Letter to My Magazines: What Women Want


“We want to feel beautiful in our own skin. Not 20 pounds from now. Right now.”


Look, I’ll admit it: we’ve had some good times together. I’ve spent more time with you–unhealthy though it may be–than I care to disclose.

I might even have a subscription.

I love sinking into a steaming hot tub and mulling over your bright-as-a-box-of-crayons pages.

Or settling into a long flight with a thick, glossy stack. Or just flipping through you as I munch my morning yogurt and granola.

But my quality time with you has dropped off as of late.

And I thought I’d let you know why. You see, I’ve been waiting a while for you to get it.

You’re all about women, right? Figuring out what we’re all about. Giving us what we need.

Or what you think we need.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’re getting it wrong.

You see, I’m not sure we really need any more “6 Steps to a Six Pack” or “Beachy Hair Strategies.”

I’m pretty confident the “How to Make Him Want You Even More” articles are getting old.

And man, you really think we want to lose weight. Because that seems to be the focus of Every. Single. Issue.

I haven’t even gotten started on the bodies. Although they are very lovely, they’re all kind of, well, the same. Remember when Captain Von Trapp sang about the Edelweiss flower in The Sound of Music? “Small and white  … , “ he warbled. That really seems to sum up your criteria.

You know most of us aren’t quite edelweiss-shaped, right?

And I understand we are buying into it. Literally. But I have to admit that, at times, you make me feel just a teensy bit insecure. Maybe somewhat less than. Which really can’t be your goal.

Can it?

Yet despite the ginormous potential here, you continue to push the same old, same old. And a sizeable amount of your editors, publishers, marketers and general higher ups are women. What gives?

So I thought I might help you out.

I’ve compiled a very reasonable list of what, in my humble opinion, women want. Because the mark is really being missed. You’re like Mel Gibson electrocuting himself while hopping around in the pantyhose, and we’re sitting here waiting for Helen Hunt to take over already.

Femmeography2We want every woman represented.


Black. White. Brown. Freckles. Blond hair. Curly hair. Crazy-all-over-the-place hair. Size 2? Nothing wrong with that. But what about size 14? Or – good gracious – 20? Why not get us all in there?

We want to see ourselves in your pages.

More importantly, we want our daughters to see themselves in your pages.

And those 20-year-olds on your covers? They are super cute, to be sure. But why not feature someone who can talk about a life well lived? Who can offer wisdom and guidance? And no, I’m not only talking about those ancient 30-year-olds.

Oh, and maybe lighten up a hair (or more) on the airbrushing. We actually like facial expressions. I’m not sure who told you otherwise.

And while I’m putting it all out there:

We want to feel beautiful in our own skin. Not 20 pounds from now. Right now.

We want to throw on ratty jeans and a T-shirt and strut with the confidence of a supermodel.

We want to eat a piece of cake without feeling like a failure.

We want to mentor and be mentored.

We want to inspire global change.

Now I know you’re getting some things right.

I do.

But there is so much more.

There is opportunity to invoke change. To inspire a generation. To change the prevalence of eating disorders. To raise leaders and critical thinkers and strong confident women.

That’s something worth fighting for isn’t it? Something worth sticking your neck out for? Something worth losing a few “Feel Sexy Now!” articles? Something worth booking a plus-size model once in a while for?

I believe it can happen. I thought it would have already happened.

To be honest, I thought you’d be a lot further along by now.

But I’m still waiting.

And if it’s because you’re having trouble finding a model, just so you know, I’m free.


*** Find more of Natasha Komoda’s stunning photos at femmeography.com. ***