We Hear You, Part I for the July/August Issue

Readers respond to the July/August issue

by the More.com editors

 Airbrush Heaven
Dear Lesley, This is the very first letter I have ever written to a magazine and although I don’t usually pay attention to ads/cover photos in magazines, I had to take issue this time. I saw Ms. Sedgewick on a TV talk show about a month ago and I have never thought she was beautiful but makeup does help. However, her cover shot on the July issue doesn’t even look like her. She is not that beautiful and her face is very square. Also, the Cover Girl ad next to your story portraying Ellen DeGeneres…she looks like she is 19 and I know for a fact she does not look that way even on her show.

I am a grandmother, 64 years young, take excellent care of me, my skin and body and I am happy (as are others) with the way I look without all the hocus pocus you all use to make someone look pleasing to us. I wear excellent makeup that brings out my beauty. Bring on the real girls! I have been enjoying your magazine but lately have been disappointed that you are not giving me MORE but LESS in the REAL department. I, for one, will not buy any of the products who use unreal models or so much airbrushing to sell to me…no way. Also, I will be rethinking my purchase of MORE…too fake for me and I thought you may have had it all right. Too bad.
Trish Brown
Denver, Colorado

Voodoo Science
Perhaps Nancy Kalish thinks she is doing us a favor enumerating the items we can eat to, in her words, "protect ourselves" from breast cancer. This is voodoo science, witchcraft—an irritatingly smug form of hocus-pocus—created to make us feel that we have some measure of control over what we all dread, cancer. I’m fifty-four. I’m not fat; I’m rarely sick. I’ve been following all the rules that Nancy Kalish outlines for years, not because I was afraid of getting cancer but because eating well makes me feel better. I walk every day. I live the life I want to live. I manage my stress with yoga and deep breathing. And two months ago I was diagnosed with metastatic invasive lobular carcinoma in my left breast.

I don’t believe that diet can protect you or me from cancer. The best we can hope for is to be as healthy as possible to endure months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation if and when they find it.
Nancy Jarzombek
Belmont, Massachusetts

Looking Great Has a Price Tag?
I’m a relatively new subscriber to MORE and generally, I enjoy it. But I have to comment on "The Flower Child Grows Up" article on page 18. Is MORE seriously suggesting its readers purchase a $1,225 skirt or a $465 pair of sandals to “look great from head to toe?”
Pat Quinn

A Special Topic
I have been a subscriber to MORE magazine for many years, and although I enjoy reading most of the articles, there is a certain feeling of reading about similar topics over and over.

One subject close to my heart that I’ve haven’t seen featured is raising a child/young adult with special needs, as thousands of us are doing across the country. In my case, I’ve got a 15-year-old boy with cerebral palsy/global developmental delays along with an aging Dad. Sometimes the situation makes me laugh; sometimes I cry, but I know that I am by no means alone in this double-whammy. Please include our story in your magazine in coming issues.
Michelle K. Wolf
Los Angeles, Califronia

Dismissal of Tenure
Kudos to Claudia Dreifus for challenging the obscure practice of tenure in education. As I raise 2 teenagers, I respect the fact that educators are critical to their lives and future. A good teacher is invaluable. After learning this lesson the hard way, I now have my children in 2 different high schools but both with fresh, inspiring and engaged faculty. I moved my eldest from a public high school, IB program, to a private catholic school due to the apathetic attitudes of the tenured faculty and principal. The tenured teachers have lost their drive and energy to educate. The classes are large (40+/class) and the students more behaviorally challenging. I found the non-tenured teachers to be significantly more consiencious of their performance and need/ability to motivate the students.

My other child is now enrolled in a Minneapolis neighborhood public high school that in 2008 underwent a required "fresh start" which resulted in a dramatic reorganization of staff and resources with the goal to improve student performance. Tenure was dismissed and all teachers had to re-apply for their positions and new staff was hired. The result is a wonderful, educational and motivational environment.

