I'm feeling miffed. Just finished reading an article in Salon.com concerning the fluffi-fication of the web for women, which explores the degeneration of girl- centered websites from intellectually-minded, feminist indie zines to superficial, horoscope-laden Cosmo clones. Each of the four big women’s web networks– IVillage, Oxygen, Women.com, and, of course, ChickClick, of which this site is a member -- gets skewered for having become increasingly mainstream as they’ve grown larger.
Here’s why I'm annoyed: I rode in on the recent ChickClick wave of expansion. I know Digs isn’t edgy. We’re not political, we’re not alternative, we talk about making our houses pretty and whipping up tasty meals and all sorts of other traditionally and stereotypically girly things. (Though actually, I’ve never thought of Digs as inherently a women’s site – I mean, guys have homes too, right?) Nothing you’ll see in this magazine will change the way you think (about any of the important things in life, anyway); not even at my most deluded have I been crazy enough to think that Digs will make the world a better place. But it vexes me to no end for someone to imply that because my content’s a bit more "mainstream," I’m somehow contributing to the airhead-icising of the women’s web.
I hope that’s not the case. I love my home. I love eating in it, sleeping in it, working in it, lazing about in it, entertaining friends in it, fussing over it in a never-ending quest to make it an even more personally-satisfying haven than it already is. Maybe that’s selfish and small-minded and frivolous, but then again, is there anything so bad about wanting to be happier with your life? I started Digs because I couldn’t find anything out there talking about the stuff I was interested in – admittedly, dumb little things like spiffing up my nest, learning to cook well on limited time, throwing swanky parties – in a voice that wasn’t stuffy (Gourmet and Metropolitan Home), old-fashioned (Better Homes and Gardens) or hopelessly out-of-touch with reality (Martha Stewart Living). I wanted home talk, with a bit of brains and a solid sense of fun.
Silly home stuff, written with smarts. That’s what this magazine is about. Or so I fervently hope. Feel free to let me know if you ever feel I’m getting off track.