BUST

This is how a woman's magazine should be, says Catherine Redfern.

, 16 April 2001

Now this, my friends, is how a woman’s magazine should be. Forget your usual diet of wishy-washy glorified sales catalogues and get yourself a copy of this. BUST is great. It’s not perfect, but it’s as pretty damn close as we’re going to get. Why? Here’s why:

  1. Unlike the usual tripe, BUST is written by the readers. Submissions are requested each issue, and the resulting writing has a definite ‘real’ quality to it. It’s more like reading articles written by your friends than being lectured by a remote clique of rich journalists obsessed with fashion and make-up.
  2. No sappy beauty advice or horoscopes. Fashion pages are based on real people and don’t drag on for pages on end. Issues are themed so topics are investigated more thoroughly than average.
  3. Looks fantastic. Definately something you’d be proud to be seen reading on the tube or have lying on your coffee table. Articles are illustrated by interesting and varied funky artwork. Editing is good; layout is good.
  4. The attitude. By turns uplifting, sensible, practical, and bloody good fun.
  5. Wider variety of readership. Young women, older women; feminists, post-feminists; gay, straight; white, black.

Some see BUST as the epitomy of all that’s worst in ‘pop-feminism’, but I think they’re missing the point to some extent. BUST’s aim isn’t to produce in-depth modern-day feminist manifestos and theorems. It’s an escape from the traditional formulaic pap of magazines for women. It’s written and read by the daughters of second-wave feminists, who are aware of and grateful for their feminist history, but perhaps have a different approach to certain things. I may not agree with everything I read in there, but if I wanted more serious feminist comment I’d read Ms. (and I do!). Compared to the competition, BUST is one hell of a breath of fresh air. If you’re scared off by the traditional feminist stereotype and think a feminist publication has to be dull, try this. You’ll love it.

Warning: if you’re of a timid disposition, you may be offended by their ‘if it feels good do it’ attitude to sex, and be sure to avert your eyes from the ads for vibrators!

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