July 2011 Girlfriend Mini Review

In five days I’m heading back to Girlfriend HQ for a week of work experience, so I decided to do a quick review of their July Issue. 


Cover Girl: Emma Watson 
Theme: Formal
Front Of Mag Features: “What A Girl Wants”, “Why Kissing Is Good For You”, “Mind Your Manners”, “The Secret”, “The School Of Second Chances”, “Not To Be Rude, But Are You Being Stupid?” and “The Parent Survival Guide”
Highlights: 

  • Darren Criss poster. I get so proud every time I see him in magazines or somewhere exciting online. He’s getting so big, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
  • Mention of Team Starkid in “Harry Potter’s Over, Now What?” page 
  • Selena Gomez interview in which she says she hopes to come to Australia next year (oh please, please, please come true)
  • Emma Watson on the cover. Golly gosh I love that girl. 
  • “How Hot Is It When Guys…” includes pictures of DCriss and Nick Jonas, amongst many other cuties, and cool reasons like “are sweet to their grandparents” and “read”. 

Lowlights: 

  • Every second page being something about a formal. I get that they have to cater to the readers who are doing a formal, but the majority of teens only have a formal in year twelve (yes, some do have one in year ten, but not every school), and let’s face it, it’s a rare year twelve student who would be still reading Girlfriend. Maybe cut back just a little bit, GF. 
  • In “This Month” they have a picture of the Elder Wand and call it “Harry’s Wand”. I mean, Harry does end up with it, but it’s not ~his~ wand. Small facts, I know, but just slightly annoying. 
  • Formal Movie Faux Pas. The whole tone of this feature didn’t sit right with me, but I was rather annoyed when they said “A Mathlete Will Most Likely Never Win Prom Queen” and went on to explain that prom queens were popular and beautiful. Way to make all your more intellectual readers feel like crap, GF. I know you went on to say that the prom queen’s looks will fade and the nerds will be “investment bankers with sweet rides”, but that’s stereotyping at it’s highest. You just…shouldn’t have included that one. 

Rating: 3.5/5 – Buy it for the Darren Criss poster, if nothing else. 
Price: $7.95
Freebie: Beanie
(I did have scans to add, but the photo-uploader is being annoying, sorry). 

I can’t wait for my week at GFHQ (and, uh, my week at DOLLY the week after), and I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes 🙂


frangipani princess xoxo

Review Roundup

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The Girlfriend June 2011 issue is now on sale with Taylor Swift gracing the cover. The issue, described as ‘the issue you voted for’, isn’t the best I’ve ever read. Maybe it was a lack of Rob (something I’ll sadly have to get used to), or maybe it was a lack of interesting and unique features. Some of the features included “Hate The Way You Lie”, “Thank You For Being A Friend”, and “Thank You Mr Wrong”. Lots of cute posters (including one of semi-shirtless Alex Pettyfer. Yum Yum), and comes with free nail polishes. $7.95 from everywhere mags are sold. 
3/5 stars.


Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 was definitely an improvement on the third instalment. With no Orlando Bloom, it was slightly lacking in eye-candy, but Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow was as brilliant as ever. It wasn’t the most amazing film I’ve ever seen, but it was the fourth film in the series, so it was to be expected. It follows the story of Cpt Jack and some of his Pirate buddies as they race the Spanish and the English to find the fountain of youth. If you’re not busy seeing The Hangover Two, it’s a nice time killer, even if, like me, you only see it for some Johnny Depp goodness. 3/5 stars. 

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Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, tells the story of a popular girl who is killed in a car accident only to wake up again on the morning of the same day. Sam is forced to live the day of her death over and over again, desperately trying to change events so she survives. It has a great message of the effects we have on people without realising, and how changing one event can change everything. It’s an easy read, but really good. 
Out now everywhere. 
4.5/5 stars. 


