We’re five issues deep into the new Glamour, and sometimes I think things are looking up, and sometimes I’m still puzzled. There is a faint push toward edgier photographic choices — if you told me this was the front page of an alt-weekly, I’d believe you — but then still banal pieces like “The Hack to Fail-Proof Your Relationship.” (This is terrible, no matter what the tip is. If you have to hack your relationship, it’s not a good relationship.) The cover fonts and lines are smartly designed, though, which they were not last month — you could barely read them in that peach color — and the absurd “Authentic. Accessible. Relevant.” tagline seems gone for good. I’m getting used to the new masthead, slowly, although that’s partly because it looks better in white than in black. Baby steps.

The Haddish cover for September was a fun, bright departure from the tight close-ups of women wincing at us. With this, Glamour returns to the tight format but retains a whiff of that looser, street-style feel — we don’t know where Issa is standing, but it sure LOOKS like she might be near a freeway — and at least manages to frame Issa Rae in a powerful way rather than an uncertain one, or a squinty one, or a vaguely turned-on one. But… we are also staring right up Issa’s nose. It’s to her credit that this is effective anyway.

All of which is to say that this is… coming along. It at least demonstrates that Glamour is still auditing its own choices and willing to tweak this and that. We’re getting there. But I don’t know if Glamour has any better handle on what the end game is, or what it’s trying to do or say, exactly, beyond, “We had a new EIC who decided we should do something dramatic.”

One curiosity: The inside photos, which seriously look like something her friend took with an old model iPhone.


That’s from the same photographer who did the cover, and… well, given that, I’m glad the cover is what it is. The full profile, which is basically Issa Rae 101 for the Glamour reader who might not get HBO, is well-done and written by AN ACTUAL JOURNALIST, PRAISE GOD, so enjoy that while it lasts.