Because of my job, I am spending more time in airports these days, traveling to and from northern California. While waiting for my flight this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the magazine rack, and how the periodicals segregated into “women’s” and “men’s” sections. I suppose that helps direct people to the kind of magazine they might be most interested in.
But then I took a second look. I noticed how the covers of the magazines in the men’s section are very different than those in the women’s section.
This is the section for men. Most of the covers highlight things like cars or golf, or show fully clothed (usually professionally dressed) men. The one glaring exception is the cover of Maxim, strategically placed smack dab in the middle. That cover features a barely clothed woman.
Now take a look at the women’s section.
Notice how most of the covers are of faces and/or bodies (some with more skin showing than others). Instead of covers highlighting hobbies or intellectual things, like we see on the men’s side, the women’s side is mostly about beauty and gossip. If I’m a woman, looking for a more substantive periodical like the New Yorker, or the Economist, I have to search for it from the men’s side.
The next time you are in an airport, take a look at the magazine rack. See if you notice the same thing. (I’ve been to three different airports in the last 2 weeks, and the pattern has been similar at each one.)
Is it just me, or is something wrong with these pictures?