We started KnockBack ‘zine in 2006 because we were awesome young women and felt under-represented and underwhelmed by the magazines they were making for us. We knew women were (mostly) interested in life beyond shoes.
We worried that those magazines were brainwashing us and we were angry. So we made KB, and that made us feel better because we found an audience and they were just like us.
When Aysha sent us the piece that follows, we had the depressing realisation that 10 years later, for those women now in their 20s, the situation is much the same as it was for us. Yeah Lena Dunham wears pyjamas to parties and Caitlin Moran masturbates, but on the whole the media are still talking to us like we’ve just come up for air and will be headed back down to the corporate dick once we’ve finished the shopping and stopped crying.
Aysha Bryant is a third year journalism student who is just heading out into the world (of pain) that is a career in journalism. Good luck to her, and to us all…
Why I Won’t Write for Women’s Magazines
By Aysha Bryant
I’m twenty years old, I love pizza, I listen to hard rock and I’m a third year journalism student in Cornwall. I have found myself surrounded by women who aspire to write for Cosmopolitan, Heat, Closer, etc. I won’t go on because they’re all the same.
Maybe my peers haven’t considered that there is a world beyond the latest eye lengthening mascara, or maybe it seems like an easy career path. Perhaps our culture is to blame. Maybe their aspirations have come from the very pages of those magazines; who preach that girls are good at fashion and hair and gossiping, and nothing of any real use.
I disagree. I’d rather be unemployed than be part of the vicious world of the women’s magazine industry.
Writing about the latest celebrity gossip won’t benefit my life, I’m completely sick of Kim Kardashian, there are not a hundred ways to orgasm and I don’t want to look like everyone else, thanks.
At this exact moment countless female minds are being poisoned by the concept of an ‘ideal’ body. Told that we should be constantly trying to look our best so that we can bag some guy we fancy.
So what difference can I make with my tiny female mind? Well I believe in journalism, I believe journalists have a responsibility. Every day, billions of people read what we write and broadcast to them, so let’s tell them something worth knowing.
I can’t sit around doing nothing and watch nothing change for the rest of my life. I’ll graduate, get out in to the world and see what’s going on out there. I don’t have much money but I’ll get there. I’ll write about what I see and publish it. And even if only a handful read it, at least there’s a handful more who can share my view of the bigger picture.