We Hear You! Letters from Our July/August 2013 Issue

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by MORE • Editors

Hi There,

I've read a lot of magazines in my lifetime and I just want you to  know how much I've enjoyed More. While on vacation, I purchased More at the checkout line and tossed it into my cart of rafts and sun block. I read every page, cover to cover, and by the time I was  finished I thought: "Wow, I really like that magazine, but it must be  a coincidence that every page had my attention." Usually, I look  through magazines and only read about 25%. So, the next time I was  in the checkout line, my cynicism kicked in when I saw the next issue of More staring back at me.  I thought: "I wonder if this will be as good as the last."  I loved reading that issue, too. I just filled out my card for the two-year subscription. Thanks for keeping it real.

Dear More Magazine,

I recently read your article "22 Days of Living Dangerously" in More magazine. I'm not normally a More reader because I think I'm a little younger than their target market, but my stepmother handed me the magazine and said, "You have to read this. I feel like the whole magazine was written for you."  She may have been right. 

I'm 33 years old and currently working on my second career.  After a successful run in healthcare finance on the east and west coast, I've decided to start my own business with my sister in law (and good friend), something I've always wanted to do.  I'd probably still be in finance if it weren't for having our daughter in San Francisco, catapulting us back to NJ to be near family. My husband and I were petrified by the prospect of being new parents, especially since that wasn't part of our plan. 

This month in More, there was an article about two close friends starting a business together, an article about successful women entrepreneurs and most importantly, Laurie's article about Cambodia.

I found this article to be extremely comforting.  To hear that another successful woman had fears of dying young because of their mother dying young made me feel less crazy.  I'm an intelligent woman who knows that this isn't logical, but I can't help but think about it ... almost every day.

My mother, a fit woman with no prior health problems, who actively stayed away from smoking and alcohol, died at 43 after a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer. This year was the 19th year of her loss ... and my loss.  I also found myself saying, "I only have 10 years left." 

THANK YOU for the opportunity to read and learn from this article.  I enjoyed hearing about Laurie's personal journey.  I'll keep it as inspiration.  While I'm not interested in going to Cambodia, I hope to find my own personal "Cambodia" and find personal renewal as well.

Best regards,
--Renee Hansen


Dear Lesley,

Thank you for having Melissa McCarthy on the cover of More. It was a refreshing change to see a happy, curvy woman in the midst of at least four magazines touting Kim Khardashian's race to lose the baby weight.

I can relate to Melissa because she looks like most women over forty I know. Best of all, she's not hiding behind her humor as a divert our attention from her size. She obviously embraces it and has made the most of it.

I'd love to be one of the women in the magazine with the perfect bodies over forty. They run marathons, do Pilates and yoga to name a few. I do a modified MS yoga program and MS swim twice a week. Most of my mornings are all about Rice Krispies. Not the cereal, it's the sound my body makes when I get out of bed.  I give it a minute to be sure nothing essential has popped then I continue with my day.

I really hope to see more real size women over forty on future covers. It gives us regular gals a real boost.

Thanks again. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

Best regards,
--Chamein Canton

Dear Lesley:

     I doubt you get many e-mails from men. For some reason, I was sent a 3-month trial to MORE. Probably because my name is Chris. I stuffed in into my briefcase one morning and started flipping through it on the subway on my way to work. You create a wonderful magazine! Funny, quirky, not too serious—it's a great read. I wish more men would read it. I was smiling as I entered my office door. I may ditch my subscription to MAXIM. Thanks and I wish you continued success.

--Christopher Durham

I am very pleased to see the quirky, fun and clad layout of Melissa McCarthy. This is what I call a layout "for women of style and substance."

I also enjoyed the articles about the parents' anniversary gift, working with a close friend, and the secret life of friends.

When suggesting healthy foods, please caution people taking blood thinners that dark greens and cruciferous vegetables contain vitamin K, which would weaken the effects of the medication.
--Marie U. Hagan

Hello Lesley,

I can't thank you enough for your mention regarding Rebuilding Together. I have been a volunteer with the Duneland affiliate in Northwest Indiana for the last ten years, eight of which I have been on the board as the PR Director. My work with this group has been a part of my second act and it has led to some amazing friendships.

Rebuilding Together does not get a lot of press and maybe that is because we don't build new houses, but what we do very well is give people the opportunity to stay and age in their own homes. Volunteers come out to help their neighbor and it is truly instant gratification to meet and see the homeowner as they experience their home's transformation, most of the time with the aid from complete strangers.

