Friday, June 27, 2008
I don't get GQ
A few weeks ago I brought a copy of GQ because of some work things - I'd been asked to think of some feature ideas for a section of a newspaper that wanted to be more GQ. Now I don't often read GQ - but know what GQ is - or at least what it tries to be.
It's a slightly more intelligent men’s magazine, aimed at chaps in their 20s or 30s who earn a pretty good living and care about clothes, watches and the other indulgences while also wanting to know a bit about important global issues.
I don't think anyone at GQ would be insulted by that summary, they might argue a few points here and there, perhaps my age range was out by a few years or perhaps I didn't stress enough how much these chaps earn but I think I'm pretty close to who it is targeted at. Or at least who it is perceived to be targeted at - it is aspirational so, like other magazines, people buy it to feel part of a gang they would like to join.
Aside from the reasonable living part of the summary (which I'm working on) I'm fairly close to that description. So logically GQ should be exactly my sort of magazine, opening it should be like meeting an old friend, or discovering the perfect bar tucked away in my favourite part of town but it's not.
I went through the magazine reading everything, and there was only one tiny feature that even mildly interested me and that was it. It was hard to describe exactly what was so wrong with it, perhaps the writers are just too settled to really understand what it's like being a single chap - men change massively when they have partners, even more so with children.
Or perhaps the writing was just too busy trying to be worthy and important to be interesting. It really just felt like it missed the point, like it was put together by people who had heard of young chaps about town, and maybe met one or two briefly but they had completely missed what it was like to be one.
It's a bit of a shame really, I'm a chap and because I'm not a Zoo or a Nuts reader there isn't a lot for me unless one gets a magazine for specialist subjects so I'm bereft of lightly engaging topical reading.
So when did GQ become so out of touch? Why hasn’t anyone there noticed?
Of course this whole post can be discounted because I'm still suffering from man flu (it's been days now so I suspect it's really the plague) and I've been drinking port for medicinal reasons.