an open letter.

   when i began blogging, more than a year ago, i never imagined the community that came along with having a personal style blog.  i am constantly inspired by the amazing women and men that take the time each and every day to spotlight the styles they wear and believe there is a certain confidence and positivity that come from these blogs.  it is in this vain that i am doing an editorial post tonight.
    today i found myself very disheartened by a publication that i have been a loyal reader of for more than ten years.  every month i look forward to the newest issue of glamour magazine, and i have to admit that reading it each month has become one of my guiltiest pleasures. today that changed for me.  the april issue, which features kate winslet on the cover, contained all of the pieces i look forward to each month; articles on powerful and stylish women.  at the end of the issue was an incredible piece entitled 'stop the bitch wars!' by sarah hepola.  the article discusses the way women tear one another down with gossip, bullying and general cattiness, and i found myself agreeing over and over again.  it then outlined five ways in which we can each take part in ending this terrible woman vs. woman culture.  i left the article feeling a sense of understanding about the things i do on a day-to-day basis that add to the mean-girl dynamic and felt that just realizing the issue was a big step in the right direction.
    so how could i possibly be upset after happily reading a great piece of writing?  well, my friends, just fourteen pages later is glamour's monthly feature, 'dos & don'ts.'  i usually give a quick glance to the final page, but today i found it ironic that just pages ago glamour talked about the terrible epidemic of women tearing women down and so quickly there are photos calling women fashion 'don'ts.' 
    i'm not sure how others feel about this feature, but today i have to say that i was repulsed.  worst of all is that these women don't realized they are being photographed. (don't get me started on summer issues with pictures of women in bathing suits...)  and sorry glamour, but the tiny black boxes you put over the eyes of these women do not at all camouflage them from the recognition of their sisters, friends or coworkers.  i thought of all the times i leave the house in an ensemble not ready for the runway.  the sick days.  the lazy days.  the days my heel breaks and i'm left wearing moccasins to walk home from the office.  should i be concerned that i may end up on the pages of a national publication because my outfit did not match up to the hollywood standards present throughout the magazine?
     blogging has proven to me that personal style is a point of view and everyone's point of view is incredibly different.   by deciding that all women must fit into the same style mold i think we only perpetuate the stereotype of women being catty, bitchy and cruel to one another.
     i wonder what others think of this.  considering the feature has been around for as long as i can remember, i assume it is popular and well-liked.  was i the only one who noticed the irony this month?  does anyone else find this a bit backwards?  i would absolutely love to hear your opinions! 

{image by found here via here.}


  1. Interesting post. I've also seen this feature for as long as I can remember, and I've always found it somewhat tasteless. It's one thing to give fashion tips and advice, and to point out trends that aren't "in" anymore, but it's another to specifically call out women for their looks. It does reek of the kinds of catty comments that women use to tear each other down and it's extremely hypocritical for Glamour to publish this feature when so many other articles highlight strong and independent women. But then, that's no surprise--nearly every women's magazine (especially fashion mags) are hypocritical messes, in my opinion.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I am so appreciative of this post! As a society we are bombarded by images of what the media perceives as beautiful, and also, what the media perceives as unflattering or below par. Because we are presented with these opinions time and time again, I think the female gender can easily become jaded. I know personally, my style would often end up on the "dont's" page; but why should it?! It's my style, I own it, and I love it! Thank you for reminding me that my personal style is just that, personal to me, and I do not need anyone else, espcially a magazine, to validate it. Who needs glamour magazine when we have wilywiley! You alone are the inspiration readers need.

  3. I think this is something that has needed to be said for a long while. Thank you for pointing out how easily it can be to get pulled into the mean-girl state of mind!

  4. very well written! i agree it is very hypocritical of Glamour! the should definitely take a harder look at themselves and practice what they preach!

  5. Great post, Wiley! I agree with you 100%. Things need to change!


  6. yes, indeedy. couldn't agree more.

  7. I have actually stopped reading a lot of mags for this very reason. Women from these publications will go on television saying "oh we want women to feel confident in themselves and to be happy with who they are on the inside and out" but then they publish things like do/dotn or photos of various celebs/models that have been crazy retouched. Its a huge contradiction. Kudos to you for writing about it

  8. I stopped reading magazines like Glamour and Cosmo a few years ago, when I realized that after putting them down, I never felt good about myself. I got sick of opening a magazine and seeing "How to Make Your Man Hot" and "25 Ways to Look Thinner"... and I've never seen a point in the "Do's and Don'ts" feature. What's the point in tearing each other down when we should really be building each other up? Women don't need publications that dumb them down and make them think that they need to look a certain way... it's so discouraging, and I think it's important for women with a platform (such as yourself!) to point it out!

  9. I just found your blog through FBFF. Yay community! I'm so happy I found it because I, in turn, found this post! I love it. I agree that we really shouldn't tear others down. Sure, we aren't required to like every outfit we see, but that doesn't mean we should outline and make fun of what we don't like. I, too, agree that style is personal. I also don't care for the "who wore it better" articles some magazines do because they seem to compare apples and oranges. Each woman wears her clothes in her own way and what we like is dependent on our own style. I don't think it's wrong to make a decision on what we as an individual like, but broadcasting that or even claiming it as a collective (as in a magazine) and using it to make money is so wrong. If someone asked me how I felt about their outfit I would tell them all the positive and I would attempt to be constructive or even put a positive spin on anything I didn't particularly like. I would also make sure to let them know that's just my thoughts. I would never offer this without being asked. I think the old standby "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" is the best way to go about it.