Across the pond, Rhodri Marsden of The Independent is trying to figure out why men’s magazines are struggling. They definitely don’t appeal to him, so he wonders who they’re actually talking to:
I suspect there are quite a few men who feel like me: I have an aversion to shopping, contempt for most advertising, only a vague notion of where I’m going in life, a bemused attitude to extreme sports, and a fairly strong conviction that repeatedly showing me images of semi-naked women will do nothing but make me feel depressed, frustrated, and grubby. So when I leaf through a pile of men’s magazines, I can’t help wondering who they’re addressing.
Right. As we’ve said before, there’s plenty of room for a different kind of men’s mag. Marsden asked GMPM Editor Benoit Denizet-Lewis to comment:
We’re saying that there are thoughtful men, men with a conscience, who aren’t currently being spoken to in any kind of intelligent or interesting way. So we’re starting an honest conversation about manhood, about what it means to be a good man in America. Twenty-five per cent of our profits go to charity to help at-risk boys, too, so we’re genuinely trying to do good across the board. This is an experiment that’s going on right now with us and other websites, and the signs are positive.
It’s only been about six months, but GMPM is steadily becoming the place for discussing manhood in America. You might not agree with everything we publish (neither do I) but it would be tough to argue that creating a place for earnest, thoughtful dialogue about men and manhood—unprecedented in American pop culture—isn’t a good thing.
For whatever reason—and as Marsden writes, there could be many—men aren’t buying magazines for the boobs and beer. Yes, (most) men will always love boobs and beer, but it’ll never be what defines us. And if sales of glossy lad-mags are any indicator, we’re all starting to realize that.