This is Glamour’s third new effort under its new design (and it’s bizarre new slogan, “Authentic. Accessible. Relevant,” which reads like something you’d put in a Power Point to your older male boss who doesn’t understand what the girls like anymore, rather than something you actually expect to attract a dynamic audience). So far, they all — Melissa, The Hath, and now Kate — involve a very tight shot of a woman staring straight at the camera, which… I mean, I guess that’s meant to evoke authenticity and accessibility, and relevance, but it also feels claustrophobic at times and like an absence of creativity. The one reason I think this works, at least in part, is that Kate McKinnon is someone whose real face we rarely see because she spends an increasing amount of time at her day job (or night job, as it were) in costume as a variety of tiny male trolls from the political sphere, or otherwise deploying outstanding, outlandish impersonations and characterizations. So a look straight at her, unadorned — even when it was done a year ago on Elle — feels fresh. It’s about the only thing here that does. The picture looks a tiny bit like she’s holding her breath and trying not to blink in the face of a gentle wind machine; the laughing one on Elle was better, from a liveliness standpoint. But if this was meant to feel like you’re in a staring contest with her, it works.
The last time Kate McKinnon was on a magazine cover, it was Vanity Fair, and it was a) truly hideous and weird, and b) an unsuccessful profile of a person who clearly holds her secrets and her self very close. The Glamour piece is much better written. I can’t tell if we learn more, or if the writer is just more skilled; it is for sure the latter, but I suspect the former as well. We get a similar sense of her as a person who pours herself into the work and doesn’t treat her personal life as a play on a grand stage, but it also managed to be a really enjoyable read, with enriching little observations from the SNL set and zero navel-gazing on the part of the author. So, well played on that one. It would have been a good airplane read. I don’t know why I need fall denim as opposed to the denim I wear the rest of the year, and I don’t even know how to USE 99 percent of makeup, but I will read the HELL out of “My Mother Left Me For A Cult.”