So I’ve thought up a name for the Woman’s Magazine Project, if it ever becomes anything: The Woman on the Page.
This month I’ve got Bust, Shape, and Glamour, and I thought I’d start with the one I like best, which is Bust. It’s a magazine that’s very different from the others I’ve studied, primarily because it is a feminist magazine, as well as a media-focused magazine. It’s sex-positive, woman-friendly, and generally a relief from the other magazines I’ve analyzed. I think it’s a shame it’s only bimonthly.
This copy of Bust–the love and sex issue–promises a feature on Jason Schwartzman, 121 fashion finds, an article on freezing your eggs, and phone sex tips from a pro. The cover photograph is of Jason Schwartzman, unusual, since the cover is usually occupied by a woman.
As with the other magazines, there are advertisements in Bust for fashion, but the designers are independent rather than mainstream. Other ads are for menstrual cups, indie music, erotica, sex toys, and even bicycles. It’s interesting variety, and certainly bold. It would bother some more conservative women, but I think it’s good to be sex-positive. Women are slut-shamed enough; they should be able to feel good about sex and sexual desires.
The content is also very different from the other women’s magazines. There are features on crafts, women’s history, HPV, gender in Japan, the Girl Scouts, and nude art products. This issue also includes a photo series on couples, which includes a lesbian couple. There are also features similar to the other magazines’ features, including articles on street style, make-up, and travel, as well as reviews of books, films, and albums, but these are rated by boob (seriously, they use number of boobs instead of stars).
Can you tell I really like this magazine? I don’t have much to criticize, except the fact that Rosanne Barr has an advice section in Bust. I don’t like Barr because she is a radical feminist–meaning that she identifies as radical, and radical feminism goes hand in hand with transphobia. Barr has said some very alarming things on her Twitter account, and I do not like seeing her in my favorite magazine.
Other than that, I encourage anyone who wants a a different kind of women’s magazine to go out and get Bust, the magazine for women with something to get off their chests.