Women's magazine

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The Ladies Mercury of February 27, 1693

Women's magazines are magazines that address women as a target group and should be geared towards their interests in terms of content. Their predecessors were the women's supplements in newspapers and magazines. The typical topics of the great mass of classic women's magazines include fashion , cosmetics , love and partnership , housekeeping (especially cooking recipes), healthy lifestyle and nutrition (e.g. tips for losing weight ) and psychological advice. In a broader sense, it can also include tabloids and the so-called rainbow press , which deal with the living conditions of celebrities.

In addition to such writings oriented towards the stereotypical image of women, there are also women's magazines that expressly deal with this critically, for example Emma or Missy Magazine in Germany or the an.schlag in Austria.


Cover picture of the Reasonable Blamers from 1738

The Ladies' Mercury , the world's first women's magazine, was published in London on February 27, 1693. The sheet published by the bookseller John Dunton already contained a grief column , an institution that is still widely used today in comparable publications. The magazine ceased to appear in the same year.

In 1725, one of the first German women's magazines was published in Leipzig, the magazine Die verdutenigen Tadlerinnen , founded by Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700–1766) and his wife Louise Adelgunde (1713–1762) . The Leipziger Blatt had an edition of 2000 copies. The title referred to the concept of wanting to educate readers to be reason and virtuous in an instructive tone . ( In the tradition of the English “moral weekly papers” ). However, the term journal is only used with certainty in 1751; previously one spoke of a journal , magazine or monthly.

However, it was still more than a century before women were able to regularly become professional journalists (namely editors) themselves. In the Netherlands, for example, Henriëtte van der Meij (1850 to 1945) became the first full-time journalist to work for a newspaper in 1884 ( Middelburgsche Courant , today: Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant ). An exception was Ann Franklin , who published The Newport Mercury newspaper in Newport , Rhode Island in 1762 . She had taken over the position of editor from her husband James Franklin, a half-brother of Benjamin Franklin . From 1719 the printer James Franklin published the Boston Gazette , which was intended to compete with the Boston News Letter , and from 1728 also printed the Rhode Island Almanac .

This sheet belongs to the housewife was published by the Berlin publishing house in 1886 and was incorporated into Brigitte between 1952 and 1954 . Freundin magazine has been published in Germany since 1948, and Für Sie since 1957 . In 2007 a boom in high-circulation, inexpensive women's magazines began under names such as Von Frau zu Frau or Frau im Trend .


  • Sylvia Lott-Almstatt: Brigitte 1886 to 1986. The first hundred years. Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg 1986, p. 31. ISBN 3-570-04930-2

Web links

Wikisource: Women's Magazines  - Sources and Full Texts
Wiktionary: Women's magazine  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Journalist 8/2008, p. 36 ff.