Understanding women’s magazines: NYT columnist David Brooks, whose made a career out of writing about such things, explains the difference in the two types of women’s magazines:
As you know, there are two kinds of women’s magazines in
the world, nonsmiling and smiling. In the nonsmiling magazines, which tend to be upscale, the models in the photo spreads wear these blank or haughty expressions because, you know, happiness is so middle class…..Interestingly, though, the magazines that are thriving these days have an entirely different sensibility. This is the golden age of the smiling magazine. O, the magazine
named after the historically important first initial of Oprah Winfrey’s name, is so relentlessly encouraging it is like being hugged to death by the Care Bears. InStyle, the celebrity and fashion magazine that is now as thick as Vogue, is an ink and paper version of Prozac Pop-Tarts.
(Belatedly posted with thanks for the heads-up from Lewis.)