March 3, 2018


It’s the 10th issue of Clipped! Working on this project over the last few months has made us pick up on the women’s mag angle and spot trends in any media we’re consuming, and we’ve both corralled up a bunch of ideas and thoughts on women’s magazines for this edition. Natalie is a somewhat excessive media newsletter consumer, which are often produced from a very network-y/ insidery/ Voice From God, heavy-testosterTONE. So, another reason we started Clipped.

We also want to S/O our friend Myranda Dapolito (who also talks film over at @film_stalk) for joining the team to produce social content over at our Instagram. We’re still building out that platform, and Myranda’s aesthetic is blooming into a vision board that we really dig. Do come and smell the roses.

D & N

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  • READING: I just finished an advanced copy of “Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion” by Michelle Dean for a Q&A I’m working on. The book, out April 10th, is a deeply researched take on some of the “sharpest” women writers of the last century including Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron. The book puts its subjects’ lives and work in conversation with one another, and hilariously captures some of the intellectual brawls of some famous literary crowds (seriously it’s funny). I learned that *of course* the writer Rebecca West had contributed to a newsletter “The Freewoman” published between 1911 and 1912. And many of the subjects wrote for women’s magazines (Didion’s famous “On Self-Respect” first appeared in Vogue). Dean is an exceptional voice to tell this cultural history, has been writing for years about the subjects, and often tweets fun stuff like old excerpts from Nora Ephron’s 1965 piece in Cosmo about the “chorus girl industrial complex.”
  • LISTENING: Sex podcasts hosted by women are one of the greatest genres of podcasts. It’s not unusual for my roommates to find me cooking stir fry and listening to Jaclyn Friedman’s “Unscrewed.” We know women’s magazines have long been a space to talk about sex and reproductive health, and Friedman’s work advances conversations around consent, body image, and sexuality. Some of my favorite episodes are Vibrator Nation (15) and An IUD and a Pony (25). Once, a listener asked Friedman (who’s written for Glamour) what actually counts as “losing your virginity” (Vaginal penetration only? Not so!) which I still think about.
  • LOOKING: Yuna, one of my favorite artists who I saw perform a couple years ago, was recently featured on the cover of Glam Malaysia. Yuna’s record “Chapters” is so wistful and mellow and pairs well with nights in or slow mornings. Apparently Malaysia’s first women’s magazine was published in 1932 for a largely Muslim audience. Future issue?
  • FOLLOWING: Glamour’s new editor-in-chief Samantha Barry, succeeding Cindi Leive, is all over the gram, and recently interviewed Lena Dunham, who chose Vogue as her outlet for talking about her hysterectomy, at SXSW. Barry also appeared on a panel talking “fashion and equity” with some dope women including Kimberly Drew. It seemed unconventional that Barry, who’s mostly managed at broadcast networks, would take a role at a women’s magazine. But Glamour, like a lot of publishers, is focusing on video (and hopefully NOT Pinterest) on the heels of big hits like “This Is Your Period In Two Minutes.” Career-wise, it’s cool to see a woman journalist break into a different medium and run shit. And I’m pumped to see the work she’ll do at Glamour.
  • CONSIDERING: This Patricia Lockwood piece in Vogue was a very convincing case for short hair, which astonished me, a person who’s always had relatively long hair. After around 22 years of a pretty consistently long haircut, I finally started experimenting in 2016 with Cher bangs. Then I impulsively went Beetlejuice bang, a minor disaster, while feeling emboldened on Nov. 7, 2016. That hack job, which most DEFINITELY made my baby boomer coworkers think I was going “through a phase,” grew out in time for me to go Pulp Fiction bob before moving to New York in 2017. And alas, I closed out that year by taking my hair dye virginity with Aubrey Plaza-inspired highlights. I can’t stop — what’s next? Send me inspiration. (On the short-hair subject, a former boss of mine wrote this piece for The Awl on male reaction to short hair that I often think about. We’re Man Repeller-friendly around here).
  • SHARING: As we know, women’s magazines have always been political. Cosmo recently published a feature on the women running for office in 2018. Read! About! Them! Encourage your friends to run! NY Mag writer and ELLE contributor Rebecca Traister has also covered what could be a landmark year for female candidates (see also this Splinter piece on EMILY’s List). I’ve been dropping hints that my childhood friend, who is very outgoing and talented and studied marketing and works as an aesthetician, should try local politics. She doesn’t see it, but I’m envisioning city council in a few years :D