Lady Gaga’s new album ‘Born This Way’ was released on Monday and my mum, who has obviously been living under the biggest rock in the world, was not really aware of her existence until then. She watched a Channel V special on her as we ate breakfast at McDonalds, and then demanded we rush off and buy the album. I’ve never been Gaga’s biggest fan, though I do enjoy a few of her songs from her earlier albums. The songs on Born This Way aren’t as good, in my opinion, but there are a few I found myself hitting replay on. My personal favourite is ‘Highway Unicorn’, just because it has the word Unicorn in the title. The standard version of the album is available for around $22, though I’m sure you can hear all the songs on the radio and on tv. If Gaga is good at one thing, it’s gaining exposure. 2.5/5 stars.

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The new season (six) of Doctor Who has been airing for around a month now and I’m having a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. On one hand, the Neil Gaiman’s episode ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ was one of my all-time favourites, but on the other hand, this whole series long storyline and focus on River Song is kind of driving me crazy. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I really don’t like what Steven Moffat is doing to the show. I’m nostalgic for the glorious Russell T Davies eps, where everything was beautiful all the time, and no time-laws were broken, and Matt Smith wasn’t there making the Doctor a superficial nine year old. Sigh. But still, I am enjoying it in general because it is Doctor Who, and you all should watch. For Australian’s, it’s on 7.30pm Saturday nights on ABC, and then replayed at 5.45pm (I think) Sunday nights on the same channel. If you want to get in on it, I’d be sure to watch this week as it’s the first part of a to-be-continued. Oh, for the days when a to-be-continued was the only time there was an ongoing storyline. 3.5/5


Is there anything you’d like me to include in these new weekly reviews? A focus on books, or movies, or music? Or just like I have done today with a bit of everything?


frangipani princess xoxo

Bye-Bye Rob

As I mention all the time, Rob’s entertainment column is my favourite part of Girlfriend Magazine, so when I opened the May issue and discovered he was leaving GF, I was devastated. Ok, I knew before opening the magazine, as Erica had asked me to write him a tribute column, but I still felt sad seeing his final column in print. You can see what I had to say about Rob here.

Also in the May issue of GF (featuring Katy Perry), I was excited to see Kerri and Eva’s blog featured in the ‘Click It’ section. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the beginning (hello Jonas Forum friends) and adore their musings on everything from JB to Harry Potter to Supernatural to Life, so it’s great to see them finally getting some recognition. 


frangipani princess xoxo

On Paper Giants And Growing Up A Mag Junkie In A Land Of Dwindling Readership

I was born in 1994. By the time I was old enough to read a magazine it was 2000 (and it was Barbie Magazine), and by the time I was actually old enough to read a ‘proper’ magazine it was 2005. In magland years, this puts me at a severe disadvantage. Though I have always known this, watching ‘Paper Giants’ last night really drove the point home for me. Cleo started 22 years before I was born and in those 22 and the immediate years after, which I spent learning to walk and talk, were the key years for not only Cleo, but the entire industry. As I grew, so did technology, until by the time I started high school in 2007, just two years after really beginning to read magazines, the internet was taking over. 


I remember the tail end of the magazine hype, before the circulation and readership figures really started to decline, and how everyone at school would have the latest Girlfriend and Dolly. We’d all spend lunchtimes devouring the mags from cover to cover, and then discuss them in great detail. All our books were plastered with our favourite pages and our walls were covered with posters we found within. It was a giant love affair we all took part in and adored.
Then, and I’m not sure the exact moment when this happened, but I was suddenly the only one who still bought the mags. Weirdly enough, I was also the one who was the most into the internet, always being the first to read the gossip sites and blogs to discover all the latest celebrity news. For my peers, it wasn’t that the internet had taken over, it was just that they had stopped caring.


Ten or twenty years earlier, this wouldn’t have happened. Well, some people are always going to stop reading glossies, but before the noughties mags played a much larger part in people’s lives. Information wasn’t as easily accessible, especially on celebrities, in the days before Perez and Google so women of all ages turned to glossies for all the latest goss. Magazines were a required part of the media. They were at the forefront. In the spotlight. Informative. Controversial. They were revolutionary, daring to be different and to spread awareness of even the most risque of issues. And then one day they weren’t. 