What would it take to rid of the practice of tenure? A teacher that fears the removal of tenure must recognize that their level of competency is not of appropriate/ adequate status. If a teacher is good, they will retain their positions. I work full time in the health care industry and am thrilled that tenure is not practiced in this field. Can you imagine? Thank you for listening.
Jill Guimont
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Bigger, The Better
I would like to ask that MORE magazine provided larger photos of the items/products in the Style/Beauty section of the magazine. The pictures are too small and the captions below are even smaller to read. I am very interested in fashion, style and makeup and would love to see larger pictures and large print on the details of the items you have shown. Thank you.
Veronica Bass

An Inaccurate Portrayal
MORE editors, I am writing in response to Claudia Dreifus’ interview in your July/August issue, titled ‘Is College Worth the Cash?". While I agree that college education, especially that provided by name brand schools, is far too expensive, I found myself quite offended by her largely inaccurate portrayal of our nation’s top universities. She argues that at such institutions class sizes are huge, athletic programs are overvalued and star faculty are more focused on research and teach students only ‘rarely’. I am lucky enough to be a student at one of the ‘golden dozen’ schools and I have to disagree. Yes, we recruit athletically, but my one close friend who was an athletic recruit is smarter than I am. At my university, every professor on payroll is required to teach undergraduates every semester (and hold office hours), and 98% of classes are taught by faculty. The only classes not taught by professors are introductory language classes, which are capped at 15 students and all taught by native speakers; in this case, I welcomed the change. I would rather take Spanish 1 from a Peruvian graduate student with 9 other students.

I have had a class of under 30 students every semester, and the times I have sat in a large lecture hall have been introductory classes with engaging professors. There is some frivolous fantasy that any Ivy League education should consist of personal evening chats with a professor in a wood paneled study, and any deviation from that fantasy is seen as cheating students. Freshman economics is a huge class everywhere, but when I took it I had the benefit of an inspirational and entertaining professor (who also happened to be blind). My city politics professor last semester had half of a 500 person lecture hall openly weeping during a lecture about civil rights. The idea that success in life is dependent on one’s ability to get into Harvard, Princeton or Yale is ridiculous and damaging, but no more false than the backlash opinion. Yes, there are fantastic teachers everywhere, but there is a reason the ‘star’ professors are valued as such, just as there is a reason that name brand universities have earned that recognition.

Secondly, Ms. Dreifus stresses a need to return to a liberal arts education, to allowing students space to grow and learn. Education, she says, is not a luxury. Well, I agree. It’s the reason I go to school where I do, at a place that has a rich history of letting students choose their educational path, a place where departments like classics or theater are as valued by the administration as engineering.

Lastly, Ms. Dreifus argues against teacher tenure and the ways in which the education section wastes money. Personally I feel that if education is not a luxury, if it is truly the future for our youth, than the people providing it should be paid more than anyone in any other profession. The salaries of the average venture capitalist or bank executive make even the ‘bloated salaries’ look like peanuts. The problem is not that education money is being wasted; it is that there is not enough of it. Furthermore, Ms. Dreifus seems to ignore the reason for teacher tenure, which is to protect brilliant minds from enforced censorship. We have not always lived in an open minded society, and we will not always. I want to have professors I disagree with, that society disagrees with, because without educated argument and the freedom to really push the envelope there is no progress. Sincerely,
Leslie Sherman
San Francisco, CA

Unrealistic Suggestions
As an experienced registered nurse (currently working towards my MSN) I make above the median income for women. I am frugal and manage my money conservatively. I have a couple comments on your article.

The reason many women don’t bother to figure out how much they’ll need for retirement is because they don’t feel it matters – they are saving as much as they can right now so knowing they should save more isn’t really going to help. If anything it is discouraging.

