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"What's Getting Us Through": Grazia UK as affective, intimate public during the coronavirus pandemic

Findlay, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8596-6880 (2023). "What's Getting Us Through": Grazia UK as affective, intimate public during the coronavirus pandemic. In: Parkins, I. & Filippello, R. (Eds.), Fashion and Feeling: The Affective Politics of Dress. Palgrave Studies in Fashion and the Body. (pp. 305-326). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1177/1464700119842555


During a panel on “The State of Fashion Magazines”, seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, Kenya Hunt, Grazia UK’s then-Deputy Editor, reflected on how the crisis had reshaped the magazine’s content. She described how they changed the name of the shopping pages at the front of the book from “What’s New Now” to “What’s Getting Us Through”, choosing to focus on “those moments that will make a reader feel understood; it’s less about consuming the new thing although we still have that in there as well. But it’s really about acknowledging this shared experience that we’re having” (BOF Team #BoFLive: The State of Fashion Magazines. Accessed 20 April 2021, 2020). Lauren Berlant (The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2008) has mapped the ways in which women’s culture provides spaces for affective recognition and connection, promising proximity to the longed-for ‘better good life’ even as it avoids mobilising political engagement to prompt structural change. Yet during the pandemic (and its multiple crises), the intimate public of Grazia UK shifted in register, directly acknowledging the uncertainty, trauma and loss ‘we’ were collectively experiencing. The magazine offered solace through fashion’s pleasures whilst imagining how a better future might be realised through the political potential afforded by the pandemic’s destruction of ‘normalcy’. This chapter closely examines five issues produced by Grazia UK during the UK’s first lockdown to evaluate the extent to which the magazine functioned as a site of both respite and political agency. It also asks how Grazia’s fashion coverage provided comfort and fantasy, as per its editorial remit, despite being imbricated in the pandemic’s “ugly feelings” (Ngai, Ugly Feelings. Harvard University Press, 2005).

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is the author accepted manuscript of a chapter published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries
[thumbnail of Findlay_What's Getting Us Through.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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