Author Archives: jchambers12

About jchambers12

Jackie is a junior at the University of Mass. Amherst. She is currently working towards her Journalism and Communications degrees. She is minoring in Woman Studies.Her plans for the future are to become a magazine writer for either People, Cosmo, or Vanity Fair. In her spare time Jackie enjoys hanging out with her friends, watching television, and traveling.

Freedom and Independence=Democracy…Also Being a Grown Up!

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My call is for the women magazine industry to take notice of what the reality for America is and the American society. Women are not one size, women are not able to afford thousands of dollars of clothes and beauty products, and women are making their cracks in the glass ceiling and those stories need to be told.

I WANT TO SEE REALITY, FREEDOM, AND INDEPENDENCE!!!! I want to see the truth! I want to be able to open a magazine and be interested in the stories of other people going through life and how they handle it. I want to see stories about the women I sit next to in class every day for an entire semester and have no clue what their life is about. I do not want to see this: Marie Clare Interns: A video exploring their first day and on the job work. It’s unreal.

 

But I get it all and why I will not see those stories. I won’t see those stories until women in my generation are in charge of the advertising companies and magazine companies.  I am proud to be a part of this generation of youth graduating this year. We are strong and determined. We will make a change and I know it in my heart.

But in regards to the issues at hand now, I don’t think we should have debt forgiveness.  I think we need a change in student loans and maybe change it for the students coming into college this fall 2012 or next fall 2013. I don’t believe in debt forgiveness because it’s unfair to students like me who made a CONSCIOUS decision to not get into debt. Look, I was offered Northeastern University. My dream school, my friends are in Boston right now as I write this living the city life I can only imagine. I didn’t attend because it would’ve cost me, not my parents, but ME over $80,000 in student loans. Instead I came to my “backup school” UMass Amherst. As I graduate this year it was the best decision all around for my education and wallet. Why do I get punished for being smart at 18 and not living outside my means? Will I be against it? No. But I think it’s just not fair.

I have worked an average 30 hours a week since I was 16. Throughout college I averaged even more hours on top of getting two degrees.  While I pride myself on this and my hard work to get the internships and make a powerful resume I know I will be part of the 47% of college graduates that will get a job. Even better, a job I will enjoy in radio or magazines. I think that the 53% of graduates who are not getting those jobs are the people who got their life handed to them. I appreciate my family so much more for allowing me to grow up at 18 and make life decisions on my own.

I personally don’t know what the future holds or what democracy really is. I think equality and freedom to live our lives no matter what race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual preference should get in the way. I think we need the reality back into our lives and not the crazy fake stories that are shown in the entertainment industry.

My Interview with Seventeen Magazine

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This past fall I went for an interview at Seventeen Magazine and while I sat in the waiting room to meet with the editors I was stunned by the appearance of all these women walking in and out. They were perfect similar to the women in the magazines that are airbrushed and wearing extremely expensive clothing. How can these women afford this lifestyle I kept thinking to myself. During my interview it was an eye opening experience to be in New York City and not until now have I truly analyzed this interview.

The interview was for a fashion assistant intern and was very fashion forward. I applied for feature editorial assistant intern. When I kept asking about my writing and how I wanted to explore certain topics such as beauty tips, health style alternatives (organic vs. processed), and even successful teenagers I was turned down and told my only opportunity to intern would be working in the fashion closet and running around the city finding certain clothing for the models. These clothing items that teenage girls wouldn’t even be able to afford since they are high end clothing.

I was told I wouldn’t be writing at all. It is interesting how the company just was telling me what to do and told me straight forward that I was not going to be writing. The way the editors framed their language made me feel guilty for even asking to be a part of the features department (where I applied for in the first place.)

I was offered the position, but turned it down to accept a radio internship in the area. Where I can walk in with jeans and a sweatshirt and not feel like I am the ugliest duckling and my ideas are heard by the producer and radio show hosts. I am encouraged to develop feature content and not feeling guilty for wanting to follow my passions.

I am happy I made the decision to NOT live in New York City and go in even more debt to work in a fashion closet with clothing that is more expensive than my car.

Unrealistic Reality

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This past month my Cosmopolitan Magazine was missing. Unknown to me, my sister took the magazine from the kitchen table where my parents leave my mail for the past two weeks to read. Every single day I was checking the mailbox for the magazine anxious as to why I haven’t received the magazine in my mailbox when I paid $12.99/year for my subscription of the magazine. I felt like an addict craving for my monthly dose of reading how to please my man, foods to avoid eating so I can fit into my expensive bathing suit, and of course the beautiful airbrushed models that make me want to get my ass in the gym ASAP. After some thought of how insane I was this past month, I realized the magazine industry is similar to television. It is an unrealistic escape.

These subscription advertisements fall from my magazines daily.

The reason it is an unrealistic escape is because I am not learning anything with value yet I crave it similar to television. The magazines are failing to discuss the issues that matter that I am reading about on CNN. This post I am going to explore more why the real issues are not being talked about.

