In a world where fake news is not necessarily something that the press can be proud of, this women’s magazine parody comes as a breath of fresh air, showing how to combine comedy, feminism and satire all at once.
The result is Reductress, the internet’s beloved “one and only fake women’s magazine,” which skillfully mocks women’s lifestyle magazines, outdated perspectives and the condescending tone of popular women’s media.
Founded in 2013 by two editors, Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, Reductress has turned into a cult-following website, an Instagram page with 738k followers, and a whimsical merch store. Their posts include hilarious combos of smart headlines and accompanying covers that will surely crack you up.
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Reductress, a parody women’s magazine, was created back in 2013 by Sarah Pappalardo and Beth Newell and it soon evolved into a women’s humor site, which now attracts a readership of up to 1M. It now focuses on satirizing the ways women’s media aims at capitalizing on feminism while still promoting values that are outdated and inadequate. Moreover, the site has been parodying aspects of feminism such as white feminism, which essentially lacks awareness of privilege.
So in order to find out more about the stereotypical values propagated by women’s magazines, and what it says about the media in general, we spoke with Lina Survila. Lina is the founder and editor in chief of Abstract Stylist, an alternative magazine and news website that describes itself as “your modern guide to kitschy fashion, culture, and alternative lifestyle,” so the topic hit close to home.
When speaking of stereotypes in women’s media, it becomes clear that “media is more outdated than the audience,” and added that “magazines portray women surrounded by stereotypes.” “We see a lot of interviews with young women professionals where they get asked way more about dating, their sexual experiences, or balancing work and family. Men usually don’t get those kinds of questions,” Lina explained.
As a result, the media stereotypically sees women in very bizarre situations when gender becomes a keyword in the headline. “So, for example, journalists seem very surprised when women do or share their luck in, e.g., investing. Equal rights in the media are something that we all should manifest!”
Moreover, “if you are a woman, you were probably very confused when Britney Spears was asked about her sex life with her boyfriend at the time,” Lina said and added that “unsurprisingly, the question was asked by a man.”“Or the time when Rihanna shot straight up and answered, ‘What kind of man are you looking for tonight’ with her now-famous quote, ‘I am not looking for a man; let’s start there.'”
Lina believes that “women’s media is filled with hate for women and teaches girls to compete and envy each other. Instead, it should be focused more on gender balance, equal rights, and genderless topics.” Meanwhile, “what Reductress does is using irony to get people’s attention to absurd news headlines we all strive for.”
Lina continued: “Now everything can be told as news. Usually, women-orientated publications talk about stereotypical things like health, well-being, self-love, but sometimes we just want to hear more on investing, art, automotive news, and space.” According to the editor, Reductress found a way of pointing out the big painful spot in women’s media, and their traffic validates their message.