Women’s Magazines – Colors and Numbers

March 29, 2014
Posted by Jay Livingston

First there was Barbara Stanwyck

And then Kelly LeBrock . . .

. . .  movie history repeating itself, the second time as farce.

According to current evolutionary psychology thinking, the prevalence of women in red is not an accident.  The title of this 2013 article says it all: “Women Use Red in Order to Attract Mates.” Just like Ray Charles said.

I was thinking about this the other day as I walked past the newsstands in Port Authority, and not just because of Philip Cohen’s off-the-cuff research study  lending support. 

(Click on the photo for a larger view. The photo is a composite 
of shots from three different magazine racks. )
The trouble was that on all these magazines in the women’s section, only one of the covers had a lady in red (New You, which is apparently aimed at women with a bit of anxiety about getting older).

The covers also made me think about the idea sometimes put forward by the evol-psych crowd (and sometimes by presidents of Harvard) that women do not have an affinity for math.  Maybe so, but while the women’s magazine racks this month had almost no red, they had a lot of numbers.
  • Seventeen – 328 Fun Hair Ideas
  • More - 12 Rules to Follow and 4 to Skip
  • Style Watch - 728 Spring Looks You’ll Love
  • Lucky - 25 Best Bags of Spring
  • Bazaar – 437 New Looks for Now
  • Elle - 300 Instant Outfit Ideas,
  •     80+ Tips from the World’s Top Makeup, Hair, & Skin Pros
  •     the 14 Books Every Woman Must Read
  • Cosmopolitan – 168 Ways to Kick More Ass
  • Teen Vogue – 273 Looks at Any Price
  • Oprah - 20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself Today!
  • In Style - 378 Amazing Spring Accessories
  • Vogue - 648 pages of Spring Fashion
  • Glamour - 99 Best Bags & Shoes Now
  • Cosmopolitan Latina - 87 Power Moves
  • New You – 250+ Springtime beauty solutions, sexy workouts & dietary musts
I’ve commented on this years ago (here and here). Back then, it was not unusual for a magazine to have more than one number on the cover.  The curious thing is that numbers themselves seem to be a fashion mag fashion.  They go in and out of style.  For a while, numbers almost completely disappeared from the covers of women’s magazines.  But at least for Spring 2014, the numbers are back. 

If the SocioBlog had a cover, it might say

14 Magazines for Spring with Numbers on the Cover

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