How to Please Your Man, Again (really, is it that hard to figure out?)

March 22, 2005

Now, I'm not saying fluff is necessarily a bad thing. I enjoy my share of fluffy toilet reading. I even subscribe to some fluffy magazines. I guess if we have Cosmo, Glamour, Jane, Marie Claire and a whole bunch of other mainstream women's mags, then we can have countless Asian American women's mags too. But really, how many fluffy mags does the world need?

In an effort to keep a running count of these mags and distinguish them from each other, here's a list I've compiled so far. I'm curious to know what you think of them. And please let me know about any mag I might have missed. With the number of publications out there now, I probably have missed one.

Audrey The Asian American Women's Lifestyle Magazine
I think most people have heard of Audrey. They made a splash when they launched (I think it was 2003). Brought to you by the same folks that publish KoreAm, Audrey is a Pan Asian mag (but I don't see many South Asian faces) that runs profiles, beauty stories and some news stories as well (the latest issue covers the Abercrombie lawsuit). I remember being not very impressed by the first issue, but you know what, I wasn't impressed by the first issue of Hyphen either. They definitely seem to be improving. The story goes that the mag is named after the publisher's daughter. Aaww.

East West Woman
I just noticed this one on the stands the other day. They're based out of Arizona, launched as a website in 2003, and as an actual print mag in 2004. Target audience is Asian American and Middle Eastern American women. This one seems more fluffy than Audrey. Less news. And what's with the name? The phrase "east west" is high on my list of pet peeves. You would know that if you've ever read our submission guidelines.

Jade A Fresh Perspective for Asian Women
Jade's an independent mag out of New York that's been around since 1999 as a website. It features short essay-esque writing with a couple beauty tips thrown in. They put out a couple print versions starting in 2002 (which are this cute small half pint size) but I've not seen any hard copies since 2003. But hey, printing on paper is expensive. The folks at Jade are slumming it Hyphen-style. You know, no real office, volunteer-run, so I understand where they're coming from.

Yin Asian Women Redefined
Also out of New York. They cover both Asians and Asian Americans, but mostly the East Asian ones. Launched an issue in 2004, with Chiaki Kuriyama (psycho schoolgirl in Kill Bill Volume 1) as the cover girl. Ran lots of photos of runway models and outfits. And this top 10 list of movie airport goodbye scenes, which seemed kind of random. Since the premiere issue though, not a peep. The content on the website has been the same for a long time. Is it dead already?

Asiance The Magazine For Asian American Women
I just heard of this one too. As far as I can tell, it's web-based only. More of the same old. You know, Q&A with pop stars and the like. Seems like it's for East and Southeast Asian women.

Jasmine Asian Inspiration
Actually, this one is Canadian. I've only seen one or two issues, but it seems the most polished. They run several fashion spreads, you know, the kind with long limbed models looking very, well, modely. The relationship and sex advice seem more real and not as cheesy as some of the other mags.

Bibi Marriage, Fashion, Home
Founded in 2000 by 3 Houston women for South Asian American women. I think the tagline says it all. It’s pretty fixated on marriage.

Sapna The Modern Desi’s Girl Guide to Life
I haven’t seen an actual hard copy, but Sapna seems like a pretty glossy production and really mimics the look of mainstream women’s mags. The cover layout looks quite a bit like Lucky to me. The latest issue has an interview (albeit very brief) with Harold and Kumar's Kal Penn.

Nirvana Woman
Out of Silicon Valley, this one is for ladies with money to burn. It calls itself the "first national fashion and lifestyle magazine targeting affluent, dynamic and upscale Indian-American women." Guess this one's not for me, cause I'm none of those things. Well, maybe I'm dynamic sometimes. But probably not very often. Mostly I'm just hungry and cranky. Now, where's the magazine for cranky girls?


Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. She grew up in Texas, the eldest child of immigrants. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.



there's also istylemagazine, "the premier fashion magazine for south asian women":
I've not heard of Istyle. From the distribution list, I gather it's Canadian. Fancy flash website but not a lot of content on it. I wonder how thick the actual print mag is. Looks pretty though.
Why are there so many South Asian women's magazines? It's kinda nuts. There actually seems to be an EXPLOSION of South Asian media lately. I am actually pretty impressed with some of the stuff I saw on the Sapna site --- but Bibi just grosses me out.
There is also Nirali Magazine, though it's a webzine like Sapna. It stays away from the Cosmo-esque topics that Sapna tends to veer towards in favor of an approach that features various South Asians making news. Worth checking