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Vogue, Cosmo, HB and Allure: Then and now!

Women around the world open these glossies to look at images of women with unattainable bodies and curves. But, that not all they have to offer. You also get to feel poor and like you suck in bed. But these magazines have dictated fashion, sex, makeup and everything in between for decades now. They weren’t always like this though. Let’s have a look at the evolution of some of the most popular magazines of our times.



Vogue that is the bible of all things fashion now was first published in 1892. It was founded by Arthur Turnure in the US as a weekly publication. The first issue came out in December and was for 10 cents. The magazine was aimed at the noveau riche and concentrated on fashion but sports and social affairs were included for its male audience Conde Nast, the person, bought out the magazine in 1905 and Conde Nast- the company- still publishes this title worldwide. Anna Wintour, the legend, joined American Vogue in July 1988. She’s still there.

Now: Vogue coves everything fashion, couture, beauty and more. Anything thing that is more expensive than the value of your total assets, is in the Vogue.



Cosmopolitan’s first issue came out in 1886. The features were ‘How to breathe in a corset’, ‘Get the best orgasm ever but how to take off layers of clothing first’ and such gems. Okay, just kidding. Cosmopolitan started out, yes believe you me, as a family magazine in 1886. It had articles on cooking, children management (MCA), decoration and more. Till the early 1960’s the magazine featured fictional stories and special features. In 1965, Helen Gurly Brown took over the magazine and reinvented it making it the place women turn to to feel inadequate about their bodies, skin and sex.

Now: You will never be good enough for this magazine is what the magazine is telling you.

Harper’s Bazaar


Harper’s Bazaar started out as Harper’s Bazaar. This magazine has stuck to its core offering – fashion. It didn’t start out in the current format, of course. The magazine started out as a weekly illustrated journal featuring fashion, etiquette, art, home and much more. It even had a diet fad so that the women at that time didn’t think they were a generation of women who were getting it right. Along the way, the magazine gained an ‘a’ in the name and much popularity for showcasing slightly more affordable fashion.

Now: It sophisticated and glossy. Like all the others.


Face of model Stephanie Seymour wearig Princess Marcella Borghese Natural Finish Bronzer in Terracotte, Brown Notte eye pencil, Espresso Lumina Luxuriant mascara

Allure is a relatively new entrant against this stalwarts but gets a place in this list because it was the first beauty magazine. The magazine comes from the stable of Conde Nast and at the helm of affairs id editor in chief – Linda Wells. Allure hit the stands in March 1991. The magazine was one of the first to write about the health risks of silicone implants and even tell people how to pluck their eyebrows. The magazine has constantly reported on the changing aspirations of beauty and what’s considered beautiful where.

Now: Features like how to make hair browner, lips pinker etc. You get the drift.

(Source: Wikipedia and own websites. Images also taken from Wikimedia)

Current edition images:



Harper’s Bazaar:


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