Our town has a population of only 12,000, but we manage to get about 400 volunteers each year to rehab about 15 homes and a few community projects. We have skilled, but also many unskilled volunteers as young as high school age. Corporate team building happens on Rebuild Day as well. It is a wonderful way for someone to give back and it is only one day out of the year. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for a nonprofit should look into their nearest Rebuilding Together affiliate on the national website rebuildingtogether.org <http://rebuildingtogether.org> . They would be amazed at the friendships that they would make and the instant "feel good" in return.

Thanks again!
--Nancy Veselica
PR Director
Rebuilding Together Duneland
Chesterton, Indiana
P.S. I love More Magazine......it speaks to me on every level!

Thank you for placing Melissa McCarthy on the cover of MORE, July/August issue. It is great to see a normal, full-figured actress in your magazine. I am disappointed that more normal American women are not showcased in MORE. The model searches are always really thin women and this is not the norm for America.  Maybe New York and Hollywood, but not the true working class who purchase MORE magazine.
--Ann Harris

Dear MORE,
    Recently, during a visit to the salon, I came upon a magazine in the dryer chair, that I picked up absentmindedly to pass the time.  Upon flipping through the pages, I quickly realized this wasn't the average, vapid salon magazine that held crappy articles about nails and hair I wouldn't dare sport!  I must have turned back to the cover 5 or six times to read the name.  I was amazed that I had never come across this magazine!  Mind you, 330 days of the year, I live aboard (I work in construction...we build US Embassies).  However, I saw within the context, a small paragraph at the bottom of one of the pages, regarding readers suggestions (a contest of sorts).  Since I didn't take the magazine with me (those stingy women!), I opted to search your website, unsuccessfully for the contest.  Thus, I resorted to writing to this address.
    In short, I can HONESTLY say, there is nothing I would change, or a bad review to be given in regards to MORE.  This magazine is by far, the absolute BEST reading material I have ever come across on glossy pages.  I literally read every article, instead of skimming to the "interesting stuff" that most magazine devote 2 or 3 pages of.  I wasn't blasted with exercises that are "going to flatten your tummy in 5 easy minutes!" (That I neither care to do, or loathe reading because I'm NOT doing them).  Or reading some sappy story about how hard it is to be "XYZ.." or "I went through hell, high water, and half of Georgia and became a better person" junk.  No horoscopes to be found, or girls with tiny waists and shiny white teeth telling me how "I too, can look like this!"  What I read, were articles of substance about women how took charge, worked hard, made a living, and SURPRISINGLY, looked like me! I read real opinions, and funny litanies of trial, error and dislike (my favorite was "Why I Don't Do Yoga!).  I loved the style sections, with honest to goodness opinions of the material, how it fits, and where I could get it.  Perhaps the most interesting were the finer details, the sizes it came in, if it had support, etc...Overall, I felt like the writers, and contributors to this magazine were real women, with real voices.  More importantly, I RELATED to almost every story, or felt some sort of connection to what was being written.
    I apologize for my overuse of the bold letters, but for the sake of emphasis on my enjoyment of your magazine, it was a must!  So again, thank you for raising my IQ instead of lowering it like most, if not 98% of other women's magazines.  Keep up the great work, continue to enrich women's lives, and I look forward to reading the next issue.  I wish you much success!
Best Regards,
--Dana Gilbert

I've been a subscriber since the magazine began.  At that time, the tag line had the word "age" in it. I like "style and substance" better!
Well, I'm of "that age", 66 to be exact, and I still have the energy I had at 46!
Must be the 2 new hips I've had installed in the past 6 months!
I like all of the features, especially "memoir." I find it extremely poignant.
 It thoroughly enthralls me-whenever I finish the article I always say to myself how good it was.
I'd like more "Notebook." I love the info and quotes contained therein.
I still get a newspaper everyday and a couple other magazines as well as books. I'm not quite ready to stop "handling" paper and go to an e-reader.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your magazine, I just wish it was bigger!
--Donna Rosenbaum

