These days it seems like everyone on the planet has advice to give you, despite not being able to solve their own problems. Maybe we have the celebrities to thank for this, with the rise of pop stars such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus over the last few years, who are promoting a society of pseudo-psychologists able to dish out ready-made advice for the most intimate aspects of your inner psych. Be true to yourself, be a fighter, love yourself and don’t let men rule your life are only a handful of the helpful adages these pseudo-celebrities dishes out more quickly than a drive-thru at a fast food joint. It’s a way for them to get bloggers, magazine columnists and star watchers interested in them – an easy PR move where one quotes and wolia we are talking about them (or more likely tweeting about them).
It seems that everyone harbours their own opinions about the way we should behave in the grand scheme of life; within a pop culture that actively promotes “self-help” regardless that nobody is a trained professional therapist. If you think of a ‘trained professional’, do you have an instant image of lying on a leather psychologist’s couch talking about your innermost demons and thoughts, or do you think of an episode of an Opera Winfrey show where some celeb cries crocodile tears about some awful ordeal they went through and how the experience really changed their live.
It was only a matter of time before the magazine industry cashed in on our ‘self-help’ desires and our need for some kind of emotional enrichment. It is no surprise that there is a magazine that caters to our “self-help” desires: Psychologies is a monthly glossy magazine. Editor Suzy Greaves says in her editor’s letter: “We don’t care what age you are, what you look like (…) and we really don’t care what handbag you buy – what matters to us is what you think and how you feel.” The philosophy behind the magazine sounds ideal. Finally there’s a publication on the market that doesn’t feed some egoistical celebrity’s hunger or make you feel guilty when reading the dieting section while eating Ben & Jerry ice cream late at night.
Psychologies caters to a niche in the market, aiming to fill the bridge by its competitor, Red, which is largely read by those aged 28-44 (but it core readers were aged 30-39), who Emap calls the ‘middle youths’. This term means someone who has grown out of magazines such as Elle and Marie Claire with their flourishing celebrity and youth-oriented culture that is over-populated and over-stuffed. The only way for the middle youth to escape from all the celebrities and the youth-oriented culture is to read Good Housekeeping, though let’s be honest, reading the contents page is enough to make anyone feel old and unwanted in life.
This is where Psychologies comes in: it doesn’t cater to the celebrity and youth-oriented culture. It is aimed at the middle youth and makes women feel young again, at least emotionally and spiritually.
The magazine was recently ‘sold’ to Kent-based magazine publisher Kelsey Publishing by the mega publishing giant Hearst Magazines. The publication has been given a new look; it has been re-shaped and re-designed. Basically they started from scratch again while keeping the core principles at heart.
The lack of pretension of Psychologies shows in its understated appearance. Unlike the mass weekly glossies you see on every newsstand across the country, which all follow pretty much the same template, Psychologies ignores all the tittle-tattle the glossies seem to publish every week and instead prints real-life little problems, not whether a celeb broke a fingernail or is getting a second divorce. With its deep maroon title inscribed in bold capital letters against a white background, it is likely you will notice the magazine staring out at you from your local newsstand as it sets itself apart from its competitors.
You will pick it up as you would be intrigued. The new-look Psychologies does have Julia Roberts on its front cover, a respected actress, who is admired by many and only seems to do interviews when she has something to promote (like a new movie). In this issue there is a six-page feature on her complete with photos and an in-depth interview. She is the only ‘celebrity’ (or at least well-known person) in the magazine. This is a breath of fresh air. The rest of the magazine comprises features and interviews with real people who have real jobs, such as Amanda de Cadenet, the founder of the TV interview series, ‘The Conversation’ and an advice column from Ester Perel. As you flick through the pages there a sense that these people are the ‘experts’ in their field and they know what they are writing about – they are not just doing it for the money or to see their name appear in print. Throughout the magazine there are editorials on subjects ranging from hair DNA to well-being supplements and remedies.
The main strength of the new Psychologies is that it satisfies our need to retain a sense of individual being, with the main focus placed on you. This is a welcome change from the other glossies on the market. If you are not in their target demographic, it is unlikely they will interest you. Overall Psychologies is innovative, and if you don’t mind missing out on the monthly diet fixes or the words of wisdom from the latest pop stars on the scene, then this is one magazine you will enjoy reading.
If all that sound amazing then check-out this special offer I have for you!
New subscribers to the magazine would received a trial ‘3 for £3’ of the magazine. How amazing is that!
3 for £3 offer available at www.kelseyshop.co.uk/psy/c101
TERMS & CONDITIONS
This offer is available for UK subscriptions only, when paying by Direct Debit and closes 31 December 2013. After you first 3 issues which you will receive at the special trial price of £3, unless you inform us otherwise the subscription will run at the low rate of £18.72 every 6 months – still saving 20% off the full rate of £46.80 for 12 months. All orders will be acknowledged and you will be advised of commencement issue and payment schedule within 14 days. For overseas rates please call (00 44) 1858 438 856.