We Hear You! Letters from Our September 2013 Issue

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by MORE • Editors
angie harmon sept 2013 cover image

Please don't promote the killing of animals, most in inhumane ways, to sell clothes and magazines.

Thank  you.

Sincerely,
--Betty A. Baldinger

Hello:

I discovered More nearly a decade ago when I was in my early 40’s. At the time, I was starting to feel like I was cycling out of all the usual magazine fodder and I was thrilled to find something  to bridge the gap between Cosmo and AARP magazine. The articles and features were relevant to my age at the time and the magazine felt like a path to my next decades. I was so excited; I got a subscription for me and my friends.

Over time, however, I noticed the articles were becoming more like all the other women’s magazines and the emphasis on topics related to middle-age and beyond (yes, I said it) were obscured in ads and articles for a younger demographic. I let my subscription lapse – I could read what you had in any number of magazines. I never bought another copy.

I happened to buy this month’s issue because I like Angie Harmon. Imagine my non-surprise when I read the editor’s anniversary recap and found that you decided to “erase the dividing line” because you were receiving letters from “thirty-something” women who were unhappy to be excluded from your “smart, savvy club.”

There’s a reason to consider women in middle age members of a savvy club. We’ve earned the privilege to be there.  And while it seems everyone would like to think so, 60 isn’t the new 50, and 40 certainly isn’t the new 30. I can read what “thirty-somethings” are doing anywhere. I’ve been 30 and I’m happy to be past it.  What I’m looking toward is my future with “women of a certain age” who are taking on new challenges, making world changes. It’s a unique group and should be celebrated!

You didn’t break down any barriers by “younging down” your magazine. You sold out.
--Katie Muno

Ms. Seymour,

I was concerned when I received the September issue of MORE and noticed the title on the cover "What to Wear at 30, 40, 50" It occurred to me for an instant that those of us who are dangerously close to 60 and over are now out the game, at least as far as MORE is concerned. My concerns were confirmed when I read your editorial re the 15th anniversary of MORE and your decision to "throw the doors open" to 30 year-olds. Interesting.

I have been a devoted reader of MORE since 1998, when I was in my early 40s. I have appreciated the focus of the magazine on our age group.  As a woman in my late 50s who values health and beauty and style, I purchase and read a number of fashion magazines. My almost 30 year old daughter does too, but let's be honest, she and I have very little in common re our health, beauty, and style concerns and what interests us in a fashion magazine (She would never even consider picking up MORE!)

Clearly, women my age and older have health, beauty and style needs the younger demographic doesn't want to hear about - after all they are already turning to botox and other plastic surgery options in their early 30s - and appears that MORE doesn't want to address them either going forward. Now it seems that the decision has been made to slowly change the focus to the young, as fashion magazines exclusively do, the occasional feature of an older model, notwithstanding. From a business perspective you make choices to feature what will sell the most magazines. That's fine. I get it. But I challenge you to be quite a bit more sincere and honest about why the "doors are now thrown open." It's not about wanting to be inclusive of 30 year-olds because they want to be part of MORE's "smart, savvy (older women) club." It's about having a pretty young face on each page to sell the most magazines and no longer be the magazine that focuses on the smart savvy older women who are embracing the aging process and finding beauty in it! Ageism is not dead at MORE! In fact, it is thriving under the guise of inclusiveness of the young!

I will cancel my subscription to MORE magazine. My dollars will be better spent on a fashion magazine like Harper's Bazaar which makes no pretense about the market it targets.

What’s your reaction?

Comments

Bridget Brimm01.29.2014

Fear of breast cancer, how far would you go? I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, leaving me with an 87% risk of developing breast cancer. Most likely the very aggressive strain Triple Negative that my sister recently battled. I'm three weeks post double mastectomy, hysterectomy and reconstruction and was very interested in this article, when I turned to it and saw the insensitive graphics of a woman's torso with holes where her breasts belonged, my daughter took the magazine and ripped the article out stating "you definitely don't need to read this!"
I have no idea if the article was insightful, empathic or even valid, I do know that with such a sensitive subject you could have made a better choice of graphics. I hope you'll never have to make or live with such a difficult choice. For me the decision was easy, I knew I wasn't strong enough to go through 5 months of wicked chemo treatments and the ensuing side effects plus a double mastectomy, hysterectomy and reconstruction with the grace my sister has. So I was grateful to have the option of surgery before cancer. As it turned out, my post surgical pathology discovered pre cancerous cells that indicated my surgeries were in the nick of time. I feel so lucky and thankful, but emotionally, the decision to remove my breasts has been devastating. To open your magazine and see that torso with holes was nauseating.

11.19.2013

I'm a little behind in my reading so I read October's issue at the gym this morning. I was irritated to a 33-year old in your 2013 selection of women. As a magazine that is supposed to address women over the age of 40, she's much too young! Are you changing your philosophy? I sincerely hope not because you are one of the few magazines that speaks to a women in her sixties who is still active. Stop showing me youngsters when there are fascinating older women!

