Things I Love: Esquire Magazine

Ladies, please. I beg you. Put down the Cosmo and Glamour and Lucky. All they’re doing is insulting your intelligence, telling you things you already know about how to please your man and making you feel bad that you’re not a size 2 with naturally shiny and voluminous hair. I can’t help but think it’s time to reclaim a piece of your inherent bad-ass womanhood by picking up a men’s magazine. What I’m saying is, you should be reading Esquire.

I’ve been an Esquire subscriber and avid reader for probably four or five years now. I’m not sure I could ever give it up. It is, quite simply, the best magazine I’ve ever read. Why do I like it so much? Well, here’s a list:

  1. The writing. The articles in Esquire are extremely well-written. They’re always smart, usually funny, often irreverent, thoughtful, esoteric and provocative. They’re not always easy reads, but they’re worth it, and they give you compelling and interesting things to talk about with your friends over martinis. And your brain loves exercise.
  2. The insights into men. If you want to know about men, don’t read “10 Ways To Make You Irresistible To Your Mate” from some perfume-scented, glossy chick mag. Read Esquire — you’ll find out all you really need to know. Hint: it’s not soul-searching stuff. You can ease into demi-goddess territory just by appreciating the virtues of amber liquor, cultivating knowledge of meats and having a firm, confident handshake. Just as it makes sense that gay men are the best source for tips on how to sexually please a man, so is a men’s magazine the best source for insights into knowing how men tick.
  3. The insights into women. Esquire interviews a lot of women, usually accompanying the pieces with staggeringly beautiful photographs (I admit it, I have a girl crush on Christina Hendricks, but WHO DOESN’T?). You’ll see anyone from Scarlett Johansson to Mary-Louise Parker to Hilary Clinton. And there must be something about being interviewed for a men’s magazine, because I actually recognize the women in those interviews. They’re funny, they’re smart, they’re flirty but not stupid. In other words, they’re bodacious and totally sexy.
  4. The pop culture hints. Hey, we’re not all born knowing what books to read, what new TV series to check out, what music to download. Esquire can help. And then you can recommend those things to your friends like it was your idea all along. And who’s to say that’s not true? Esquire’s a great social wingman.
  5. The recipes. Really amazing and contemporary chefs from buzzworthy restaurants contribute recipes to Esquire. Sometimes they’re fairly complicated, sometimes they’re  not. But they always look delicious, and they’re manly as hell and fairly guaranteed to earn you a culinary gold star from your favorite Y chromosome (see #2 above). I still give Dad and Colleen props for being willing to try the coffee-rubbed turkey recipe from Esquire for Thanksgiving one year. It turned out great, BTW.
  6. The booze worship. No, I don’t mean that in an alcoholism or binge drinking kind of way. In fact, just the opposite. Esquire is not about slamming beers and doing tequila shooters until you’re stupid. It’s about cultivating a healthy knowledge of the history and heritage of high-quality, classic adult beverages, usually in two colors: amber or clear. It’s an admiration and exaltation of the craft and care that goes into creating extremely high-quality spirits. Spirits meant to be savored and sipped, not chugged. It’s the recognition that brewing and distilling is a type of art form and deserves all due respect.
  7. The “What I’ve Learned” features. Insights into people you’ll likely never meet (like Clooney and Julia Child and Elmore Leonard), but still interesting and very often relatable.
  8. The cologne inserts. You know how chick mags smell like chick perfumes? Esquire smells like deliciously scented MEN. Specifically that place where the neck meets the shoulder.
  9. The male models. Most of them are probably gay, but they’re still just so purty. And well-dressed.
  10. The writing. I know I mentioned that already, but it’s worth saying again. Good lord, the writing.
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