I decided I needed a little color in my life right now- things are pretty dark for the world. What better way to celebrate a little color than an 80s glam magazine? Um, there is no better way!
Today we’re diving into Mademoiselle Magazine from April 1981. Mademoiselle was an iconic fashion magazine that was published from 1935 to 2001 (RIP). It catered towards smart and mature college-age and older women. Back in the day, it was know for its amazing short stories from famous authors like Truman Capote and Sylvia Plath (Source).
Fun fact: They were actually the first mainstream fashion magazine to feature an African-American woman on the cover! In 1961, they profiled UCLAs class president, Willette Murphy- she did not realize at the time that she was making history.
This issue has a lot of great details inside- both advertising and content.
The content itself is very interesting, and from a modern standpoint has both progressive and antiquated content.
On the progressive end, there is actually helpful articles on topics like Toxic Shock (it was 1981.. Toxic Shock was just gaining recognition not even a year before and no one really understood it yet), abortion, women getting started in the workplace and more. These make sense with the articles targeted audience of an education college age or older young woman- they made it clear that this is not a teen magazine.
On the antiquated end, there are some really harmful and potentially dangerous articles pertaining to diet culture, particularly profiling six different fad diets that suggest you cut 1,800 calories a day. On top of that, there are of course the many ads for weight loss products that are seen in so many women’s magazines, even to this day.
There is also some really fun, colorful and whacky ads in true 1980s fashion! Looking at you, shoe cracking an egg to reveal a flower… interesting.
I had so much fun going through this issue, I really hope you enjoy it as well!
And as always, if there are any scans you would like to see that I did not include, leave me a comment or email me via the contact page with the time stamp and description of what you would like, and I will scan it!
One thought on “Mademoiselle, April 1981”
Nothing wrong with suggesting women should maintain a healthy weight and work out plan.
Much better than promoting and celebrating obesity like we do today!