Oh to Be a Muse | Bay Area Fashion Blogger Inspiring Style: Men on Mags

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Men on Mags


JGL*Warning: This post is full of man candy...and is a tad long*

So about a month ago one of my friends managed to get me and two of our other friends involved in a super long email thread. The awesome things you should know about this thread are:

1: all four of us live in 4 different states
2: the thread went from 8:18 PM to 8:34 AM (with pauses) the next day
3: it was completely focused around Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

It started with a showcase of these raunchy JGL and Claudia Schiffer images from "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down" in GQ April 2008.

If you're a JGL fan like me then you could probably see how four girls could get caught up in his appeal. We then emailed each other random pictures, videos and movie clips of Joseph simply because we love him so much. He is one of our many James-Francocommon bonds.

Check him out as the Man Candy of the Week on SheKnows. And go see JGL in "Hesher" - opened May 13!

Eventually, we got to the topic of why men don't seem to really grace magazine covers, which started like this:

L: "We all know JGL is too gorgeous...I really wanted to see more skin from him! Unfair that Claudia is dressed in next to nothing and JGL leaves so much to the imagination."

K: "We should all write letters demanding that JGL do another shot with less clothes."

Me: "He should be on the cover--shirtless. It's sad that guys don't grace covers any more unless it's for Playgirl or Sexiest Man of the Year stuff."

A: "Haha, Cheryl, I think you just found the topic of your next blog post."

Josh-HartnettSo that's how this post came to fruition.

Now, I'm not saying that men don't grace covers, as you can clearly see by this post that everyone on a magazine here is a dude (even James Franco on Candy).

What I'm saying is that I'd just like to see more guys on magazines that aren't necessarily geared to men.

How interesting would it be to see an attractive male celeb you like on the cover of Cosmo or Elle? I would totally pick up that issue, especially if the guy were Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

Now this post is not meant to be a rant of some sort; it's really just me talking about guys on mags and also featuring some eye candy on the Muse.

Does this count as a men's fashion post or editorial? No? Well, whatever!

Anyway, I did do some searching on the internet to see if anyone wrote any articles on why men appear on the covers that they appear on, and why women appear on the covers that they appear on.

Although I didn't really find anything scientific, the general consensus is that magazine covers are determined by the audience the magazine is trying to attract. This is generally why women will appear on most covers 9 times out of 10.

The mags with a female audience will put women on the cover because women like to see other women who they can emulate or what-have-you.

This goes along the lines of the fact that women dress for other women, not for men. When I dress up in nice heels and a fab outfit I'd much rather hear another cute girl say "Oh, you look so great in that" as opposed to a guy.

Darren-CrissWhen it comes from a girl it makes me think "This girl likes my style" and when it comes from a guy I tend to think "This guy just thinks I'm hot."

So with magazine covers, girls want to see other girls on the cover to look at them and say "oh, she looks great in that--maybe I will too"--or at least that is what the magazines are thinking.

Having a guy on a women's mag cover doesn't really elicit the same response I suppose.

And then women also appear on the covers of men's mags for more obvious reasons. Have you noticed that women on women's mags tend to smile while women on men's mags tend to give those all-too-famous pouty lips?

You guys remember that episode of America's Next Top Model where Tyra is the photographer and she talks to one of the contestants about posing in swimsuits?

Brad-PittShe basically says that if you pose with your legs spread then you're posing for a men's magazine. If you keep your legs closed then it's for women. Or if you pose straight on in a bikini then that attracts men, but if you pose from the side then that attracts women.

That's basically what I'm saying here.

Women are on female-geared mags because that's what women like to see, and women are on male-geared mags because that's what men like to see.

But don't women like to see men too?

I don't want to have to read Wired, Rolling Stone and Men's Health just to see a hottie on the cover. All I'm asking is that the women-specific mags share the wealth a bit more.

If there's anything at all that you lovely muses take away from this super long post it's that men don't appear on many magazine covers because women like women who compliment (or even complement) them and who pose sideways in bikinis!

idris-kellan-wentworth-leoIdris Elba, Kellan Lutz, Wentworth Miller, Leonardo DiCaprio

Other men in the post in order of appearance:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
James Franco
Josh Hartnett
Chris Hemsworth (my new crush)
Darren Criss
Brad Pitt

What do you think of men on magazine covers?

More Musings

31 musings

  1. Love this post! :)

    I also never thought about what you said - its more appealing when a girl compliments you on an outfit versus a guy. So true! Had to think about that to see if I subconsciously felt the same way.

  2. very interesting! I remember that episode of ANTM too.

    I guess women aren't as visual as men, too.

    Like, when a guy sees an attractive woman on a magazine, they are immediately into it.

    For women, sure this can happen, but we take lots of other things into account, like is he smart, friendly, does he treat women well? This is why pornography is more watched by men.

    But anyway...JGL...yes, he's hot. I looove that first pic you have of him there!

  3. interesting post!

    I'm not interested in men's covers ...is not what I wish!


  4. I personally think women are just as much visual creatures as men and it's just an old stereotype concerning what women "want" versus what men "want" when it come to magazines - someone should try breaking the mold a bit and see what happens!

    xoxo ~ Courtney

  5. I totally agree- we don't see enough men on the cover's of "our" mags! I also agree that JGL is a super hottie! I had a crush on him back in high school when he was on Third Rock, but he's definitely gotten even more sexy over the years! Although he looks divine in suits, I wouldn't mind a little more skin, either! :)

  6. I totally agree with you that there should be more men on the covers of women's magazines!

    I think the main reason why we don't see more men on women's magazines is because mags are trying to encourage women to purchase the clothing, make up, etc that female models/celebrities wear on the covers. Which makes sense I guess. We don't purchase men's clothing and its all about what will sell...

