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Last week, MORE Magazine shuttered after almost two decades. Claiming the 2008 recession and advertising challenges in the luxury marketplace, Meredith Corp. ended this publication, laying off around 30 individuals. Over the years, More has changed its demographic to appeal to women in their 30s as well as those over 40, and also made a switch to target a more affluent female audience.
I’ve been a subscriber to MORE Magazine off and on for a decade. Feeling too old and honestly, too informed for Cosmo and not terribly interested in celebrity gossip and style, I looked to MORE to offer… well, more. I clearly am not the only one who was disappointed in what MORE offered. I get that most magazines recycle the same fluff, but MORE’s content was like reading my sorority alumnae magazine – extremely vanilla content for an extremely specific audience. And I didn’t understand why they were creating such boring and generic content for what seemed to be a target audience of very wealthy educated 35-50 year old women who either run corporations or are married to men who do.
For years I felt frustrated by MORE Magazine, even angered by the fact that over the years they became more and more part of the over-40 and invisible problem, not the solution.
As a blogger, I understand advertising dollars and as a blogger I know there’s some serious money being spent by women just like me, women who are craving such resources. I know my fellow over-40 bloggers are doing better not worse financially since the 2008 recession. I see quality brands – luxury and mall/drugstore partnering with us and paying big bucks. They see the opportunity is there. They see our audience and see our audience is willing to spend. The difference is my fellow over-40 bloggers and I listen to our audience, adjust with trends and feedback, and know that it’s even more important when your audience is older, to be authentic and relatable. We’re older, we’re wiser, and we can smell bullshit a mile away. You reading this piece, you’re who MORE should have targeted. I, a subscriber for a decade, was who MORE should have targeted.
I’m a successful career woman, but I don’t define myself as just that. I’m a spouse, a mother, a friend, but most important, I am an individual. I’m at a point in my life where I like me, and I want to make my current self the best possible. I am not alone in this desire, and this desire is not exclusive to those who are at a certain economic level. MORE, we wanted more.
Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about how it changes, how to improve the experience. Let’s talk about hot flashes and menopause and dealing with the effects of it. Let’s discuss sensitive teeth and receding gumlines, options for a more youthful, strong, and healthy smile at different pricepoints and methods.
Let's talk knees and feet and lower backs. The best ways to get back in shape after years of caring for your family over yourself. Let’s see a 72 year old showing different yoga positions or stretches to help with flexibility, sitting at a desk all day, ways to start the day, provide better sleep at night. Easy and small steps towards better health and wellness.
Let’s see the faces of phenomenal women over 40, over 50, over 60, over 70, over 80 and have them write their beauty routines. Think Into The Gloss but for those in the second half of life. Let’s have the beauty experts interviewed be those who work on the faces of Helen Mirren and Cicely Tyson and have them share how they keep them healthy and looking great. Let's balance talk about Botox with discussion of nutritional supplements; we don’t all want to look younger, many of us just want to know how to best care for our specific skin needs. How about a Best of Beauty that is geared towards older women? Considering how every brand now seems to have an anti-aging formula I think this would become a coveted award like Allure’s or CEW’s.
Let’s see the best jeans not for the classic apple, pear, athletic, and generic “plus size” body but some real over-40 bodies styled in department store or online-accessible brands, brands that can be found in Manhattan but also Montana. Let’s review bathing suits, ones to lift, to suck, to flatter… but also ones that make you feel like a bombshell, hold up in the surf, or don’t slip off shoulders during laps at the indoor pool.
Let’s have regular book reviews – the intelligent novel that makes you sound smart at a dinner party but also that juicy one that will be so fun to read for your next beach weekend. Let’s read about useful websites and apps for living a better life. Recaps of new music, new books, new movies and art exhibits with a good balance of smart and fun. You can be intelligent and powerful and still love a good chick flick or a TV series like Younger or Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce. You can be 50 and still appreciate Santigold.
Let’s discuss finances – not how to handle your “estate” but maybe what to do when you’re 50 and your savings has been depleted by an unexpected emergency or health crisis. Let’s talk about transitioning from being daughters to caregivers to our parents and how to stay sane and find support. Let's talk about empty nests, divorce, love, and loss.
Let's talk travel – the best tour programs for those going solo, what to pack and wear for different events, recaps of RV camping in Colorado, experiencing a silent retreat, attending JazzFest, a weekend in Savannah, or hiking the Inca Trail to Maccu Piccu.
And let’s see fashion – great fashion and fun fashion, and explain how this season is about that certain color, that hemline, that style of shoe, being inspired by that movie or that decade. Let’s ban the noise about how you can't wear certain things at a certain age and instead show how to incorporate a current trend or hot color in a variety of ways we can relate to. And let’s see it on women our age – there’s so many hot older models now, plenty of over 40 bloggers who would love to be featured (and then would be your marketing and promotion – we love to show off when we’re featured!).
And dammit let’s have some color! Why is it that everyone thinks older women want to wear, decorate with, and view elegant neutrals? We’re not dead, we’re finally at a point where we know ourselves and it’s time to love and enjoy ourselves and that deserves a CELEBRATION not a golf clap!
We still love to pour over a beautiful, glossy magazine on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee or a Friday evening when we get the luxurious chance to take a bath with a glass of wine. That being said, most of us spend a good portion of our day on a computer and/or a phone and want to be able to get related content on a website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and yes, even Snapchat or Periscope.
MORE, you could have been so much more. I get that you re-marketed yourself to a wealthier demographic, but the things I want and I think other women my age and older want don’t have to do with our annual salary. I think you missed the point, I think you’ve spent too much time in your New York bubble and don’t realize that the rest of the world has different priorities and is living life with colorful zest even though they’re at or past middle age.
I’m sad MORE Magazine shuttered because I am sad when any resource for women who don’t fit in the stereotypical bucket disappears. MORE may not have been what we all needed, but it at least realized that we women exist, we desire and possess style and substance, and we deserve a community. For that person who sees this amazing opportunity for us and creates our new resource… email me, I’ve got some ideas and I’d love to be on your team!