There are no fashion spreads. There's no trendy diet du jour story. There aren't even any how-to pieces about decorating your house/apartment. OK, there is a body-image story, but it's about how to "Transform The Way You See Yourself." There is a sex story, but it's "A Beginner's Guide To Tantric Sex" and is more about shifting your attitude about sex from western to eastern, where orgasms are not emphasized. It's not your typical Cosmo article, that's for sure.
I've known for a long time that the British were more evolved than Americans. I should disclose that at age 12 I had a framed poster of London on my wall, before I had ever set foot on the continent. I fantasized daily (while listening to The Clash, The Smiths and New Order) about picking up and moving to England after college. Somehow, it never happened, but I'm still a devoted Anglophile, Posh and David Beckham aside.
The Hachette Filipacchi publication bills itself as "A women's magazine which looks at the ways in which we think, behave, communicate and connect." It sounds intellectual, but the writers do it in such an entertaining and low-key way. It's not at all preachy. The articles are short and crisp and readable in one sitting. Probably the closest U.S. version in terms of some of the content would be Oprah's magazine, O. But unlike O, there aren't any articles about finding the perfect lipstick color or overhauling your underwear (these are from the latest issue of O. I'm not making it up!) .
There are some celebs, but they are featured in reflective pieces in which you find out what makes them tick. Lisa Kudrow is on the cover of the current (to the U.S.) issue and she talks about life after "Friends" and what helps her during periods of change. Another piece on Mariel Hemingway addresses the depression and alcoholism that runs in her family, but does it in a sensitive, non-sensational way.
The decidedly different tone of this magazine vs. U.S. women's magazines is the emphasis on taking care of one's self for one's own good, unlike in the U.S. where women seem bound and determined to put themselves last after everyone else in their lives: partners, children, parents, siblings, co-workers, bosses, you name it. So maybe it's not the fault of the magazines, who are only giving us what we say we want. Maybe it's time for us American gals to value ourselves more, in imitation of our British sisters. I'm going to start with a subscription to Psychologies.
Published by: Hachette Filipacchi (U.K.) Ltd.
Web site (experiencing technical difficulties at press time)