Hi -
I just finished reading the article on Melissa McCarthy and I am FURIOUS.  Why, you ask?  Because, I, too, am an alumni of Southern Illinois University - Carbondale and attending during the same time she did.  Why did we not become best friends?  I am the "funny" one of my group and I just know we would have been BFF's forever.  She's the perfect role model for everyone, not just plus-size or 40+ women.  She's nice, funny, sincere - all the things we should all strive to be.  And as a writer myself, I love that she's been encouraged to put her personal 'stamp' on scripts.  That's what makes good movies/shows great.
Dang, another missed opportunity.
By the way, I love the magazine.  I stumbled upon it while on vacation a few years ago and loved everything in it. I even start to get a little antsy from anticipation when it's time for it to be deposited into my happy mailbox!
Keep up the good work - and if Melissa mentions that she'd like to find a great friend in Southern Illinois, where I still live (sigh), I'm in.
--Rebecca Ruehl

Dear Meredith:

I really love More Magazine. Even my boyfriend of 19 years loves it, and I even gave a gift subscription of More to a friend of mine and she also loves it.

All of the stories and articles are age-appropriate for the mature, forward-thinking woman.

My only complaint is that, while I love the clothes and makeup, I cannot afford any of them. I just received the July-August issue with Melissa McCarthy on the cover. When I got to page 25, my eyes were immediately drawn to #1, the navy blue and yellow A-shape tank. I got really excited about it because the colors look so classy….and then I saw the price. I know there are plenty of your readers who can afford $135.00 for a tank top but I am not one of them. I was so disappointed. And the light blue and white cover-up on the next page (26)….my goodness, $218.00.

To really “connect” and “relate” to each of the women and their life stories in your magazine is great. But then, you get to the clothes and makeup sections and one is reminded that we are really not in their league after all.

It would really help if you had clothes, and makeup that the “average” working woman can afford.

Having said all this, I will still continue to subscribe. I know you will be happy to hear that.

Thanks for letting me vent,

--Lynda Anderson

There are SO many of us out here that love your magazine, but we are almost forgotten.  We are the baby-boomers -- all of us are 60-plus years old.  Yet in your articles and even on your most recent cover, items are aimed at….”Your best ____ [hairstyle, makeup, etc.] in your 30s, 40s, 50s.”  What happened to including 60s and 70s, even 80s?  There are gorgeous, vibrant, healthy women out there that would love to be included when you’re aiming articles toward your reading audience.
On page 34 of your magazine, I saw an Almay blusher product I would love to try.  Under the pic of the product in teeny font, it notes that our skin pales after we reach 60, and that continues into 70s.  I did not know that, but just that 1 sentence really helped.
Our concern to keep current with flattering makeup, hairstyles, swimsuits, and health does not stop when we turn 60.  I am 64 years old, still attractive, I work out daily, keep slender by being a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, I’m still working, have raised 3 lovely daughters, have a wonderful husband of 35 years, and am still interested in what makes me look attractive and feel good.  Friends my age and older feel the same way, and I’m betting there are many others reading More that would like to be included.
Kind regards,
--Lee R.

Hi MORE magazine,
I have great hope for your magazine but for me the goal is not yet accomplished.  The idea is great - a magazine with fashion and beauty tips for a more mature generation and great articles about fascinating women and important issues.  I like the substance what I don't like is the style. 
For example, I quickly skimmed over the Travel Finds section on pages 56 - 63 of the July/August volume.  The reason I didn't linger - the photos are too small to make the items look attractive, the items are too crowded on the page and reading the print at the bottom requires my strongest pair of reading glasses.  Redbook does a similar piece each month called 50 Under $50.  I find it much more visually enticing and have purchased several of the "finds" from their pages or searched for something similar on the websites listed in the descriptions.
I also have similar feelings about the Stylebook section in MORE magazine.  Again the pictures are too small to showcase the clothing and accessories, the text is too small, and the items are scattered on the page in a way that is not overly appealing.  
Finally, I also find the three column arrangement of some of the articles less than appealing.  It makes the piece seem more like a textbook that I have to study rather than a magazine to read for pleasure.  I much prefer a two column or a single column arrangement.
When I put on my reading glasses and make myself read to the end of an article or closely examine a fashion or beauty feature, I usually like what I read and see but it is such an effort to get there!  I find myself choosing other magazines - Redbook, Southern Living, Fitness, HGTV, and O - and letting unread issues of MORE pile up in my reading basket.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message.  I hope you will consider my feedback and make improvements in the near future.
--Karen Smith

I received my July/August issue of More today.  I signed up to do the survey, but was told it was closed.

I wanted to do the survey because I was very disappointed in this issue.  Best Beauty solutions for 30s, 40s, and 50s?  I thought this was a magazine for women over 40.