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  • GOSSIPING: Amy Odell published an op-ed in BOF on how “Traffic Doesn’t Make A Media Brand.” I’ve gleaned from whispering in the Hearst office that she takes some shots at some folks there — but I won’t/can’t say more because I haven’t been able to read the fucking piece and confirm anything because of the paywall. Who has a subscription to BOF? Please email us. We’re broke. The dek — “Publishers should stop trying to game the ecosystem and focus on telling stories that differentiate their brands” — definitely drags someone, if not anyone at Odell’s former roost. In the meantime, this interview with her on Fashion Week Daily is a delicious appetizer.
  • VIEWING: Natalie, Myranda, and I (💜 ) went and saw the Stephen Shore Fisher exhibit at MOMA this month. All of it was gorgeous, but one part I keep thinking about is Fisher’s spread in Another Magazine from 2006. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fashion photography and magazine portraits as high art. Do you consider them as high art? Or does their commercial basis barr them from that distinction to you? You could all guess where I land in that argument, and the Met agrees, judging by last year’s fantastic Irving Penn show.
  • CONGRATULATING: All the women’s magazines that won ASME awards this week! Cosmopolitan won the Personal Service award for "How to Run for Office,” which “galvanized readers into taking control of their electoral future” with advice from women in both parties. Cosmo has previously won in this category for its guide to birth control in 2014. SELF won for overall excellence in Social Media because of its feeds focuses on “inclusivity, diversity and a commitment to portraying real women’s lived experiences.” W magazine won in the photography for challenging “the way we see and experience popular culture.” We’re toasting these wins — but aren’t forgetting the long history of award competitions ignoring women’s magazines. Read this piece on “How 25 National Magazine Award Nominations Went To 25 Male Writers” from 2012 and hold onto that anger.
  • WATCHING: I love Condé Nast’s video strategy lately and Vogue’s ASME finalist nod prove I’m not the alone in that opinion. I linked to a different Vogue video with Cardi B last week, but the videos across all their brands are intelligently utilizing their celebrity resources without pushing out the same-old, tired #content. Besides being glamorous, they still hit at different zeitgeists and moral questions (although not as much/in a different manner than ELLE’s documentary videos of late). The Robert Pattinson needs a hot dog video for GQ? It made me like Robbie again! And this original short series with Alicia Vikander about a fortune-telling machine is so surrealist and fun. Cue up your popcorn.
  • CONSIDERING: Did you have a collage of magazine clippings pasted on your bedroom wall as a child? I did and it’s still standing, which should embarrass me when I bring home cool adult friends to my parents' place in PA. But it doesn’t because I love it and I love the young girl who was reaching out to those foreign concepts of beauty and sex and wealth and trying to keep them forever via scissors and scotch tape. A friend of mine recently posted an Instagram Story of her taking down her own magazine college, and it made me sad in the most self-own way. Did you have a clippings shrine or still do? Please reach out! I’d love to talk to you for a future issue.
  • READING: Alana Massey’s op-ed on sex trafficking in Allure ahead of the Senate vote on “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017” (SESTA). You’ve probably seen it shared on your feed, and for good reason. As a former stripper, Massey talks about why she was “incensed by a celeb-heavy PSA” calling for an update to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and for support of SESTA. It’s a piece that speaks to the importance of amplifying the voices of the people actually living through the effects of these policies, instead of jotting down ill-informed BS for stars to say and boost their images as caring, #politically #involved people. On a different note, I took a class with Massey this week on copywriting/brand content because I’ve been freelancing in that space a lot lately. It was fucking great to talk to someone who puts out banger pieces, like this one, in women’s magazines and then has also paid the bills with some ish about home electronics and nice blouses for brands. Women are so multi-talented and I love us.
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Written by
Natalie Daher and Danielle Fox. Designed by Martina Ibanez-Baldor.
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