In reference to your Roadblock #2: Your suggestion to put $16,500 into your 401K every year is extremely unrealistic unless a woman is making a substantial income – in which case retirement savings probably aren’t a problem. And then you suggest adding an additional $5,500? And then an IRA too? And max out your HSA? And save every bonus, tax refund, birthday gift, etc? Excuse me, but what planet are you living on? How many women have over $25,000 lying around to stash in savings every year? I put 10% in my 401K, pay ahead on my mortgage and try to put extra in my HSA and feel like I’m doing pretty good.

Furthermore, some consideration has to be given to enjoying life right now. If I did as you suggested I wouldn’t be able to afford a single luxury (such as an occassional dinner out with friends), visits to see my children who all live out of state (and who give more meaning to my life than anything else I can think of), or even maintain my house, let alone make it look nice. What would be the point of living if you take away all pleasure?

I guess what I’m trying to say is some of your suggestions are unrealistic. As I said, I make an above average salary for a woman. Any reader making, say $60,000 a year would find it even harder to follow your advice.
The other advice seems sound. Just remember who your readers are and consider their average income. Many still have children in college, medical bills etc.
Michele Naber

Higher Education?
Your interview with Claudia Dreifus in the July/August 2010 issue was enlightening and important. It is time the parents of high school students understood that an Ivy League degree accompanied by outrageous costs does not guarantee a first-rate education. As a professor, I can attest that many high-prestige colleges are notorious
for their neglect of undergraduates. Students can get a better education at lower cost elsewhere.
Alan Rosenthal
Columbia, MD

Thank You
Dear Lesley, Thank you for your Editor’s Letter in the July/August issue. And thank you especially for all the work you do in putting out MORE. MORE is the only women’s magazine I’ve found that doesn’t take a political stand and I greatly appreciate that. When MORE invited Laura Bush to speak at one of its events, you really impressed me. I’m glad to see articles on women like Nancy Brinker that show respect for her views as in the June issue. In fact, it was because of the June issue that I decided to renew my subscription. I loved "To Be Tea-D Off" and "Is It Ever Too Late to Find Faith" in the current issue.

MORE doesn’t preach, either. Please don’t change that approach! I’m an adult. I don’t need to be told what to do. Keep up the brilliant work! And thanks for the hilarious quip about your colleague wearing a real pineapple on her head. Quite a fashion statement, I must say! We don’t see a lot of that kind of thing in Maine. Warm regards,
Shirley Savage
Harpswell, Maine

Too Much Fluff
I’ve enjoyed my subscription to MORE magazine and wanted to respond to your request for feedback. My only complaint is too much focus on fashion & makeup. I’d rather read about "real" over-50 women and what they are doing.
Jennifer Jones

Reinventing What You Own
Dear Ms. Seymour, Before I share my thoughts with you, let me tell you a little about myself. I am 54, have my MBA, and am currently a Vice President at a large defense contractor in the Washington, DC area. I have been married for 34 years and have no children. What I would like to see in MORE is a sharp, deep focus on the significant and important issues women my age are dealing with today, from serious financial issues to fashion and beauty challenges.

And when it comes to beauty or fashion, please stop showing me new products to buy. Tell me how to better use what I already own. What I would LOVE to see in MORE is a recurring fashion article about how to shop at home. How to make do with what you’ve got. How to turn what you already own into a new look, again and again and again; day in and day out, week after week. I would really like MORE to become a resource for me regardless of the topic; a true resource with solid information that I can work into dealing with the questions and challenges of my own life. Hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought. Best Regards,
Deborah A. Brunetti

Unethical Patchwork
I take issue with Rebecca Denhoff’s statements that she "provides her own veterinary care" and that she "is not afraid to sew things up," not to mention that area veterinarians are encouraging this behavior. As a veterinarian, I spend a great deal of my day educating clients and fixing things done by medical professionals who just like Mrs. Denhoff think that their skills translate to animals. They do not. Just as it would be irresponsible (not to mention illegal) for me to practice medicine or surgery on a human, it would be for people like Mrs. Denhoff who are not licensed to work on animals. I think those statements give people the false impression that what we do can be done by anybody and that there is no need to consult a professional. Shame on you more for printing such irresponsible statements.
Alondra Velez, DVM