I am 61, and feel better than I have ever felt.  I don't see myself represented in your magazine.  I am sure there are many older women who are in great shape and doing interesting things.

I also have a pet peeve. Anti aging.  You can't not age! You can age gracefully, and look and feel good at any stage of life.  Anti aging is so negative.
Thanks for listening.
--Patricia Tyser Carberry

Hello, Ms Seymour.

I’ve never written to a magazine editor before. But after reading the feature on Ms. McCarthy (July-Aug 2013), I am compelled to ask: why no full body photos of Ms. McCarthy?

More magazine displayed such photos for other actresses featured in prior issues.

You’ve sent a message here.

I’d like to know the reason why. No point continuing my subscription when the message from this magazine is big girls must remain out of sight.

Thank you. 
--Valerie Hassan

Dear More:
I enjoy your magazine a lot, having come to a point where I feel a lot of other women's magazines cater to women under the age of 30 (I am 39), and I just can't relate anymore.
That being said, I do have a couple of issues with More. The first is the feature "This is what (insert age) looks like." Very nice, but I would love to see more women who are 50+ or 60+ or older who are active, running businesses, and doing awesome things in general. For those of us who haven't quite hit middle age, that would be so inspiring.
The other complaint I have concerns all the "anti-aging" features every month, which I feel is just an advertising showcase for really expensive products. There is nothing we can do to actually stop aging, but we can age healthfully and gracefully. I realize a lot of your readers are looking for skin and hair care products that are age-appropriate and will improve their appearance (myself included), but it would be really nice to feature them in a more positive light.
It is bad enough that our culture treats aging, and especially older women, in such a negative way and sends the message that we must turn back the clock at all costs. Does a magazine that targets older women have to send the same message?
--T. Figueiredo

There is more to women than the 30's, 40's, and 50's.... you seem
to be forgetting the 60's.... even the 70's
I am one of those 60's..... and have many beautiful (inside and out)
friends in their 60's and 70's....some are still working, some are enjoying
retirement after working their whole lives, some are enjoying being
grandma's.... some are doing incredible volunteer work....
you should come to Fredericksburg, Texas.....there is way more
here than vineyards...

"whats the good of living disconnected from the heart"
--Robin Rucker

After reading your latest publication with Melissa McCarthy as your  focus, I must comment on my displeasure of your choice.  
 I am guessing that, after reading your article, she is a nice person.   However, I take offense that what you seem to be promoting is that it  is okay in this society to be obese.  In a country where 3 out of 4  people are obese, and as a result, will probably be imposing a negative  impact.  Your magazine has always focussed on living life to the  fullest; eating properly, exercising, being the best person you can be.
 I now feel very disappointed and am not looking forward to my next  magazine. I have shared this opinion with family and friends, and I must  report that it is one shared by the majority.
 Please reconsider how you promote your attitudes and ideas of what we  women in the MORE "world" should be thinking about as positive examples.
 Thank you for any consideration you might have of my opinion.
 --Cheryl Hinkle

Dear MORE,
       This is what 50 + looks like - Finally an article that suits your magazine! I loved it! I had unsubscribed to your publication because the majority of articles were incorporating women in their 20s and 30s.  This age demographic has a plethora of choices and those of us who are in the youth of later life need to have a voice that speaks for us! Also, what is with the 20-something advertising models? There has to be another alternative to the ads that are in every magazine..? I am from the Baby-Boom Generation and I am fighting the good fight; I would like to have a magazine that does not reinforce the cultural lie that youth is everything. As a woman just turned 54, I am in better shape physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; I could not have claimed this 10, 20, or 30 years ago.

Recently featured on the cover of More, Melissa McCarthy is a bright, talented, beautiful, well-respected,  accomplished woman.  A role model for us all.  And she is perfect just as she is. It struck me, that More, a magazine historically engaged in empowering women to feel good about themselves, would photo shop some of Melissa’s pictures to make her look thinner.  Big hair, but small face, and like magic, no double chin!  Though they are beautiful photos, so are the photos that accurately represent her.  The altered photos send the subliminal message that looking thin is better and that there is something unacceptable about being big.  More Magazine, you screwed up. This was an opportunity to embrace the fact that the value of women is not gauged by a number on a scale.  Melissa is a true beauty just as she is without alternation, and you blew it.  Suggestion for next time, keep it real. 
--Beverly in Omaha

First Published Tue, 2013-06-25 17:41

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