Is it possible? A magazine more pretentious than Hamptons Magazine, targeting … New Jersians? I will be the first to admit that I subscribe to neither and that my views have been shaped by cursory glances at each website. That being said, what I saw confused me, as I have apparently forgotten which dimension we’re living in. It seems that we are living in the one where there is an established market for brazen displays of upper-class self-importance in New Jersey. Or should I say, the one where there is more of a market for said displays than there is among the more traditionally ostentatious Hamptons set. Of course, I refer to none other than New Jersey Life Magazine (“Where Style Comes to NJ Life”).
Sure, New Jersians deserve their own print forum for bombastic, class-specific news and banter, but may I suggest that NJL tone down the showmanship? What with titles like, “Shops Where the Preppy Look is Cool,” “Kids Stores Celeb Moms Would Shop At,” and “Home Accessories to Impress the Jones’,” NJL leaves little to the imagination. In fact, it makes it painfully clear to the outsider that the magazine is as much about shallow and self-congratulatory validation of its readers as it is about “luxury lifestyle” in New Jersey.
Now, don’t get me wrong – the magazine has value; but it would be nice if editors followed the lead of Hamptons Magazine. And that lead is (drum roll, please) … subtlety. That’s right, if you can muster some subtlety regarding your station in life, people will still know that you think you’re better than them, but they will suspend disbelief long enough to get to know you. And perhaps even like you. Which is exactly the point that NJL has missed. Let us also not lose sight of the obvious fact that we’re talking about New Jersey here. I am the first to admit that I am a fan of New Jersey; but I am a fan because for the most part, it is everything that the Hamptons are not. So the final message to NJL: you’re doing well, but try getting over yourself. Shows character.