Monday 29 October 2012

Mag Monday: Cleo November 2012

Cleo, November 2012

  • Hello, are we in 1995? Also: I can't stand Lara Bingle. Surprisingly I actually kinda like the cover.
  • I love the six-page feature on body image and Photoshop. It's a hot-button issue and magazines cop a lot of flak about it - in some cases, it's justified, but in many it's not. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what Photoshop is used for, especially here in Australia, where body shapes and sizes are very rarely altered, unlike some overseas magazines (where a lot of the buzz about the issue generates from). This leads to well-meaning people sending negative emails, Facebook posts, or in this case, starting/signing a petition, which can be incredibly frustrating when they don't have the facts and don't bother to check them. This is what happened when Jessica Barlow, a 20-year-old student, started "The Brainwash Project" and decided, seemingly arbitrarily, to target Cleo. When Cleo responded by saying they didn't in fact alter women's body shapes and did include "real" women every month, Jessica didn't change her stance. So the editor decided to do this feature, revealing what exactly Photoshop is used for (colour correction, contrast, shadows, non-permanent marks like bruises etc) and what goes into all the images in the magazine (it's a lot more complicated than most people think). Media intelligence can only ever be a good thing.
  • I liked seeing the article on Pussy Riot, even if it felt a bit late to the party (one of the drawbacks of monthly magazines, unfortunately).
  • It's the swimwear special,  and Cleo breaks the up-front styles down into destination inspiration, which is fun: Morocco (lots of prints), Tahiti (tropical florals), Rio De Janeiro (bold block colours), Sydney (apparently we're stuck in the '90s), California (Sunset Strip-inspired prints), Amalfi Coast (bold florals) and Saint Tropez ('50s-inspired). I liked that the first main fashion is a poolside shoot featuring the gorgeous, curvy ex-Top Model star Tahnee (I even spotted some cellulite and thought take that, Photoshop-bashers!), but the following two shoots feature blonde, skinny models, which is a little bland if not disheartening.
  • 'New-gen nails' jumps on to the nail art bandwagon, which I won't complain about. Love!
  • The story of three young women who each got melanoma, and another two who lost loved ones to the disease, is a timely reminder to be sun smart.
  • 'Meet the new superheroes' is a fun feature on kick-butt women in pop culture, and what we can learn from them.
  • I groaned at the title 'The simple secret to feeling happier', but actually found the advice about not comparing yourself to others to be quite helpful.
  • 'The never-ending work day' covers an issue that is probably quite prominent these days, and offers fantastic advice on leaving work at work.
  • 'Why every body is a bikini body' is an awesome headline (what is a bikini body anyway?!) accompanied by a great feature about learning to feel comfortable - and even confident - while you're wearing a bikini in public. I've gotten better as I've gotten older - mainly on holidays, where I won't know anyone - but I definitely don't feel comfortable with my "bikini body" these days. Going to the beach is not so fun when you don't feel good.
  • 'Resident evil' is a serious feature about child abuse which includes two case studies. It's an issue that's not often covered in women's magazines, so it's good to see it here.
  • It's fab to see a feature like 'Ditch the deadline diet' in Cleo - coz we all know they never work and are so not healthy for your body or mind.
  • 'Why all boobs are great' by Guy Mosel seems dubious on the surface but is actually a lovely opinion piece on not judging your own body by what others think - or what you think they think.
  • I love pretty things - whether it be clothes, accessories or objects for the home - so the 'Home improvement' spread really appealed to me. And I'm pretty sure I need this teapot.
  • Other features include 'Beach confidential' (Bondi lifeguard confessions); 'The Robsten effect' (Why are we so invested in celebrity relationships? Spoiler: Coz we feel like they're our friends);  'Ready to rumble' (the lives of female pro wrestlers - grrrl power!); 'The summer of safe love' (you can never have too much contraception talk); 'My family's fitness trick'; 'Get an A+ in dating' (one writer actually attends "dating" school); 'Open relationships: One couple reveals all'; 'Jump over your sex hurdles' and 'Find your new career here'.
Rating: 3.5/5