When I read the feature, ’Aaargh! In search of a drip-free teapot’,
my queasy feelings about BBC Magazines’ new title, Family Life, were
This is a magazine for Stepford mothers. It has walked straight out of a
70s ad for washing powder. And it reminds me of John Major’s vision of
Britain - ’warm beer and cricket on the village green’.
I should have known when I read the editor’s opening statement, which
included seven exclamation marks (find time for a nervous
breakdown! ... get writing now! ... we’ll do our best to help!), that
this was not going to be a title for me. Why do blokes get FHM and women
inflict guilt-trip journalism on each other?
I kept referring back to the editor’s column to check who this magazine
was targeted at. There, it assures me that it’s for women with a young
family, ’whether you work or not’. Who are these women who have time to
worry about teapots, plan ’waterproof days out’, read this turgid prose
and still have enough disposable income to choose which new People
Carrier to buy? I can only assume their definition of work is two hours
in a charity shop while hubby is working in the City.
Personally, I’m waiting for the magazine that features ’How to get
Ribena off your business plan’ or ’Remembering your children’s names
when you’ve had your lunch with Peter Shea’. Until then, I’m stuck with
titles that fail to cater for ’all aspects of our lives’. I’m a great
fan of BBC Magazines.
Auntie, when she sticks to her knitting - Good Food, Homes & Antiques -
is superb, but if this is Family Life, I’m happy to declare myself
While reading Family Life I was trying to catch a mental association -
suddenly I got it. This magazine Well, that really struck a chord with
contemporary Britain, didn’t it? I suspect this is just as ludicrously
idyllic but out of touch for the vast majority of families that aren’t
two parents, 2.2 children, non-working, white surburban wife with rich
Mandy Pooler, mother of seven-year-old twins, is managing director of