This weekend some startling news was released stating that 53% of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. We are not receiving the jobs we are anticipating receiving once we graduate college in a desired industry we spent the last four years studying for and waiting to be able to receive a job. Will my May Glamour magazine explore this new information? NOPE! Why not? It is depressing news that doesn’t appeal to advertisers and magazine editors.  Even interesting is the fact that I want to enter the magazine industry and found a wonderful website ED2010 that explores the salary reports of magazine workers such as editorial assistants, feature writers, and even executive editors. The salaries are depressing for the location of work and the ongoing debate of student loan debt.

Magazines have the opportunity to use their popular media representations to show realistic stories that are affecting their audience members. For example: The 2012 election, student loan debt, the on going war in Afghanistan, teenage pregnancy struggles, and texting and driving. I would remember reading these stories. Every month when I am spending my day reading the magazines I am a subscriber to I am thinking ” I do not remember anything in the last issue.” This is awful! I should be remembering what these $3.99/month media representations are showing me. I do remember the free lotion packet I received though.

 

Since we began this project I have spent hours searching Youtube videos/magazine articles searching for editors of these magazines discussing why they don’t talk about the real issues. The executive editors of these magazines are frequent guests on program shows such as The Today Show or Good Morning America but only to plug articles, interviews with celebrities, and of course more products like the video below.

Allure Magazine ” Best Beauty Products”   Allure Magazine is the primary magazine to discuss the best beauty products. You can stroll the aisles of CVS or Walgreens and see the stamp of approval on products such as my eye make up remover:

Can you see the stamp of approval by Allure Magazine?

 

Can I Change The Magazine Industry? Probably Not! But I will try!

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Some of my personal magazine collection from the last three months!

Some of my personal magazine collection from the last three months!

Cosmopolitan magazine and Glamour magazine were spread across my kitchen tables and with their flashy fashion pages opened up and advice pages folded down by my mother and aunt. At the age of 13 my favorite movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” came out and I became obsessed with women’s magazines and the idea of being a women’s magazine writer like Andy Anderson in New York City. I have been after that goal for eight years.

As a devoted magazine reader and future writer I subscribe to many women interest magazines and read every page diligently. But, as a college senior I find the many of those pages and advice columns just down right unrealistic. While the magazine industry is a hard one to break into, I bet change is even harder. In an ideal world, I want to see beauty products and clothing that I can afford on a college budget. I want to read advice columns that empower me and tell me to be motivated and driven in whatever comes my way. It’s surprising that I read one serious column in my entire $3.99 issue of Cosmopolitan.  I would love to read more that focus on the issues that affect me. For example: Planned Parenthood, President Obama’s healthcare plans, President Obama’s goals on college debt, and even how gas prices are affecting other women’s budgets. But, can that happen? It didn’t for Andy Anderson. The editors need to focus on their advertisers such as the advertisers whose beauty products are destroying the rain forests the author Hilary Rosner and her friends were trying to write an article about. Rosner discusses that tough issues are a rare breed to be discussed and published in the beautiful glossy magazine pages.

 I want to see women that have a body rather than stick thin.  In about a year I will have over $25,000 college loan debt and affording anything will become extremely difficult. Therefore, My topic will explore the media representation of the economy and of women in the highly glamourized women’s magazine industry.

Madonna Pre and After Photoshop: Too Far?

Madonna Pre and After Photoshop: Too Far?

Are these women even real? Photoshop can completely change the appearance of a women including weight, height, skin color, and even how far apart eyes on a person are. I want to get back to reality and sell what is real, not what advertisers think is real. I want to be able to afford the best skin care makeup and non-damaging shampoo that will not cost me more than $10. I want to explore the magazine industry and their unrealistic approach to our United States economy.

But how can women represent reality when they are not the ones maintaining the pages of THEIR OWN magazines. Men are taking over the advice pages giving women detailed advice on how they want to see women behave and act. Men are primarily the doctors managing the advice pages with questions and answers. Cosmopolitan even has an iPhone/android phone application that is JUST FOR MEN! This is outrageous. I would love to have an advice column on how to manage my budget filled with rent, college loans, car payment, high gas prices…etc.

Drastic diets and eating disorders are being developed by women who see unrealistic views of models wearing size 000 jeans. Why can’t advertisers yell at the magazine industry? Oh yea, that is right they are getting millions upon millions on scruntizing my looks and trying to make me feel better by buying their product.

Women’s Magazines and advertisers are slowly forgetting the older audience as well. They are so focused on the younger generation. Let’s be honest: mothers are paying for the tanning lotion that will make their daughters tan and sexy at the prime age of 9. It’s absurd how much is happening to the women’s magazine industry and I want to try my hardest to change it. Hey, it probably won’t happen but at least I am realistic unlike what I am reading at the gym trying to lose that extra pound.

 

Check out a male comedians take on the industry: Even better, he is Australian!