Where is the Wisdom?
I find that the MORE magazine is more for the 40-year-olds and I must tell you 40 is not old…not even close. You should have more women in late 40s and 50s-60s. Just an FYI…I am 58-years-old and my son just taught me how to snow board this past winter in Co. What a blast. It just seems that you are forgetting us older women. We do have a lot of history and experience and we are always ready to share but also ready to lean new things. Please find more room for the older ladies in you magazine. Thanks,
Donna

Time for MOST
Dear Lesley, I began reading MORE over six years ago when the article about going gray first came out. I was inspired! And I did it that same year. I now have a lovely thick head of shiny, silver hair; it is the most complimented thing about me. All thanks to MORE.

Like many of your original readers, I am now well into my 50s and find that MORE seems less relevant to my life than it used to, as it seems to push very expensive, professional fashions and shoe, sexualized/airbrushed layouts, and the fashion is geared to the recently turned 40 year-olds living in urban environments. I’m all about embracing the authenticity of my new-found older self, not trying to look 35. Where are the models with the white hair and the regular bodies, wearing clothes and shoes that are not only affordable but wearable as well?
Maybe it’s time to launch your next magazine (for over 50s): "MOST!" Sincerely,
Di Harlow
Moraga, California

Athletics over Academics
I absolutely agree with Claudia Dreifus. For years I guided my daughters to concentrate in school and strive for good grades above all else (including athletics) so they could get college scholarships—only to receive great disappointment when Advance Placement classes and strong grade point averages left them without much help from the educational community. My daughters are facing six figure debt to complete their educations…and taking heavy class loads to graduate in 3 1/2 years instead of 4 (or typically 5).

How can we as a nation value athletic ability over academic—giving full ride scholarships because someone can catch or throw a ball—instead of to the students who will make us a better nation and provide the leadership our country so needs? I also believe our country has placed too much emphasis on college degrees. This has helped drive up the cost of an education simply because of supply and demand. Not everyone needs to go to college, and yet those that do not have very little opportunity for on-the-job training. Thank you for printing Claudia Dreifus’ article. It made my day.
Jean Borgardt

A Touching Tribute
Many thanks to Roxana Robinson for her lovely memoir about her parents and their issues with inevitable aging and the onset of Alzheimer’s: Ms. Robinson’s touching tribute to her mother and father evoked the struggle we all must face. I was especially touched by her deep respect and love for both of her parents, and the purity of her concern for them as they faced daunting changes in their lives. I also maintain messages on my phones from my mother, now departed, and my father—still living. Their saved messages to me give me lasting comfort.
Rhiannon
Renton, Washington

Education is not a Business
Dear MORE, Currently, critiques of education blame teachers and more importantly tenure, as the cause for the failings of the higher education system. I thought that MORE readers might be interested to know that, as opposed to Ms. Dreifus assertion that the “tenure system discourages intellectual audaciousness” (July/August 2010) before the institution of tenure, professors were fired for asserting such bedrock American ideas as “black people should have the right to vote”; “women should be paid the same as men for the same job” and “it should be illegal to whip your children.” Tenure allows one’s children to be exposed to new and challenging ideas that will insure that their time at college is a transformative experience. Higher education is not a business, like MacDonald’s, where you pay money to “super-size” your high school education.
Jackie Roberts
Delmar, New York

MORE is back!
I was worried that MORE had lost its interest in sharing engaging, interesting stories about the things I care about: smart finance, personal re-inventions, and the life stories of people who have found great purpose in their lives serving others. Glad to see MORE is BACK with the July/August issue! I’ve missed you!
Kim Crichton
Portland, Maine

The Solution is in Reform
Dear MORE, While I share some of the concerns raised by Claudia Dreifus in her critique of the U.S. university, she makes some significant errors as well. I agree that the core mission of a university is "exposing young people to the great ideas of the past and present….and giving them a chance to stretch their minds" through the study of liberal arts and the sciences. Yet she almost completely discounts the two critical factors that make this kind of education possible.

