I realize that, to anyone who doesn't read them, fashion magazines seem pretty much interchangeable. They are not.
Cosmo is written for 21-year-old women with the emotional maturity of 14-year-old girls; Vogue is no fun unless you make six figures; Allure is the K-Mart of fashion magazines; and Jane is like the girl at my high school who threw on a Cure t-shirt and started calling herself "alternative," oblivious to the fact that Bust and Venus were giggling and whispering behind their hands about what a poser she was.
But Glamour is different, and this is why:
1. Jennifer Connolly is on the cover this month, and they did not airbrush out her crow's feet.
2. Mariane Pearl does an insightful, smart monthly feature about women activists around the world.
3. You know how "sexy curves" is usually a euphemism for "fatty fat-fat" in most women's magazines? This month's issue features a fashion spread with America Ferrera that makes absolutely no mention of her weight.
4. And along those lines, realistic and attainable beauty goals. Recently in Glamour, I read something along the lines of: "All you really need is a moisturizer with SPF, a moisturizer to wear at night, and something to wash your face with." I'd always suspected that microderm abrasion and at-home chemical peels were a racket. How nice to be validated.
5. And believe it or not, they plug really good books (this month, Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield).
I'm not saying it's the New Yorker or anything, but still, credit where it's due. Not once has reading an issue of Glamour ever made me feel guilty or vapid, and occasionally, I learn something interesting about Darfur or breast cancer. I can't think of a better way to spend the occasional half an hour.