Watching Paper Giants made me so sad. What I would give to be able to be a part of something so brilliant and life changing. Magazines today are still fabulous, but even I have to admit the content never changes. It never makes an impact. It’s just…there. In the early days of Cleo Ita Buttrose and her team were making a difference. They were giving women a voice and changing lives. Magazines today just can’t do that. 


In the comments of Mia Freedman’s post today on this topic, I found myself getting annoyed at people gushing over how Frankie will never die because unlike Cleo/Cosmo/Dolly it’s quality. As I’ve said before, I immensely dislike Frankie and find it frustrating that people honestly believe a niche magazine riding on the back of the success of the hipster trend can really survive longer than magazines that have been around for decades. Frankie may be the popular option, but as trends like ’emo’ have faded, so too will hipster, and once it’s gone, Frankie’s circulation and readership are going to find themselves in such a downfall, their office will be in cardboard boxes before they realise what hit them.   


Unlike Mia who, despite making her name in the glossies, continues to announce their death, I do believe magazines have a future. I have to believe magazines have a future, because if they don’t, I have no idea what I will do with mine. While I agree that they will play a different role, let’s be honest, in this technological age, they have to, I still believe they will play a role. While teens may not pour over the latest issue of Dolly devotedly every month, and twenty somethings may not be as interested in picking up the latest Cleo or Cosmo, they will still be there for the die hards. There will still be people in waiting rooms and on planes and in baths and on couches flicking through and enjoying glossies. There will always be an audience for mags, and they will always play a role in our society, no matter how technological it gets. I just pray that they will hold a role for me to play a part in when my turn comes to enter the workforce. 


frangipani princess xoxo



Frangipani Princess Turns Four

Sometimes it feels like my blog is still a baby, but then I look at the calendar and suddenly realise that Frangipani Princess is actually four years old. Today, in fact, is it’s birthday. Four years since I first decided to sit down at my computer and write a blog. My first attempt was rather horrible, if I may say so myself, but as the years have passed and I’ve grown older and wiser, I feel the quality has kind of improved. Which is always a good thing. 

A year ago, I wrote about how happy I was to have received 41,000 hits in my first three years. An achievement, I said. In the year since I wrote that I have received an additional 112,000 unique hits. You have no idea how proud I am of that. Starting this blog at thirteen, I had no plans for the future. I thought, hell, I want to be a journalist, why not start a blog? So I did. And it went from there. I gained readers and then blinked and suddenly I was being asked to be in Dolly, and then blinked again and suddenly I had found myself on the about page of Girl With A Satchel. 

I’d love to say I had a lot planned for this year, but that would be lying. I’m taking it day by day. You can still expect crazy fangirling and magazine goss (Work Experience at Dolly in two weeks, and then at Girlfriend and Dolly in July!), plus whatever randomness I feel like writing about. I’m also off to Vietnam in October and France in December so you can look forward to some lovely travelling tales. I’m also still writing for gwas, so you can see me pop up there from time to time. 

The four years since I started Frangipani Princess have passed in the blink of an eye. It’s weird to think that in the same amount of time I’ll be twenty one and studying third year uni (and hopefully interning!).  


Thank you so much for reading guys. FP would be nothing without you. Here’s to four more years. 
I love you all.


frangipani princess xoxo

Park St

By now, we all know I get obsessed with things kind of very easily, so it will come as a surprise to no one that my latest obsession is Park St. Tonight was the fourth episode of ACP’s reality show and even though to most people it wouldn’t be anything too special (and is probably why it’s ratings aren’t amazing), to mag addicts like me it’s heaven. 

My favourite part of the show is watching with my parents and excitedly exclaiming “I’ve met them!”, “I interviewed her for my blog!”, or, “I’m totally going to work right there one day”. My parents get bored after about two minutes and wander off, much to my annoyed yells of “BUT YOU’LL MISS *insert editors name here*!”

I’m heading back to Dolly in less than a month (*insert excited squeal here*) and whilst my parents repeatedly tell me that magazines are a phase I’ll grow out of and can I please just put them down for five minutes and study, watching Park St is like watching exactly what I would like my life to be like in five or ten years time. Tonight they featured an intern from Shop Til You Drop and all I could think was “I hope that’s me in three years”, and then they showed Dolly’s editorial coordinator Eddie (who I’ve emailed and seems super nice), and all I could think was “five years”. And on and on it went, showing different people with different jobs and I just sat here, mapping out a career path. Call me pathetic, but if anyone can do it, I sure as hell believe I can.