The first is providing faculty the time and resources to conduct scholarship alongside of teaching undergraduates and graduate students. In order to provide the kind of vibrant intellectual environment that Ms. Dreifus claims to want, universities must expand support for research. This, however, does not absolve universities from relying on underpaid adjuncts, graduate students, and untenured faculty, which brings me to the second critical factor. This factor is the level of public and private support for universities – and education more generally. If universities are not simply for-profit enterprises granting degrees for a fee to student-consumers, but rather, places where student learning and ideas take priority, then this is a "public good" that needs to be sustained by state, federal, and private funds. As an assistant professor at a public university, I share her concern about escalating debt burdens for our students. But the solution lies in increasing support for universities as well as reforming them. Best,
Jeannie Sowers
Madbury, New Hampshire

An Ending Love Affair
Dear MORE magazine, I don’t like the fact that you don’t publish Letters to the Editor in your magazine. Are you afraid to publish negative comments? I fell in love with your magazine when I picked up the first issue of it several years ago. Lately, I’m falling out of love with it. I said not too long ago that your magazine was the one I could really relate to, but I’m starting to think that’s not true.

The clothing and accessories featured on page 29-32 are ridiculous. Clothing needs to be on a "body" for anybody to appreciate how it looks. It seems like a lazy way to display these things. I also didn’t like the section from 98 to 103. It looks like a cartoon. I couldn’t read it the way you formatted it. It just didn’t interest me at all. I also think that your feature on Kyra Sedgwick has the same focus as most of these articles—-they highlight how wonderful the celebrity thinks they are. Good for them, but it makes for boring reading. These are fluff pieces with no substance to them.

I agree with another reader in that the Celebrity splits section is of no interest whatsoever. I’m not sure who your magazine is attempting to appeal to, but it must not be women my age. Best regards,
Sarah Schoon

A Different Story
Dear Meredith, I have enjoyed MORE magazine for years. I have given your subscription to my sister and a friend as a gift for years. What I would like to see are more stories about some ordinary women, women who are not execs, or who have not broken the glass ceiling but women who have a story to tell that could inspire women with only a high school diploma. I am soon to retire. I might have some time to enter one of your contests! I have been an Administrative Assistant in the Special Education Department of an Intermediate Unit. I am a survivor of my first husband’s suicide and happily remarried. I have two beautiful grandchildren and if you ever think you want to do something not so exceptional I would be happy to fill you in. Your magazine takes me away and inspires me but I cannot relate to all of the stories. Sincerely,
Alice George

Potty Mouth
In the July/August issue you interviewed Sarah McLachlan, who stated that she has a "trucker mouth." What exactly does that imply? That professional drivers use profanity. We are trying to improve the image of professional drivers and I am dismayed at her remark.
Ellen Voie
Plover, Wisconsin

Warning: Hope is Essential
Maybe Flibanserin as a treatment for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) isn’t the perfect tool for every woman experiencing depleted sexual desire. But for some women, some of the time, clearly it helps. Help begets hope, and as a doctor, I’ll tell you that hope is as important as any pill in restoring good health. I have had women in my office, losing sleep, depressed, miserable because the lack of intimacy where it is wanted often has a domino effect, destroying communication, trust, a couple, a family. For these women, overcoming our biological responses to stress is what they want and need. As a doctor, I would like to be able to help them. I’m concerned that the FDA will overstep by taking this choice away. The side effects reported in the trials are not life-threatening or ubiquitous. They are a risk many of my patients may be perfectly willing to take to elevate their sex drive, even slightly.
Dr. Barb DePree, MD
Middlesex Maryland

