token girl: like a girl, but better

Thursday, 19 May 2005

Some Notes by the Magazine Assassin

I bought my first ever Elle in 1995. I had just turned 14 and my best friend Natalie was already a dedicated reader. Annette and I were on the way to blackpool for the May half-term. A supermodel whose name I don't remember was on the cover...

It was a magazine that stayed with me - albeit sporadically - throughout even my three frugal student years, when I could barely afford a newspaper, let alone a glossy magazine.

Elle has survived alongside Vogue for years and years, yet has never rivalled the authority or snobbery of its upmarket competitor. While Vogue still reverts to coverage of the Society Summer Party, perhaps bound by its publisher, Conde Nast, Elle seems to think itself more rock'n'roll, featuring the spoilt and (un)fortunate children of pop stars who made it decades ago. We are persuaded that the politics of birth merit exposure in a new and equally pointless aristocracy. Remember when Stella McCartney and Liv Tyler posed in customised tees labelled 'rock royalty'? That kind of thing.

Vogue allows us to enjoy fashion and take it as seriously as we like without having to justify or explain ourselves, while we giggle like girls behind pink-manicured fingernails.

A new glossy hit the shelves last month. The idea of the puke-inducingly titled 'Happy' makes me want to gouge my own eyes out so that I can never ever lust after another bag/shoe or keyfob again ever again.

To be continued...

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