I like fashion magazines, I admit it. I've had a subscription to Vogue for as long as I can remember and still look forward to discovering it in the mailbox. (Conversely, when it should be there and isn't — or worse, when I suspect that our postal carrier dropped it off two streets over again — my mood sags a little.) Recently, I let In Style lapse after giving it a tryout in the second slot for a couple of years. Too many vapid Rebecca Romijn spreads for me. I switched to Harper's Bazaar, a magazine I had only occasionally bought. It never spoke to me like Vogue, but at least it wasn't another celebrity devotional posing as a fashion rag.
So who adorns the cover of my first issue? Lindsay Lohan — yes, on another magazine cover, this time posed as a fashion waif. On this month's cover, just arrived? Britney Spears, pregnant and coyly naked, propped on what looks like a slab of marble. Inside, there are more naked Britney pictures in a spread the editors call One Sexy Mother. Sigh. Harper's already has my money, so I will probably scan the next issue to see if they came to their sensibilities. I'm not hopeful, though. Once a magazine gives fashion-icon staus to tabloid celebrities whose style sense is manufactured for them, can there be any going back? I already see the "No" box being checked on the renewal card.