Of course, Park St also shows the stress and reality behind the gloss, but I already knew that. My first ever week of work experience was a Deadline week and if that wasn’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what would be. 

I’m going to Dolly twice this year, and maybe hopefully Girlfriend. Even though my parents have strongly encouraged me to not do any next year, I think I’m going to go back to Dolly and Girlfriend and then maybe try and Cleo and Shop Til You Drop. The funny thing is, I always think about myself as way too young for Cleo, but I’ll be eighteen next year and that’s right where their readership begins to aim. It’s weird to think I’m socially expected to start reading Cleo soon, gosh, I feel like I should still be picking up Total Girl (which, incidentally, is also somewhere I’m dying to do a week at).

So uh, getting back to original point. Park St. It’s awesome. You should watch. Only six weeks to go, 8pm Monday on Arena (or repeated numerous times throughout the week if you can’t catch it then 😀 )

This has been a georgie really, really wants to work in magazines post ’11. 

frangipani princess xoxo
 

Magazine Review: Liveblogging Dolly April 2011

Just for something new, this month my review will be my first opinions on the issue, written as I’m reading it for the first time.

Cover: 
Katy Perry is covergirl this month, and I guess it’s fitting as she’s touring here and they have a competition to meet her, but I don’t know, something about the whole thing just doesn’t work for me. 

Behind The Scenes:

  • Excited to see I’ll be at Dolly for their first ever Dolly Respect Day in April. Hope I get to go and check it out!
  • Loving the “That’s What Friends Are For” page, where the Dolly girls share who their closest friends are 

Features:

  • “The Day My Life Changed” looks at three girls, one who had cancer, one who found out she was pregnant and one who got kicked out of school, and how those events changed their lives. Nothing overly groundbreaking but their stories are inspiring.
  • “Welcome to Shamesville. Population: You” is four embarrassing situations and what to do/say when they happen to you. We all have super embarrassing/awkward moments, and these tips may make surviving them just the little bit easier.
  • “16 Things We Wish We’d Known  At 16” gives us three Aussie celebs and their tips on what they wish they could say to their 16 year old self. My favourites? Jane Gazzo with “Nobody will truly love you until you love yourself” and Hannah Marshall with “Enjoy being a kid, don’t grow up too fast – there’s plenty of time to act like an adult”.

  Guy Town:

  • I’ve never watched ‘Totally Wild’ but the interview with teen hosts Josh and Kale is a cute read and they come across as rather awesome guys. Kale gets bonus points for wanting to date a mixture of Hermione Granger and Emma Watson.

Friends:

  • “The Friendship Files” tells us how to mend a broken friend, the golden rules of friendship (“Competition is for athletes, race horses and Golden Globe nominees. BFFs not included”), friend dates, a quiz on whether you’ll stay friends forever, unexpected ways to show your friend you heart her and how to break up with a friend. Pretty much every base covered to be the best friend ever. Also, I totally wish I was part of the Tsweezy/Emma Stone friendship. Those girls rock. 

Life:

  • “Girls Who Beat Boys” is an abusive relationship story with a difference. This time the girls are the abusive ones. It’s an interesting read as you never really think about the flipside of the coin. 
  • “Pressure Point” is part of Dolly’s new School Handbook and deals with, well, pressure. As someone in the early weeks of Year Eleven I can already tell I’ll be needing their helpful hints (“eat breakfast”, “breathe”, “go for a walk”) before the year is over. 
  • “To Spill Or Not To Spill” gives us seven sitches (“He’s your first boyfriend”, “You’re jealous of your friend’s popularity”) and whether we should open up or keep what we’re thinking to ourselves. Most are simple Think Before You Speak kind of things, but it’s part of Dolly’s new Respect: Give It, Get It, Expect It campaign, so props to them for that. 
  • “Help! My Family Are Ruining My Life” is something everyone can relate to. From Protective Parents to Embarrassing Brothers (and fathers!) Dolly helps us deal with every family sitch that leaves you never wanting to be seen with them again. With a father who used to come and yell at my friends and I at sleepovers in his pajamas when we stayed up too late (which you know, doesn’t sound too bad, until you remember that at this time he was  our principal and nobody wants to see their principal in his boxers) or say the most embarrassing things on school assembly, I’ll definitely be using some of the tips.

