Goodbye Marie Claire

Posted: 16 September 2008 in bitter old woman, observations, other folks, propaganda, queerlife, you've got to be kidding

Confession: I have a subscription to Marie Claire.  I know, this does not lend to my credibility as a lesbian, but I’ve kept it, if only for the tips on making my eyelashes look longer, more voluminous, and more lush.  Yes, I’m kidding.  Mostly.  In my defense, Marie Claire used to be the thinking girls trash.  Lengthy articles about fashion, culture and events in other countries, a global perspective, nary a quiz about sexual styles in sight.  But the book and film reviews have been shrinking – literally, the font is tiny compared to the font used in articles about the latest trendy pant or the need for $400 lotions to protect your face from signs of age.  The ads overwhelm the thoughtful articles and even those have almost lost their place among page after page of dewy models acting as human clothes hangers and Make-Me-Up Barbies.  Lately I’ve been thinking about letting the subscription go.  I’m really not Marie Claire’s target audience.  I’m not twenty-something.  I’m not straight.  I’m not trying to catch the man or job of my dreams.

October’s issue featured an article doling out political advice.  Marie Clare helpfully broke down both candidates views on top issues like the environment, abortion and Iraq, among others.  I usually appreciate this kind of breakdown; it’s a three sentence sum up of the basic issue.  Sure, it can’t capture the nuance, but let’s face it, most of Marie Claire’s target audience isn’t interested in nuance.  They want to know if McCain is for or against overturning Roe v. Wade.  Further, this may be the only source from which many readers are getting their information on the issues.  Marie Claire appeals to high school students and college kids who are more interested in fashion advice than they are in politics.  

The nail in the already doubtful subscription renewal coffin?  There was no mention in the entire article about gay rights.  Nothing about marriage, civil unions, health insurance for same gendered couples.  Nothing at all.  As if it was a non-issue.  White knuckled, I raved for a solid ten minutes to D. about the omission.  How could they!?!  The nerve!  I’ve been marginalized!  But, she pointed out that gay people weren’t Marie Claire’s target audience.  Why should straight readers care what the candidates are saying about gay rights?  I’ve actually heard people who aren’t gay say that this is a non-issue, something that would only serve to confuse things.  That this isn’t the election for trivial issues.  

Are you kidding me?  Bulletin to Marie Claire readers: You may not be gay.  But your kids might be.  One of your parents might be.  One of your friends is.  I don’t care how religious you are, how suburban, how voluminous your lashes and how trendy your pants.  Gay rights impact everyone.  Whether you’re for or against them, you should know how the candidates stand.  And if your magazine of choice, Marie Claire, can put sex ed. on their political issues docket, they can damn well put gay rights on it.  I’d tell you to cancel your subscription, but you probably don’t have one.  Good for you.  I’ll be joining you shortly.

  1. Digger says:

    Amen, sister! Friends of mine who thought that whether or not I remain a second-class citizen in a country I serve was a “trivial issue” wouldn’t be friends of mine for long.

  2. backlist says:

    It baffles me when people who would otherwise demand equal rights for marginalized groups (you name it) can’t extend themselves to support this issue. Like all the other rights people have fought for in the US, sharing it wouldn’t hurt the people who have the right – they just don’t want to.

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