    With even popular magazines folding, I guess they don't want to take the chance, but I don't think putting men on more covers of womens mags will translate to less dollars spent on the products they are "pushing."

  7. I love men on the covers, I save a bunch of them :) Great blog!


  8. Oh this is toootally interesting! I really love me some man candy but I think in all honestly I'm probably more attracted on newsstands to a woman on the cover. Hmmm, food for thought for sure. I am also more thrilled on getting compliments from ladies...I get super excited! But by men I totally take the compliment a little different. Hmmm...really interesting.

  9. Gorgeous post!
    I am considering subscribing to GQ :)


  10. It does seem a little odd to me. There used to be men featured more often on the cover of Cosmo that there are now weren't there? It's true that I (as a male) would rather look at women on the covers, but at the same time I'd love to be on the covers and in the centerfolds - only I think I've gotten too old and out of shape for it. I also prefer the back view and don't think the leg position is all that critical - but that's just me. Maybe women prefer the "six pack" to the derriere. Your observations on the facial expressions are interesting. I prefer the coquettish look myself. I guess I'm just not very macho.

  11. hello, handsome! idk, i like that girls' mags are dominated by girls, but wouldn't hurt to have more eye candy from time to time!


  12. love the eye candy on muse! lol

  13. I read Vanity Fair which has both men and women on the covers and is a magazine for both men and women, but it's not really a fashion magazine is it? I think men aren't on the covers of fashion magazines because they're supposed to be full of women's fashion, and it might confuse readers.


  14. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and James Franco top my celebrity crushes, but those magazine covers are not the most appealing!

  15. That JGL magazine cover you have posted may be my favorite JGL picture ever. So thank you for that.

    This is a really interesting issue. I don't even read that many magazines, but I can tell you if there were some admirable men on their covers and not just 5 different mentions of sexual positions, I might pick up a Cosmo more often.

    It should also probably be noted that a lot of well-dressed men are dressed (or at least influenced) by the women in their lives. Dropping some well-dressed hints in women's mags might just help some people out.

  16. GQ covers are strikingly well shot! Great post Cheryl! :)


  17. i hadn't seen that franco cover before, so interesting! so is your covers talk :)

  18. delicious...really delicious with all the man photos and some of them are my favorite actors...I love them


  19. Honestly, I pass by magazines with men on the covers because I think they look cheesy. Even if I find a guy attractive, for some reason I think its 'corny' for a guy to be on a magazine cover. I don't find it masculine... just me. I don't want to imagine brad pitt taking pictures, I prefer to imagine him on a motorcycle somewhere.
    As much as men buy magazines with women on the cover, I honestly think they buy magazines with other men on the cover for the same reason we buy mags featuring the ladies. I really think men buy more magazines with men on the cover than women do.
    I prefer to see women on the covers of my magazines, because I like to see their hair styles and clothes too see if its something I want to wear for myself.
    the guys look great on the covers... but i'll pass by the magazine.


  20. ... love this post by the way :) xo

  21. YES!!!

    I could not agree with you more, and not just because I'm in love with JGL too. (Did you see my most recent post in which I purposefully display by 500 Days of Summer DVD + script?)

    Anyway, I've been wondering the same thing for awhile now. What you said makes sense -- that women like to see other women on covers and men like to see women on covers too -- but it would be refreshing and fun to see a dude on the cover of Glamour. Seriously! Let's start a petition... get JGL on the cover of Glamour!

  22. Makes sense, and what you say about women dressing for other women is so spot on. But JGL could sell me a magazine any day! I never understood his appeal until I saw 400 Day of Summer. Now I'm totally in love.

  23. Ahhhh! This wasn't too long for me dear, it's interesting to see Joseph Gordan Levitt, I think he really grew into his looks the more he became a film start vs. television, because I wasn't a fan until recently a few years back.
    And my favourite.. Always been a huge Idris Elba & Josh Harynett fan! OMG!

    The talented Terry Richardson always seem to bring out raw/playful creativity from his subjects.

    Yes, I'd probably acquire female cover mags, but it may be different when purchasing trade mags fro me. Lovely post Cheryl!

  24. Almost didn't recognise James Franco. Pretty gutsy of him to do that.

  25. hot guys alert lol

    Check out my latest post! I made something!


  26. Great post, Cheryl! Nice analysis of why we don't see men on women's magazine covers. It's strange how when we're younger, magazines for girls do put cute guys on the cover for us to drool over (Tiger Beat, J-14), but as we get older, the magazines get more "aspirational" and we end up with covers of models Photoshopped to death. I'd buy that Details mag you put up with my husband, Wentworth Miller, on it before I'd pick up a Cosmo. :)

  27. I subscribe GQ for years and they always come up with some great ideas.
    lee x

  28. Omg she is beautiful! I love all the bright colors and patterns she wears, thanks for featuring such an awesome girl!

  29. I definitely want to see more guys on the cover of mags like Cosmo etc. And not just face shots!


  30. What's csistently fascinated me is that male models cover more magazines than actors. I love that! I love menswear being front and center on any publication and also Joseph Gordon Levitt is one of the most stylish men in Hollywood so to see him or Ryan Gosling or Shia LaBeouf on a cover is great to me.



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