We Hear You! Letters from the April Issue

by the More.com Editors
A Country of Women
As a professor of European and Eurasian Studies based in the UCLA School of Theater, Film, Television, and Digital Media, I am writing to thank you for your important article calling attention to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.   In an age in which women's magazines are given over to infantile fluff, it is deeply moving to see quality journalism.  I have not seen your PBS show, but will look for it.
S.I. (Shelley) Salamensky

 

I have just finished reading "A Country of Women" (April) and have never felt so proud to be a woman.  My personal standards for courage, confronting fear and how I choose to live have all been raised to a higher bar. I am re-subscribing to "More" because of the power and truth of this piece.  I thank the author and photographer, Holly Morris and Rena Efendi, for their bravery in visiting the Chernobyl countryside and interviewing these incredible babushkas.

Karen Custer Thurston, Flagstaff, AZ

 

Do your editors find it amusing in a very twisted way to show the woman smiling as she held the knife while the pig is dead at her feet?? I never, ever thought I would see such a vile disgusting photo in your magazine. Are you trying to attract hunters or trappers? Rest assured that in November when my issue ends I will never renew your magazine. THAT was beyond disgusting and in such poor taste I ripped the offending photo out of the magazine. Shame on your magazine for lowering itself to such a level of obscenity! Ms. Lara Henderson

 
What's On Your Mind
I often buy a copy of More at the newsstand.  I find the articles interesting and substantive.  Reading through the last issue, I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the advertisements in the magazine feature products that supposedly help women look younger.  I can’t even begin to tell you how offended I am by this.  How can you, in clear conscience, tell us to celebrate our age, looks, and wisdom and at the same time subsist on advertisements that hawk products to make us look younger?  What an hypocrisy and contradiction and what a slap in the wrinkled faces of the woman that have earned every line and crease!  Interesting . . .  while composing this letter, I received an e-mail from NOW asking me to donate to their “Love Your Body’ campaign.   Instead of telling us how wrinkled up we are, perhaps More should sponsor a ‘Love Your Wrinkles’ campaign and start the ball rolling by refusing to accept these offensive advertisements.
Mary Ellen Hegedus, South Bend IN

 

 

Why would you put such a great article on the Chernobyl ladies who not only volunteer but knowingly put their their lives at risk, beside an article on surgically enhanced women whose vanity portrays our western weakness to look better and younger despite the pain and suffering in the rest of the world? What a contradiction in terms. I am surprised and disappointed at this magazines choice of article buddies I know you are trying to reach all types of readers..... but really?

Karen Coyne

 

 

I enjoy reading your magazine and the many ways you portray being over 40 as an exciting vibrant time for women.

However I was a little overwhelmed by your April issue - at least 9 ads for cosmetic products to make skin look "younger" and "reduce the signs of aging,” at least 3 ads for cosmetic procedures, and an article about the new and improved type of cosmetic surgery.   And they all seemed to come in the first 2/3 of the magazine.
Reading the April issue, I got the impression that younger looking skin should really be a main concern for women at this time of life, and lotions, potions and surgery is what we should spend our disposable income on. The underlying message is that we should work hard and devote a lot of time and money to preventing any visible signs of aging. God forbid someone notice we're not 25.
I still think there are some women who approach beauty in their 40's the same way they approached it in their 20's - a little lipstick and we're good to go. There are so many other things we'd like to focus - and spend our hard-earned money - on.
Susan Denning, Portland OR

I have been a loyal subscriber and fan for many years.  I don't know - was it this issue (April 2011) or the first time it became a problem for me?  I was reading the book review of "Big Small Girl" on p. 32 -- and struggled heavily with seeing the words because of the light blue font.  Is this font color new?  I never noticed difficulty before.  That said, I have recently started using cheaters.  Love that you spice up the magazine with pops of color, but maybe a darker shade of blue would help those of us trying to age gracefully -- without holding the magazine at arm's length under the strongest light we can find.
Kristine Dippold, San Diego CA

 

Please consider putting more woman of color in your magazine.  In your entire April issue including the ads, there were only 3 black women. 
Thanks for listening.
Jo-Ann Leonard 

 

I have just received my second issue (per subscription) of More (April 2011) and could not be  "more" pleased.  When I get an issue, I tend to savor, and stretch out reading it for as long as I can.  It is the only magazine I subscribe to and read it cover to cover.  All of the articles are relevant to me or someone I know.  The article on pain, hit home.  My 70-year-old mother has been in pain for 6 years.  Her personality changed; she is not the mom we once knew.  She has spent thousands, and has been to every doctor in Southern California, to no avail.  No one takes her seriously.  Hopefully, the suggestions will help in her next appointment.  The article on the survivors of Chernobyl was especially chilling.  As I was reading, the Japan reactor crisis was getting worse...how eerie, prophetic, and alarming.  The story of the troubled son and his mother's heartbreaking ordeal also resonates.  I have a son who is equally difficult (although for different reasons) and it is always encouraging to hear that I am not alone.  My favorite articles are the ones where women my age (53) have prevailed and triumphed.  After getting laid off in 2009 due to the current economic woes, I am currently going back to school to get a Bachelors Degree in Green and Sustainable Enterprise Management in hopes of catching the Eco wave of employment opportunity.  I also am pursuing LEED certification.  It appeals to me that I can be of service to our planet and to our next generation.  They are our country's greatest natural resource, after all. 

Please keep up the good work and thank you.  My world is a bit more encouraged thanks to More.

