The headline says it all: Condé Nast is closing Self Magazine.
According to WWD.com, “The publisher…said it would continue operating Self.com, and that executive digital director Carolyn Klystra would be named editor in chief.”
Before we get into our own feelings, a pause to consider that every time a magazine folds, people lose their jobs.
“The closure entails roughly 20 to 30 job cuts,” reports WWD, “including the termination of Self editor in chief Joyce Chang, who was brought on in 2014 to succeed the ousted Lucy Danziger. At the time, Chang was said to have signed a three-year contract, which is set to expire.”
As Self’s online team begins to absorb the work, subscribers will have to make a decision to either consume the magazine online or say goodbye. For those loyal to glossy paper, the online versions don’t always have the same resonance. They might seek the buzz elsewhere or realize, “I’ve actually grown out of this.” Like a child going off to college, this transition is inevitable for some publications (thanks to the principles of media Darwinism), natural for others, and almost always a little bit sad. There is inextricable nostalgia connected to the magazines we once collected.
But Self is a funny one in terms of personal impact. Were you emotionally connected to it? I wasn’t. Not even back in high school and college when I purchased it monthly along with Shape. For me, this magazine was always about one thing: fixing things — whether that be my life, mental state or body. This is where I got information about detoxes, smoothie strategies and crunches. Each new issue held the promise of a shiny resolution. Didn’t drop five in March? No worries — we’re going for ten in April! Buying Self was satisfying in the way that writing fresh to-do lists are. But I didn’t need to hold on to it. Never once did I refer to an earlier issue for inspiration like I still do with W, nor was Self my go-to for aspirational styling or fashion.
“Back then,” however, there wasn’t really anywhere else to get this kind of comprehensive, seemingly doable health information besides dedicated publications. Today, all that Self embodied is everywhere on the internet. Health and holistic wellness are so much more a part of our lives and pop culture than they ever were before, and now, thanks to the multitudes of accessible variations of this large “lifestyle” genre that exist, everything can be tailored to the individual.
Which begs the question: what is it in terms of health, wellness (or lifestyle) that you need and what to see? What still seems to be missing? What do miss? What do you want to read?