gorgeous, intelligent, strong-minded, post-feminist, business women, but they all still read horoscopes dont they?

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