De Anza

 

I was among your first subscribers, but after much thought, I have decided not to renew.  Here is why.  Although you aim the magazine at older women readers, you deliberately chose to feature a small segment of those readers in photos and in stories: those who are thin and look like models, a far cry from the average 50+ year old.  For many years, I have subscribed to two British Magazines, Good Housekeeping and Women and Home.  Both are focused on older women, like More,  and are very fashion forward, exciting, and high end.  And yet in every issue both feature real women who are neither thin nor look like models.  Even though these subscriptions are relatively expensive, this feature is so important and inspiring to me, that those are subscriptions I will continue. I might add that I am not over weight, am very conscious of dressing well, and consider myself a myself a good role model for what the real 66 year old woman is like. I had hoped that More would be a magazine that I could subscribe to forever.  I am truly sorry that it is not.
Antonia Dosik, Yellow Springs OH

 

Reading the letters to editor I see that I am not alone in noticing a disturbing trend taking over More - the not so subtle shift from featuring over 40's to over 35.  You seem to be implying that there just aren’t enough interesting women over 40 to fill the pages these days, but I always thought the point of your magazine was that that tired cliché just isn't true.   I started reading More shortly after my 40th birthday five years and was thrilled to find a magazine devoted to my new age group!
And what's going on with the abysmal fashion features - most recently the disco duds (all pun intended) worn by a 36 year old?  Couldn't find any attractive women over 40 that look good in great clothes either?  Was that a rejected Vogue shoot?
I truly hope you get enough negative feedback from your readership so that you stick to the original target audience. 
And don't worry, the women aged 35-39 that you are SO desperate to feature will eventually join the club - just make them earn it by doing what comes naturally:  growing up a bit more!   (And then they'll be even more interesting.)
I have really enjoyed your magazine and really hope I will have reason to continue doing so.
Chrystyna Garrigan, West Caldwell, NJ

 

I have had a trial subscription and have been very disappointed.  I am 45 and was expecting a magazine for women my age that would enlighten, educate, and guide me through various life situations, as well as give reasonable beauty, health, and fashion advice. There has only been one article that has been of interest to me in the past five issues.
Women need career advice and career change advice that is applicable to those who aren't already CEOs or Directors.  The average woman does not have a six-figure salary, or even enough savings to get her through the next two months if she were to lose her job.  She may also not have a degree or be able to go back to school.  The average woman also does not have the ability to buy Prada shoes and $1000 blouses.  A guide for those who have to shop discount, consignment, and thrift stores is more realistic, especially in today's economy.  And for those that are single with an average salary, counting on a spouse’s income to bootstrap a new business endeavor or buy expensive clothes is not part of the picture.
Advice for women who are thrown into the charge of caring for elderly and ill parents is another area that you should be covering.  Again, single women trying to juggle a job and elder care have a whole other set of problems.  They may also be beginning to face their own health issues on top of this, with perhaps no health insurance.
The magazine industry is missing one of the largest markets out there by not having something dedicated to the extraordinary average woman.  Just like the clothing industry that doesn't design beautiful clothes for a size 12 or above.  When are you all going to learn?
Renee Nester

 

Are You Experienced?

I say shame on you for your mischaracterization once again of Ms Sarah Palin as inexperienced.

Please note that she has far more executive experience than your revered Obama.  Your liberal bias is showing and it is quite unbecoming.  Ms Palin has a better understanding of world events and the solutions we need for this country than Obama and his supporting staff of the likes of you and yours - socialists, liberals and liars.

Rita Sharpe

 

 

Men You Could Do Without
While I generally love your magazine, the "Men We Love" feature made me sad that some tree had given its life for such drivel. "Men we would go Mrs. Robinson for,” really?  Hard to imagine that you'd have been as comfortable if this was a men’s magazine running a "Women we would go Humbert-Humbert for.” And, "Men we love against our better judgment"?  Julian Assange?  Including him AT ALL considering the multiple sexual misconduct allegations shows truly poor judgment. Definitely not befitting of a magazine "For Women of Style and Substance.”
Vicki Cox, Missoula, MT

 

I am a 60-year-old woman who was extremely disappointed with your article “Men We Love” in the April edition.  Men who ridicule and bully their ll year old daughters, have histories of drug abuse, use crack cocaine and are habitual womanizers who cheat on their spouses and families (let’s not forget that Monica wasn’t Bill Clintons only fling—can you say Gennifer Flowers?) are hardly men I would ever ‘love’. Adding men who made sex tapes with Playboy models and Julian Assange who drugged up a young girl and had sex with her doesn’t sweeten the pot.

Using those standards, you must have overlooked John Edwards who cheated on his wife and fathered an illegitimate child while his wife was dying of cancer!! Surely we can inspire women of all ages to expect and demand better of the men they respect, love or admire. Let’s not take so lightly the pain and humiliation these men have caused to our female sisters. I found this article to be as disgusting as most of the men it highlighted. Are these the kind of men you would want your daughter to ‘love’ or be involved with.  Not me—not in a million years.

 Jody Meier, Lawton, OK

PS: How do you think the parents of the young girl Julian Assange drugged and raped would feel about you proclaiming him lovable?

 

More Money, More Problems

I found your financial advice in your March 2011 issue to be absolutely terrible. 1: If I had a spare million dollars laying around, I wouldn't need to invest in an annuity that paid a paltry $5K a month.  I'd already be rich enough that I wouldn't need that kind of advice. 2: Then on the other end of the spectrum, you advise putting a max of $10K into I bonds that currently have a fixed rate of ZERO percent.  They're not worth investing in unless the fixed rate is higher, as that part of the interest equation does not change over the life of the bond. 3: Then, you recommend reverse morgages.  These are the most dangerous financial products out there.  Yes, they sound good, but I've known too many older people who have lost their houses and income due to not realizing everything that can go wrong with a  reverse mortgage.
Berna Lowenstein

First Published Wed, 2011-03-23 17:36

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