Unbecoming Southern Living…September 9, 2010
In a land not far far away there used to be a great magazine called Southern Living. It was the pride and joy of these Southern United States. It had three corner stones that anchored the bar stool called Southern Living magazine. They all started with an S: Southern, Seasonal and Service. The magazine was filled with recipes, more than a 100 in some issues. Folks from all around the South knew it was Southern Living from its yellow logo and predictable covers. In December it was a white cake; in October the fall leaves and pumpkins welcoming the Fall. In April the purple flowers and in November, what else but a festive Thanksgiving buffet. Those were the days. There was no fashion, no beauty, no frills or thrills. Just seasonal southern service. The Soul of the South was inside the magazine, not only on the cover.
What happened to Southern Living? A redesign after redesign inched one step after the other away from its southern roots. The covers became as unpredictable as the southern weather. The recipes dwindled to a few. And to top it all off, this month ushers a new section focusing on looks, fashion and beauty. The killer is an article about blow drying your hair, exercising and losing inches all at the same time. This is NOT the Southern Living I have known for the last 27 years. This is not the magazine that most of my friends knew and loved. It is definitely NOT your mother’s magazine anymore, but it is also NOT your daughter’s magazine.
Southern Living has lost its soul. It is anything but southern. It is a shame to see a great magazine become so un-southern. The only solace is in the fact that there are a few folks publishing in the same town as Southern Living (in the not so far far away land), who are trying and succeeding in filling the void left by the magazine.
This is a cry from the heart, a first for me, to bring back Southern Living. Bring back the Southern in the Living. There are plenty of women’s magazines that deal with fashion, beauty and other lifestyle issues, but there used to be one and only one Southern Living. Bring it back, please.