March 13, 2012 at 10:43 am , by Louise Sloan
Today, the April issue of LHJ hits newsstands, and with it comes reefer madness! In the “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” column, everyone’s favorite since it launched back in 1953, the problem in the marriage is that the wife, a successful working woman, gets high on pot every day. In the margin at the top of the page, we show the results of a poll that we did on attitudes toward medical marijuana: the majority of our readers (60 percent) approve.
We’ve just done a dramatic redesign to make Ladies’ Home Journal much more cutting-edge and fun. But have we gotten, uh, a little too groovy? In short, what were we smoking?
Actually, this is hardly the first time we’ve covered illegal drug use. Way back in 1963, we ran a feature in which Cary Grant talked about the amazing experiences he had on LSD. It was before all the risks were known and it was part of a medical experiment, but still! LHJ? Who’d a thunk it?
The reality is, Ladies’ Home Journal has a long history of covering the reality of women’s lives and current trends, even when it’s controversial. Back in 1906, we endorsed sex education as a way of preventing sexually transmitted disease—an idea that some people still disagree with. Since then we’ve covered everything from housewives struggling with drug addiction (1971) to moms struggling with raising gay teens (2010). Our readers have always been plugged-in, modern women, and we’ve always provided them with content that keeps them informed and up-to-date.
So, yeah, we’ve come a long way since the “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” of ’53 in which one husband’s quote was, “Nancy could learn a lot from some of the secretaries in my office. They know how to be sweet and feminine.” Yikes! Very Mad Men, while the “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” for April 2012 is admittedly closer to Weeds. Still, it’s very much in line with our editorial tradition.
Reactions to our March issue, the first of the current redesign, have been positive: “Looks fabulous and reinvigorated. Love it!” one reader tweeted. “Great job, y’all,” another reader wrote us via email. “Was thrilled to see my old favorites were still in there,” she said. We seemed hipper, yet still the LHJ she loves. The real story is that we were always pretty hip. Your grandma probably did subscribe to Ladies’ Home Journal, but we’ve never been a grandma magazine. We are up-to-the-minute and ahead of the curve—and have been, for a very long time.