Something Unexpected and New
Hi, I was thumbing through the July/August issue of MORE and stumbled across this absolute gem of an interview article. What a totally new, out of left field, take on the United States upper education system.  I wolfed down every question and answer, and I must say I agree with Ms. Dreifus completely on every single point.
I am a graduate of Stanford U and became an executive in Silicon Valley high tech. I have two daughters who recently transitioned from the California public education system to the Washington state education system.  My mother is a teacher turned lawyer, and we spend hours discussing what can be done to improve our nation’s upper-ed. Our discussions often come down to tenure. I do agree with Ms. Dreifus that tenure should be abolished.  It goes without saying that other changes need to be made as well.  This is a book I intend to purchase. Thanks for stimulating my brain with something totally unexpected and new.

Heidi Hedlund

Cusick, Washington
Delighted at the University of Pennsylvania
Dear Editors of MORE Magazine, I would also like to respond to Claudia Dreifus’s article, "Is College Worth It?" especially to the comments referring both to the University of Pennsylvania and Dreifus’s assertion that professors must be forced to teach undergraduates. I am a sophomore student at the University of Pennsylvania (my mother subscribes to your magazine) and I have been delighted with my professor experiences (and my experience as a whole) at Penn. I personally believe that Dreifus’s claims are unfounded—my professors LOVE teaching undergraduates and have personally told me this themselves. At Penn students are truly being taught by the stars. Some of my most fruitful professor relationships and interactions have come from professors who teach large classes (which Dreifus expresses distaste for). Contrary to what Ms. Dreifus believes, I feel that my Penn education is truly extraordinary and is worth every cent my parents are paying. I truly believe that I have more opportunities open to me through Penn than my friends do at other universities.
Alicia DeMaio
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A++ for spunk!
As a graduate of the University of North Carolina education system and a former employee, my reaction to “Is College Worth The Cash?” by Lynn Sherr in your July/August issue is, AMEN! I agree with every word that Claudia Dreifus says albeit sadly true. Not only am I impressed by Dreifus’ willingness to boldly expose the naked emperor that is America’s higher education system, I am encouraged by MORE’s willingness to report on this controversial position. Dreifus is a role model for other women like me who recognize truth to speak out. A+ for content and A++ for spunk!
Alyson Ebaugh
Boone, North Carolina

I’ll Believe It When I See It
Dear MORE, If the Tea Partiers are truly anti-"big government," as Lori Christenson contends, I’ll believe it when I see them urging the elimination of the Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid programs, lobbying for roadways built and maintained only by tolls, and volunteering to support their children’s schools solely through tuition payments. As it is, the message that comes through under all their rhetoric is, "I’ve got mine; the rest of you can suffer without." And how can an anti-abortion adherent be a Tea Partier (if, again, the TP-ers are truly against "big government")? Legalized abortion doesn’t mandate the procedure, it provides an option to women and families facing sometimes appalling decisions; forbidding abortion eliminates the option and takes the decision away from individuals — "big government" at its finest. Sincerely,
M. K. Geissbuhler
Worthington, Ohio

The Tea Party Is Over
I am a 49-year-old woman, the kind of person who fits right into your demographic. I started buying More Magazine a few months ago and had been considering a subscription until the July issue. After reading the "Tead Off‘" article, I have decided that More does not fit in with my values. Tea Party values include racism, misogyny and hate no matter which pretty dress you clothe it in. I will no longer be purchasing your Magazine, will not subscribe to it or use your website. I will also bring your promotion of Tea Party ideals to the attention of my friends, family, associates and acquaintances to judge for themselves if More Magazine shares the values of women over 40. Truly disappointed,
Susanne Hartmann

Bump It Up A Notch
Love the content…for my mid-forties life…but it’s humbling when I have to pick up reading glasses to read your very small type. Couldn’t you bump it up a notch without affecting the column sizes or size of magazine? I felt especially frustrated with the "100 Summer Must-Haves" when I couldn’t read the type at the bottom of the page. This feature could have been designed in a way that was eye-popping (the clothes collages) and readable.
Elizabeth Lorenz
Menlo Park, California

Where Did the Letters Go?
Letters to the Editor are gone? I’ve taken a survey of, well, me, and it’s unanimous – put the letters back in print.

