BUST is a groundbreaking, independently run women's lifestyle magazine that connects with bright, cutting-edge young women. Fierce, funny, and proud to be female, its revolutionary editorial mix addresses a variety of women's interests, including pop culture, crafting, music, fashion, sex, news and celebrity interviews.
Lighthearted & fun feminist mag Bust is an entertaining, highly readable magazine aimed at 20- and 30-something women who unashamedly self-identify as feminists. It reflects a heavy influence of NYC and the indie scene. Their journalism is not terribly political or hard-hitting, but I don't think it intends to be. Bust does occasionally discuss things like comprehensive sex ed, breastfeeding in public, and misogynistic commercial ads; however, for the most part, the content is on the lighthearted side. I have subscribed for almost a year, although I've read it intermittently off newsstands since 2005, and overall, I really enjoy reading it.
The great thing about Bust is that it has substance and is fun to read. There are never articles like "How to Look Thinner in Bed," "Choose the Right Surgical Procedure/Anti-Aging Cream For You," and other inane, self-hate-inducing garbage typically found in mainstream women's mags. By contrast, Bust has articles on female comedians, working women who were obscenely successful in the male-centric 1960s advertising industry, and how to choose the right vibrator. (These are also great examples of how Bust has a more lighthearted -- yet still distinctly feminist -- tone than Ms. or Bitch.)
Bust's regular features include:
* Feminist interest columns -- Pop Tart, a tongue-in-cheek take on current pop culture; Museum of Femoribilia, with interesting articles on historical feminist/sexual lib issues; and Mother Superior, by Ayun Halliday, who writes self-effacingly about her kids' inappropriate (and hilarious) behavior
* DIY projects -- Make your own queen-size headboard, reusable grocery bags, mod-themed tea towels, pillbox hat, subversive cross-stitch art, etc.
* Recipes -- Chinese wontons, gingersnaps, tsimmes, mozzarella cheese (yes, how to curdle cheese), what to do with boring leftovers, how to throw an eco-friendly Thanksgiving feast
* Boy du Jour -- A short interview with a hot, progressive, not-so-mainstream dude
* Fashion features -- Trend spotting; up-and-coming independent designers; a multi-page model spread illustrating a current trend (steampunk, outdoorsy hippie, cowgirl, 80s rock-chic)
* Interviews with 1-2 progressive celebrities (musicians, comedians, actors/actresses)
* Travel -- Articles on domestic and international destinations, with suggestions on restaurants, worthy hole-in-the-wall shops, things to do and see
* Sex -- Reader Q&A with Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross (this can get graphic at times, but it's info we were all wondering anyway); Sex Files, a column discussing general women's health topics; the "One-Handed Read," along the vein of those in other popular women's mags (i.e., porn for women)
* Reviews of 1) not-so-mainstream beauty products, 2) just-released indie music, 3) books written by women or about women, and 4) just-released indie movies produced/directed/written by or about women
* Feminist-themed crossword puzzle at the end (I luuurve the crossword!)
Bust is really big on indie musicians, especially those with a progressive bent, male or female. There is always at least one feature on a musician in each issue.
However, here's my one gripe with Bust: It has a somewhat "exclusive" vibe. Don't get me wrong: Bust isn't out there bashing people who don't subscribe to their indie ethos; they're just not inclusive of a wide audience, which some readers may be accustomed to from mainstream women's mags. Like a previous reviewer, I have noticed the lack of inclusion of women of color, and I am white. There are a few exceptions to this -- thinking back to all the issues I've read -- like the features on Eve, Rosario Dawson, Margaret Cho, Charlyne Yi, Sandrah Oh, and Rosie Perez, for example. But these features are sadly few and far-between. I've found that Bust is supportive in a general way of women of color/size and the LGBT community through little snippet features, but not (usually) in main articles. (Bust is even pretty supportive of veg*ns, which I personally appreciate.) It's also important to note that Bust is NOT misandronistic; in fact, they're very open about appreciating, crushing on, and having relations with men. The bottom line is that Bust just aims for a very specific audience, which happens to be white, straight, crafty, indie/hipster feminists in their 20s and 30s. For some people, this may feel alienating. I occasionally feel like I'm not "indie enough" for Bust, even though I'm pretty sure I fit into their intended demographic. ;)
Despite this, I personally continue to read Bust because I enjoy the positive media outlet it provides, especially compared to the likes of Glamour, Vogue, Cosmo -- which make ALL women feel like crap, regardless of heritage/size/interests/etc. The bottom line for me is that I get enough positive value out of Bust as a whole to let the occasional self-doubt slide.
