It’s no secret that I’m a magazine junkie- I trained as a journalist with a view to getting into magazines (oh how I look back on that enthusiasm fondly!) and I teach whole units dedicated to them. So of course I was going to take the opportunity to have a gander through the newly revamped Psychologies magazine!
I’ve read Psychologies once in the past, so I approached it with an open mind; after all, I often find myself wanting something different to read at the end of a busy day. I knew that Psychologies aimed to empower women, rather than going down the same path as other women’s magazines.
In some ways, it’s successful: there’s less focus on ‘pleasing your man’ or the ‘IT handbag’ and the advice is often sound; I enjoyed the feature about how making lists can help you succeed in life (if I didn’t make lists, I’d never do anything.) I also found the feature on reclaiming glamour to be an interesting meander down the history of makeup in the 20th century.
However, there are still some of the women’s mag clichés in there too. Gorgeous celebrity on the cover? Check. Feature about sex? Check. An interview with Amanda de Cadenet (who I like, but seems to be in every magazine going at the moment)? Check.
I understand what Psychologies is trying to do and I admire it. I just think that it’s not quite sure of what it wants to be just yet. The editor says in her opening letter that the Psychologies reader doesn’t fit into any box, which could make the job a hard sell. Hmmm. If I’m honest, I’m not sure what I would want in a magazine like Psychologies, maybe I don’t fit in with its core readership? I’d love a magazine with a different tone and energy- I’d have liked the advice and features to be more powerful and offering something really groundbreaking. Alas, in such perilous times for magazines, I don’t think that that would sell well.
I think that loyal Psychologies readers will stay loyal and that the new revamp will attract new readers. There just wasn’t enough to entice me into becoming a regular reader.