Okay, this letter was originally about "100 Summer Must-Haves." I’m sure there’s a lot of good stuff in there, but twirling it in circles and, in the case of the skirts, arranging them like supermarket cocktail shrimp, creates no longing whatsoever. I’d rather see 25 must-haves creatively and boldly presented than a bunch of small nothings with no impact. And, it’s a definite; I’m not turning my magazine upside down fifty times to see anything. Sincerely,
Christine Jelley
Babylon, New York

Looking For More…
I have read several MORE editor letters in which feedback was requested. I have completed the survey but don’t feel it was in depth enough to capture my response. MORE is an intelligent respectful and fun magazine. I have been a subscriber for over 7 years. Lately there have been changes that don’t please me entirely. Last month, the body issue, had no fashion.

I look forward to opening one American magazine a month that shows realistic and wearable fashion. This month’s 100 for under a $100 displayed the clothing in a non-enjoyable format. I don’t want to spin my magazine around and I do want to see a good photo of the clothing. I don’t need models, but I do need an accurate representation of what the clothes will look like in real life. I am not particularly interested in famous people, but understand why a magazine must put them on the cover. I am most frustrated by the re-invention direction the magazine has taken. I am thrilled with my life (at 46) as are my friends with theirs. We have no interest in re-inventing anything at all. We are interested in squeezing out new moments of joy. Thank you,
Brenda Tobias

Attitude Column
Are you kidding me? MORE readers relate to a 58-year-old woman who goes grocery shopping for the first time, with a ‘palpitating’ heart? Give me a break! The other 99% of us don’t have a husband, and two nannies who cook for us. My back aches from all the food prep I do in order to feed my kids healthy meals. Not all of us live in Manhattan — get over yourselves if you think this is an interesting and relevant article.
Denise Kleinman
Austin, Texas

Let’s Refocus
I am writing in response to the assertion by Claudia Dreifus in your recent article, "Is College Worth The Cash?" that "At Yale and Harvard, undergraduate teaching is too often an afterthought." All of my undergraduate courses at Yale (in both of my majors, and in all my electives) were taught by professors – some of them famous, and all of them fantastic. Only my discussion sections were led by teaching assistants. My four years at Yale were the best years of my life, played a huge role in shaping who I am, and made me so happy that I actually have a recurring dream in which I get to go back for a fifth year. I learned an immense amount from my amazing teachers and the tuition was worth every penny. Undergraduates are the focus at Yale – definitely NOT an afterthought. Regards,
Kristin

Community Values
I discovered MORE magazine about two years ago from a friend. She told me to look at the last page for a woman over 40 doing something new and different. Making a contribution to society? WOW, what a concept. So, it’s very discouraging that the last page of the magazine now is, what do you know, about celebrities. This month, it is about celebrity "splits". I would love to see your magazine go back to focusing on community, rather than on celebrities. Don’t we see enough of them, everywhere we turn? Is there something we can learn from these people? I don’t think so, so why focus on them?

You state that your readership matters to you. I ask if your readership consists of women who want MORE of People magazine or more of what women over 40 are doing for the world? My opinion: women crave reading about hopeful people doing hopeful work, using our heads and hearts. How about more uplifting articles/profiles? Be the best FOR the world!
Kathleen Clark
Pleasant Hill, California
Time for a Change
I loved More Magazine when it first came out, but now I only buy it occasionally. And each time I pick up a copy I am disappointed. 1)

The layout is not pleasant to read. And 2) I understand you are promoting the fact that it is never too late to follow a dream, but I am not interested in reading about middle age women who take up sky-diving or bee keeping… Your 100 style steals disappointed me because the items were just thrown on the page – I like to see models so I can get ideas about how to pull things together.