And Finally:

  • “Oh Snap!” gives us eight of the best April Fool’s pranks of all time. Laughs guaranteed. 

 My Opinion:
Rating – 6/10 
I’ll be honest, the issue wasn’t the most brilliant ever, but it did have a few good reads. 
It’s out on Wednesday and if you’re really after something to read, get it, but if you just buy it for the ‘life-sized Justin Bieber poster’ that comes in the poster-book freebie, I will never speak to you again. 
Price – $7.95 (ah, remember the good old days when mags were $5 – or less!) 
   
frangipani princess xoxo
ps. I don’t think this was the most amazing review ever, so pretty sure this style will be a one time thing 

Magazine Review: Frankie (AKA Unpopular Opinion Time)

I do not see why everyone loves Frankie so much. 

I am not new to the Frankie party. My first issue was at the beginning of 2009 and I loved it. I loved it’s alternative take on the ‘glossy’ world (I say ‘glossy’ as it’s pages are not, as anyone who has ever picked up a copy would know, actually glossy) and it was a fresh breath into a market filled with celebrity gossip. I loyally bought almost every issue over the next two years until I came home from my trip, bought the new issue and decided enough was enough and I had to put my foot down. 

I’m sorry, Frankie. You’ve gone too far.

You’ve crossed the line from ‘cute, alternative read’ to ‘annoyingly repetitive and disgustingly try-hard hipster’. 

I thought about actually reviewing this issue for you, but I decided that would make me too angry, so instead I’d just dot point some of the main problems I have with Frankie magazine.

  • Regular ‘glossies’ sometimes feature things that aren’t mainstream. Maybe you should take a leaf from their book and occasionally feature something that is. Really. 
  • Include some fashion the majority of the population would actually wear. And while we’re at it, it’s not like you’re showing anything but run-of-the mill models anyway. Don’t rebut saying that no-one wears what’s in Vogue. That’s different. That stuff is pretty.
  • Review something normal. Contrary to whatever you may believe, some of your readership really doesn’t give a damn about soy milk. In one of the first issues I bought you reviewed different instant noodles. I thought that was cute and unique. Two years later, it’s old. Move on. 
  • Does every article you print have to be dripping in pretentiousness? Reading your magazine doesn’t leave me with the fuzzy feeling reading other magazines does. I’m left feeling like I’m a massive underachiever or just generally not good enough. Here’s a tip: Hire some writers who don’t fill everything they write with how amazing they think they are. 
  • Not everyone who reads Frankie will be a vegan-hipster-homosexual. Again, variety, people. Maybe occasionally feature a reader who doesn’t live in the middle of nowhere and grow all their own food and generally assume they’re better than those of us who live in cities and gasp, eat meat, and use electricity. 
  • Hey Frankie, there’s this new thing, it’s called writing in third person. Maybe you should try it sometime.
  • Does every picture of every person you ever feature in your pages have to be artistic and unnatural? Really? You can’t take a front on, smilingly retouched one in normal clothes? It’s honestly not that much of a difficult concept, maybe you could try it with the pinhole camera you helpfully taught me how to make in this issue.

I know right now you have a strong readership. It’s because this so called ‘hipster’ trend (which really is a paradox, but again, you don’t want me to get started on one of my hipster rants) is currently popular. Like the Emo or Scene or Beach Bum trends of days gone by, one day everyone will wake up and realise just how stupid this one was and suddenly, because you’re such an annoyingly niche magazine, you’ll die a fast and painful death. Variety, people. Variety. Look up the word and try and incorporate it into your next issue.

As for me, I’m off to calm myself with some soothing celebrity gossip and fast food.


frangipani princess xoxo