Overall, Bust is an enjoyable, lighthearted, pro-woman magazine. I'd suggest you check it out at Borders or B&N before subscribing, just to get an idea of its readability and look/feel. Recommended!...more info
Entertaining magazine This magazine focuses on some issues that effect women, shows women directors, musicians, and critiscisms about society, and media that negatively effect women.I find the articles uplifting, and entertaining.They offer DIY projects, as well as book reviews. The products they have inside the magazine are not sell-out products that every other magazine is touting, and if your interested in something uncovered it is a good place to look. The magazine incorporates everyday women who have knowledge about womens issues into the magazine.Very women positive-one of my favorite magazines, you never know what's going to be in it!...more info
Too risque!! I'm always on the look-out for new magazines, and when I found out that the author of one of my favorite books (Stitch N'Bitch) was editor of Bust Magazine, I was intrigued. I went to the newstand and bought the Fall edition. I had almost just went ahead and ordered a subscription, but I'm sure glad I didn't! I hate to sound like a "Midwestern Prude", but this is not the kind of magazine I would like my sons to find in my room one day, especially with all the vibrator ads! I'm sure it's great for younger women, who I feel it's more geared to. There's just not a lot that interests me, besides the recipe for "Mead" and a craft project. It just comes off as being very explicit with very little substance.
Fun, very liberal, not academic About every four months or so I pick up an issue of Bust. It's not something I'd like to read on a regular basis, as I find any pop culture commentary to be a bit preachy, but this is a fun magazine with a sense of humor (Praise be!). Every issue features an interesting interview: Amy Sedaris, Tina Fey, etc. Nothing is overly examined; if you want a really thought provoking magazine, I'd subscribe to Ms., but I like Bust's writing because it is accessable and less angry and frustrated than Bitch--a comparable magazine. It also has a terrific column by writer Ayun Halliday (No Touch Monkey and East Village Inky), which usually cracks me up. In addition, you can usually find liberal join-up type articles as well as personal essays. Babes in Toyland is one of Bust's larger sponsors, so there are lots of articles on pleasuring yourself, vibrators, and getting in touch with your inner-inner woman. I think in terms of tone that Bust lies somewhere between Jane and Budget Living (sounds crazy, but it's true), with the obvious feminist bent. I really appreciate that it's not anti-male, too....more info
Bust does not support women of color/size I am both and no, I don't look to Bust for representation. My look is not considered "hot" or "edgy". I don't do whatever previously "Traditional" activity is currently considered rAdIkAl. I'm not in a burlesque troop or date whiny white guys, err whimpsters. I don't live in Williamsburg, NY and I'm not in a totally hip band. I am a writer and HIV educator. Bust doesn't really care about people who are like me or look like me.
Unlike the slew of recent covergals, I am a feminist. Oh sure there are a few qualifiers but I'm not afraid of claiming the F word.
Bust doesn't really care about people who are like me or look like me. No worries. Fortunately, Bitch Mag does, not only publishing my article about Black women/Mental Illness, but they paid me for it (I heard bust doesn't pay its writers, which might explain a few things).
I used to like bust. I wanted to support it, but I got tired of being ignored and constantly seen the same kinds of white beauty glorified there that I saw elsewhere. Bust is so very white, blindingly so. And whenever this is pointed out people get really angry, well white girls. I'm sorry but it's totally alienating and I have never felt as though Bust wanted me as a Bustie. I don't think there is anything wrong with saying that.
So instead of whining about bust, seriously, do what I did. Go find mags that ARE doing progressive things and support them. Support Colorlines and Essence and Latina. Whining doesn't solve anything. Action does. ...more info
Bestest I've had a subscription to this magazine for 3 years now. I love this magazine!!...more info
Feminists must buy! This is probably one of the best magazines I've ever read... its fun, witty, political and women empowering. It's probably the only magazine that I have ever read cover to cover. I can't say enough about it!!...more info
Feminist Lite & Fun Fashion I'm really upset at all the negative reviews of BUST here. Bust magazine isn't claiming itself to be your feminist go-to source, it's a magazine for girls who like magazines. Personally, I love bust because I can look at fashion and trends & new designers without being bombarded by articles like "HOW TO MAKE HIM GROAN". If i wanted intense feminist essays I'd go read bitch magazine, but if you just want a fun magazine with cool fashion & a girl positive vibe, BUST is for you....more info
may or may not strike one's fancy I had first heard about BUST mag from craftster.org and how cool it was etc etc. So I thought I'd check it out. Although I enjoy reading the mag and it does provide some interesting articles, I want to say that some of the articles/advertising is a bit graphic and open about things, so I wouldn't be taking this with me to babysit or just leave it lying around the house for my conservative parents to see.
I also wished that the subscription rate was cheaper since I'm not getting a monthy mag.
If your passionate about liberal/indie mags then this one is for you. ...more info
Mmm mmm good I don't want to be too wordy, so I'll just leave this review with a few reasons why I love BUST. First, I find it an uplifting and supportive magazine with articles that don't condemn conservative women with liberal political heretics. The magazine is more focused on creating a female support network than to aimlessly attack our patriarchal society. In that way, I actually find it a more effective means of literature in promoting female empowerment and feminism! Yee-haw!
Ms., this is not! I'm not going to say that Bust isn't a decent magazine. And if other feminist publications weren't around, I'd probably be reading it cover to cover. The problem is that they seem to assume that everyone who reads their mag is all do-it-yourself-y and artsy. And that they're actually interested in clothing. I'm not. I still appreciate some of the articles -- for example, the article several months ago on the womanly diagnosis of "hysteria" and this latest issue's article about American women converting to Islam.