I am 51 years old, college educated with a career, middle class, married, with 2 grown children. I love fashion, makeup, hair, decorating, reading and traveling. I love reading about fashion trends interpreted for my ag—looking current without looking ridiculous. Makeovers for my age with makeup tips!

Befores & afters on sprucing up a room! Ideas for 4 day getaways in the US. Articles about what it’s like to be middle-aged (don’t we hate that term!) in a youth centered culture – we baby boomers are fighting becoming old every step of the way! Articles on relationships with our spouses, grown children, etc. Maybe some light philosophical articles about aging. Ideas for maintaining health & energy. Being an RN in an administrative position, I do enjoy your articles about dementia & aging parents…I see and hear about the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease on a daily basis.
Susan Arbogast

More Thanks
I just want to thank you and all the ones that make More magazine possible. I had been reading the magazine for the past 2 years since I turned 40 years old, one of my friends decided that I needed to read a magazine for ladies of certain age ( I was not to happy about that) but I have to say that all the information and articles helped me grow to the best time of my life…." My 40’s ". I have suggested to many ladies that they read More magazine… and the best part is that they absolutely love it.

Because of my economic situation I am not going to be able to renew my subscription this year, but I am sure that soon as things get back to normal in my life I will be back as a faithful reader.
And again thanks for the great help!!! ...now I am embracing my age.

You have a great rest of the year!!!!!
Norma Gabriela Ramirez

More for Moms
Dear Lesley,

Your Editor’s Letter this month in More was fantastic. You talked about starting out in a strictly fashion arena, or more like a "beauty fascism" genre as you put it. I always felt that these sorts of magazines were very abstract. Wearing a pineapple on one’s head as a fashion statement is best left to the Lady Gaga’s of the world.

I am a 49 year old working single mother. I had a career early on as an actress/ dancer/producer, so I was operating in a world where I was being viewed. But it was still not of interest to me to receive information regarding what I must wear in order to be worthy, and more importantly how flawlessness was expected of me.

Your magazine is my favorite and one who’s subscription I always renew. I find it inspiring and fun. You asked for suggestions on how to make it a better magazine for "us". I have transitioned from my early life as actress/dancer/producer – to this part of life as designer/writer/mother. (Multiple hats have always suited me based on my many passions!) The one thing I would like to see more of in More, would be articles relating to parenting. I think there are a vast number of us who are trying to manage this age, yes, in mind/body/spirit – but the bigger sum of life is around managing the parenting part. The traditional "parenting" magazines are geared toward 30 year old new parents with infants and toddlers, I have a big smelly almost 13 year old son, and I do it on my own. I think there are a lot of us at my age that do this with their lives, all while trying to look good and be healthy!

Thank you for asking our opinion, and thank you for your time.
Darcy Lee

Documenting the Changes
As I write my check for a subscription to "More," I would like to share, if you will, several thoughts. I am one of the "newsstand" magazine purchasers you mention in your summertime "editor’s letter."

I am subscribing to "More" because as a soon-to-be 57 year old, I am intrigued by the dynamics of the aging process and the manner in which they are addressed. For me, the aging process seems to have consisted and seems to continue to consist of "snapshots" of rites of passages arranged on magazine pages that can be quickly or slowly turned. A personal snapshot of a caring woman (my mother) and of a pensive, pre-adolescent girl (me) sitting in a school auditorium while waiting for the beginning of a movie designed to help a pensive pre-adolescent girl approach a woman’s "time of the month" quickly becomes a snapshot of a middle-aged woman (me) talking to a still caring older woman (my mother) about the "change" of which whispers were heard during adolescence. As I reflect upon such snapshots, I am always interested in knowing how other women are reflecting upon their lives’ snapshots.

Thank you for allowing me to share!
Nancy A. Verhoek-Miller
Starkville, MS

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First Published Mon, 2010-06-21 09:27

Find this story at:

http://www.more.com/member-voices/your-letters/we-hear-you-part-i-julyaugust-issue