For women whose New Year’s resolution is to have hotter sex or to fall in love, boy are there lots of folks looking to give you advice. We waded through a lot of it to let you know who does it best.
The gang from HBO’s “Girls” take the cover of Glamour’s latest issue to promote the show’s final season. Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke reflect on the seven years it’s taken to create the polarizing show. For as brash and groundbreaking as the show is, the interview, with the show’s executive producer, Jenni Konner, is all softballs. The entire issue, Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive promises, was made by women — the photos, the articles, the interview subjects, almost all the makeup — to call attention to the lack of jobs women get in the fashion world. Elsewhere, a panel led by S.E. Cupp and Krystal Ball discusses the election of Donald Trump. The women are of all political persuasions, and even the biggest supporters of the president-elect betray a sense of confusion about the world in which they live.
And then we get to Cosmopolitan. No matter how raunchy our culture gets — especially now that “golden showers” has entered the, ahem, mainstream — the Hearst title is always a thrill. “Teach Him How to Please You in Bed” anchors the sex section, which includes all types of positions and tricks. “The jackhammer,” the magazine informs its readers, is out. Good to know! The mag’s humor is irreverent and refreshing — even the main “Models and Bottles” photo spread, of muscle-bound hunks carrying oversize perfume bottles, is a nice twist on a tired, bro-y cliché. Hilary Duff, this issue’s cover girl, gives a brief interview about turning 30 and dating celebrity trainer Jason Walsh, who founded Rise Nation fitness.
Of the bunch, Marie Claire is the most oriented toward professional women, and an interview with Claire Danes, star of the hit show “Homeland,” underscores that. The feature goes over the twists and turns of the actor’s career, from her star turn as a ’90s ingenue to her award-winning title role in the 2009 HBO biopic “Temple Grandin.” Because MC is more concerned with the prosaic issues of adult life, it can be as entertaining as a LinkedIn blog post about time management. Elsewhere, there’s an interview with Austin Geidt, the 31-year-old woman behind Uber’s rapid expansion. To the magazine’s credit, it doesn’t whitewash the safety issues with the ride-hailing juggernaut, and it holds her accountable for allowing drivers in India to forge background checks that in one case led to the rape of a woman by a driver with a criminal past. Geidt’s response? “Incidents will happen.”
Time interviewed 18 current and former Obama administration staffers — including Valerie Jarrett, Josh Earnest and Rahm Emanuel — about what it was like assuming their jobs on Day One and what they learned over time. They are also asked to give their incoming counterparts advice. Hint: “Work-life doesn’t exist,” speechwriter Cody Kennan said. Some of their experiences are hilarious — like Communications Director Jen Psaki’s anecdotes about not knowing the location of the nearest bathroom for more than a year and Obama’s surprise on the first day of learning that the press corps had a spot in the White House. Former adviser Dan Pfeiffer compares the campaign trail to Double-A baseball and arriving in the White House as the major leagues. “You’re not as smart as you think you are,” he discovered, including an unforgettable lesson he learned about timing speeches on the economy to after the market closes. You really don’t want to see “billions of dollars of wealth disappearing before your eyes on live television” while the Treasury secretary is delivering an address.
The New Yorker
If you’re looking for wisdom on how to handle the political transition or what to think of the last eight years, The New Yorker doesn’t deliver. But George Packer’s Talk of the Town offers a page-and-a-half retrospective on Obama’s oratory skills (spoiler alert: he thinks they’re yuge), his shortcomings as a politician and his ominous warning about the future in his farewell speech. Not surprisingly, Packer describes it as “one of Obama’s very best.” Yeesh. Obama only mentioned Trump once in passing, Packer notes, but it’s as if “the president-elect haunted the farewell address like a spirit too malevolent to be named.” Double yeesh. Editor David Remnick’s latest effort, it seems, is the result of him being either weary of reporting on the political climate or him sharpening his quills for the future. Either way, it seems strangely out of step with upcoming news of the week.
The Atlantic is chock-full of politics in its January/February issue, including its cover story: “My President Was Black” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who writes an 18-page are-we-there-yet opus on Obama’s presidency. At least he called it what it is: a history of the first African-American White House. James Fallows tackles Trump, conceding that he sees the mogul’s election as the “most grievous blow that the American idea has suffered in my lifetime,” concluding that most Americans think the country is going to hell in a handbasket, but they feel good about their own communities. Fallows must have been busy since Nov. 8 interviewing most Americans.