According to the press release from the folks at Esquire, they have
decided that enough is enough, people are tired of the herd mentality
which has afflicted men’s consumer magazines, and what people really
need is change.
They talk of ’new, innovative cover design and content’ and breaking the
’sex sells mentality’. I took heart as I was beginning to suffer
masculine identity angst at how little I shared the nation’s passion for
over-stretched cup sizes.
Glancing at the cover, I immediately saw that, true to their word, there
was nothing saucy about it at all (unless you get off on Johnny Depp
illuminated by candlelight). Different to the pack then, but ’innovative
I’m afraid a black-and-white David Bailey shot is hardly pushing back
the boundaries of frontier land.
So, as to content? Thora Birch is in there. She says: ’I’d love to do
something really, like, nasty, a little seedy.’ Then there’s a feature
on internet sports sites and a review on Douglas Coupland’s new
Both are staple fodder from respectably edgy fields.
I glance at the press release. Yup, it says something about ’eclectic
content’ and ’a sharper read for men, not lads’.
So I turn to Gail Porter’s piece ’Girls on girls’. Gail says: ’Boys are
fascinated by girls going to the toilet in pairs. And it’s true we all
do it. What’s the reasoning, do you think?’ This is not the ’quality
writing’ I expected. Flick on. The ’When I am king’ feature launches
with gusto into such brainboilers as ’How would you redecorate
Buckingham Palace?’ Oh god.
But then there’s something that looks deceptively interesting. Entitled
’Men from Esquire’, it’s the ’last great expedition of the 20th
But it’s neither interesting nor great.
There was an article on unpublished photographs from Get Carter. But
they’re just teasing. Further on, it’s back to ’Hi I’m Randy - Why she
wants you to be her bucking bronco.’
I give up. Call me a lady-boy, but I think even the real men out there
are getting short-changed. Fine if that’s what people expect, but don’t
peddle it as innovative.
John Harlow is the managing director of Rocket
Publisher The National Magazine Company
Editor Peter Howarth
Cover price pounds 3.20
Ad rate full-page colour pounds 7,800
Advertisers include Prada, Sony, Mercedes-Benz, L’Oreal