If you're a knitter, cool. If you're a sorta-kinda feminist, cool. If you just want to read something that isn't telling you to go out and find a husband, like, yesterday, this is a good mag too. But if you're looking for something that is a little more FEMINIST, pick up Bitch magazine. ...more info
The best for the younger feminist generations I have been reading Bust magazine for close to five years now. I have to say that all of the wonderful things that I love about being a woman are talked about in this magazine. And it isn't just for women, with music and book reviews, the magazine is for almost anyone who has a pulse. The main reason it is for women is that it says everything that our mothers wouldn't say but taught us that we should feel allowed to say. This magazine is a must for any female who has no problem with calling herself the f-word: feminist....more info
Torn about Bust On one hand, I like this magazine. I appreciate the interviews for the most part (Amy Sedaris), and I love the retro articles with feminist takes, like the one they did on airline stewardesses. They seem pretty jazzed about women in music, so there are reviews every issue. The mag is littered with plenty of dense, blurbish "reporting" on varied subjects, keeping the reader interested and moving along. On the other hand...I don't feel like the mag "applies to" my age group; though it tries to keep everyone happy, their main demographic is obviously young women in their 20's. And I have read too many incorrect, flip, trying-to-be-oh-so-young-and-hip and just plain not-well-thought-out responses from Betty Dodson, their resident sexpert. Additionally, I think a magazine like this should avoid politics altogether. It's obviously liberal, considering the recent article on Obama's wife.
I don't love it, I don't hate it. I'll just read it at the library or newsstand....more info
The perfect mix This magazine is somewhere in between Ms. and Bitch. The former may be a bit too scholarly for some, with not enough articles to draw in the third wave of feminists, and the latter can sometimes be a bit too radical in some of its articles, but Bust magazine is the perfect blend of both. There are always interesting thought-provoking interviews, articles, and features (Ayun Halliday's column is always great), along with reviews of books, movies, and albums you might not otherwise know existed. They also have a monthly feature from Betty Dodson, a pioneering sex therapist, who answers particularly pressing questions from readers; though some people might feel this is pornographic, it's merely presenting information that happens to concern sexuality. A lot of people might feel too embarrassed to ask such normal questions, so it's good they get the answers because someone else was brave enough to ask rather than not get the answers at all, or feel that they're not normal for these feelings or bad experiences. And for people who are so inclined, there are always articles on do-it-yourself crafts; they've done everything from clothes to handbags to stuffed animals. There's something in here for everyone....more info
Awsome The articles are funny, smart and different. I didn't know what to expect but I was happily surprised. I especially like that they use real women for their fashion spreads. And the items advertised for sale, well, their not your everyday run of the mill beauty products. ;) If you're looking for a cool mag to spend $20 on. Bust is definitley the right choice, plus it looks pretty cool on your coffee table. ...more info
One of my favorite magazines I love this magazine. It's definitely a must read for feminists. It's one of the few women's magazines I still can sit and read cover to cover. ...more info
Crappy Delivery Well, I got home yesterday and whipped open my mailbox in anticipation of my new magazine! And what was that when I opened flipped the lid? It's larger than an envelope... roughly magazine size-ish... could it be?? No. It wasn't. It was just a flyer. Still no magazine. I guess I'm going to have to call the dreaded 800 number and just hope that they don't hang up on me as they did octobersky! Now I just need to find the number....more info
Can't deliver quality or to your home! I had problems too when I switched my address. I think Bust has outsourced whoever handles their subscriptions. I had a problem with the Amy Sedaris issue a few months back and when I emailed someone bout it, I got a reply from someone at Bust who was very nice and I got the issue. When i changed my address after the Sandra Oh issue, I didn't get the next one (Men We Love) and I emailed them about it, and I got a reply from some outside company who at first said, "we'll send you another copy" and when i emailed them back three weeks later, I got a snarky response saying, "we don't replace issues anymore but we'll tack one on at the end of your subscription" so i had to go out and buy it. Sounds like b.s. to me, so be persistent, but don't be surprised if you don't get the issue mailed to you.
I gave up on my subscription. I never got a single issue and I live in the USA. I finally started buying them from borders. I don't feel so badly about it now because BUST has gotten too slick for me anyway. I miss the old days of reader submissions. It felt like BUST was actually a magazine made by people like me about people like me. Now it's nothing but an endless parade of skinny, white hipsters, and people in their late 30s trying to cling on to some bizarre Jane magazine notion of young and it's not so fun. I had been loyal to bust for years but not I just read other magazines, which are cheaper. I sse no point in paying nearly five bucks for a magazine, when I can get nearly the identical contents in something like Teen Vogue.
The definition of third-wave feminism Third wave feminism is often summed up be referencing this classic mag. It's a fun and intelligent read, and a genuinely viable alternative to the fluff generally marketed towards women....more info