Happiness · Parenting · Personal

More! Magazine – The End of an Era

more! magazineThis afternoon, I heard the news that More! magazine is ceasing publication after reader numbers have dwindled to an all-time low, and I have to say, I was a little bit saddened. As a teen, More! was about as edgy as it got when it came to reading material and my friends and I spent many a bus journey giggling at ‘Position of the Fortnight’ or reading in horror about peoples embarrassing experiences, usually involving a boy they fancied.

My Mum hated me reading More!, she saw the candid accounts of teenage sexuality as over-exposure for my young mind and often told me that I wasn’t allowed to buy it. I did, of course, and hid it in my locker at school or buried at the bottom of a school bag. Now that I’m a mother, I straddle the fence on the appropriateness of it for a 13-year-old, however I also think that there’s a huge amount of positivity to it too.

More! was the closest thing that we ever had to a ‘lad’s mag’, meaning that instead of wide-eyed patronisation, or flat-out saccharine coated ignorance, it addressed the issue of teenage girls being sexual creatures. Regardless of how much we’d like to deny it once we become parents, teenage girls are hormone-fuelled randy beasts in the same way that their male counterparts are and More! taught us that that’s not something to be ashamed of. To my mind, it empowered girls to have a say in sex, not just think that they had to lay back and think of England, but be an active and conscious participant. The problem pages taught us about thrush and STDs and contraception and hair in unwanted places and didn’t make us feel stupid for asking.

Magazines like More! are often held up as contributing towards the over-sexualisation of children, but I refute that and would argue that giving girls an honest education (over and above the sterile account they are fed in Sex-Ed classes) about the realities of sex is contributing to giving them confidence and agency over their own bodies. Perhaps giving them the confidence to say NO when it really matters, or to speak up when something that’s supposed to be fun and pleasurable is actually uncomfortable and upsetting. What More! did best was instill a sense of humour and light-heartedness into subjects which can be tricky for young girls to navigate, which was invaluable to us at the time.

So, it’s with sadness that I say a fond farewell to More! magazine. I can only hope that there’s something out there to help girls and young women in the same way that More! helped us.

All About ME! · Opinion · Review

What Would You Do?

Since I started Mum’s the Word back in October of last year, I’ve been sent some really fab products to try out and I can honestly say that I’ve not had a bad word to say about any of them. All of my reviews have been pretty positive, but they’ve always been honest (anyone who read this review that I did for BDT will know that I don’t pull my punches if I think something is crap). I take my time, use a product extensively before writing about it and always try to give a well-researched and balanced opinion.

But what do you do when you receive a product that’s so dire that it doesn’t even do what it says on the box? I could quite easily write a review about how it claimed to last five days, but barely lasted two hours, but would this be the right thing to do? My Mum taught me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all, but then surely a negative review is just as useful to my readers as a positive one? I certainly wouldn’t want any of you to waste your money on this product. I also risk alienating the PR who sent me the item, with whom I’ve built a good relationship over the months but firstly, I’m only being honest and secondly, this blog means more to me than a few free products.

What would you do, readers? Would you name and shame without a second thought, would you email the PR and tell them that you couldn’t possibly say anything positive and ask them what you should do, or would you just keep schtum and hope no one remembers that they sent you the damn things in the first place?

I have to say, my instinct is to tell you all. I’m often at my funniest and most entertaining when I’m being scathing about something, and I have a shit load of scathing things to say about this one. I know a lot of my fellow bloggers have been or are in PR, so what would you want me to do, if you were looking at it from the other side of the coin?

If any of you have any advice, I’d love to hear it. In the meantime, do me a favour and don’t buy any new beauty products…I may be sharing a very off-putting story very soon!