Alice Carleton11.14.2013

It appears that women stop living/aging after age 50? Your latest magazine "How to Age Well"....says 30's, 40's, and 50's. I am a 67 year old woman who is a Sophomore in college, because I wrote about my life of overcoming (and thriving). i am a dancer, singer, author, poetess and Vietnam era veteran...an over comer and wounded healer. I am working like a "Trojan" to bring about awareness of verbal abuse; it is so prevalent that it goes unnoticed. 1 in 3 women will be physically assaulted in their lifetime and it all begins with verbal abuse. This is a pandemic. I want to speak on National Television about this "shredding of souls."---I presented my paper at the Michigan Counseling Association (Society's Hidden Pandemic: Verbal Abuse, Precursor to Physical Violence and a Form of Biochemical Assault. I challenge you to help me educate the public, and help me make a difference in the world. I am an amazing vibrant woman on a mission. carleton@oakland.edu is my e-mail if you would like to contact me, and use my story. you would be helping women everywhere. Sincerely, Alice Carleton, over comer, wounded healer. P.S. Some of my endorsements for my book: Elie Wiesel, Wayne Dyer, Nikki Giovanni....I am humbled and honored.

10.31.2013

I want to add another comment about the sliding age issue. Today I saw the cover of Ladies Home Journal and it had almost exactly the same topic: "How to look good at 30, 40, 50!" How disappointing…. Please return to your original mission.

10.29.2013

First of all, I have thoroughly enjoyed nearly every article I read in More. I was a charter subscriber to Lear and was sorry it ended. So I am generally happy with More.
My biggest complaint is that you seem to be moving your age features to a younger and younger focus. The September cover trumpeted what to wear up to age 50! I am 69, soon to be 70 and I still care very much about your subject matter. You also stated in an editorial that you will publish the age of your featured people. This seems to be intermittent. Please remember that we older woman are still vital and interested in looking and feeling well.

10.25.2013

Another long-time reader disappointed by the decision to broaden your demographic(women in their thirties have PLENTY of magazines.)I feel betrayed! And not very interested in your current offerings. You can't be everything to everyone, please consider returning to your 40+ demographic.

Kerri Warmus10.03.2013

I love your magazine, the content is so interesting and informative. Well done! Now can you do something about your trite covers? Angie Harmon is gorgeous, but as a reader I find the cover format to be the same as all the other "women's" magazines out there and MORE is, well...so much MORE! Can't you do something more artistic and intelligent that is more reflective of your readers? The cover is just not representative of what MORE has to offer!

Bethie Sue 09.18.2013

I am writing to express my dismay at More's decision to cater to 30 year olds. I have been a believer/subscriber to this magazine from the beginning, and have shared with many friends, and I am SO disappointed I hardly have words to express myself. I loved More magazine and what it represented.
There are PLENTY of magazine for 30 year olds. I felt like I had graduated into a special "club" once I hit 40, and appreciated the idea of a magazine DEDICATED to women over 40. I don't care if thirty-somethings feel "excluded" from the club: Heck yea! They're 30! They'll earn their membership eventually! Nothing stopping them from buying the magazine anyway, just like I can buy Seventeen magazine if I want too - but now look what's happening; September's cover "What to Wear at 30..."! Really! So using precious pages to cover young womens attire (as though they couldn't get their fashion advise in a dozen other publications)instead of an actual article that may pertain to those of us in the over 40 club - who have supported this magazine from the beginning - is a better use, to make a better magazine?! NO! (And I'm not really a fan of the fashion articles anyway - things are so high dollar when there are plenty of well made, less expensive, options available, but that's another topic. Just using this as an example of thirty-somethings stealing copy from me).
You are making the magazine too generic, too inclusive. The "Mother of More" created a magazine for "women 40-plus" to give us a publication that related to this stage of OUR lives. As Ms. Blyth said, the demographics for More were women who had become valued and valued themselves "not for their innocence, but for their experience"...And yes, as she said, we recognized and liked More's uniqueness - which you are dilluting, if not destroying. And what happens when the twenty-somethings complain they've been left out?! Why not expand on the other end of the spectrum - 70 year old coverage instead? Truly, that demographic will be expanding as we baby boomers age. And yes, as the demographer for Ms. Blyth pointed out, women are living longer, healthier, wealthier, more vital lives into middle age (30's?!) and beyond.
I am feeling cheated, as though you have opened the doors of our special "club" to allow under-aged, unqualified people in without paying the "dues" of living to 40, 50 or more...and I am feeling less desirable to More as a reader.
I feel so let down by a product I believed in. Perhaps it's all about the m-o-n-e-y...trying to get the younger subscribers on board...that's what my friends are saying. I would be interested to know the truth behind this major change: I can't accept it is just because thirty-somethings are "unhappy to be excluded" (Oh boo-hoo! Grow up already! Oh that's right, you're only 30) as stated by the editor on page 26 in September's edition.
Ah well. It has been a great 15 years. All good things come to an end. Losing my subscription and the few I generate by sharing will not hurt your bottom line, especially with all the thirty-somethings subscribing in our place. It isn't much, but ending my subscriptions is the only way I can "vote" my dissatisfaction, and so I will not be renewing. Thank you for your time. I just thought someone should know not everyone believes all change is good.
A disappointed, loyal, but now too-old-so-thrown-under-the-bus-for-a-30-year-old subscriber

09.10.2013

I enjoy reading MORE magazine. My brand new issue came today and inside the plastic bag was inserted some ads and coupons. There was a mini-catalog of clothing from "Woman Within".Do ANY of the women who work at MORE actually wear these clothes? I know older women like to be comfortable, but this clothing was for the out of shape geriatric set, and by the way, I'm not a youngster, I just turned 60. I still like to be considered attractive and stylish. Ditch this catalog PLEASE.

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