Allure Strikes Out with Sports Advice

If all these magazines are going to relay ridiculous advice, could they at least get together first and be consistent in their totally arbitrary rules? While Cosmopolitan advised that female sports fans are unlikely to find male companionship, the September issue of Allure posits that a cursory knowledge of sports is Allure_Sept09_AmandaSeyfried mandatory. From “How to Be Stylish”:

You are not required to like sports. You are not even required to pretend to like sports. But utter cluelessness is beneath you.

To put this in perspective: Allure did not consider it beneath them to print a two-page spread with a dozen pictures of Michael Jackson and ask plastic surgeons (some of whom had apparently never treated Jackson) to speculate about the procedures he’d had. So knowing enough about MJ that it practically constitutes a HIPAA violation is cool, but not following the NBA is unforgivably churlish.

Also, while no text explains exactly why acquiring some sports knowledge is so important, the facing page features a photo of a couple canoodling in a baseball stadium. Subtle!

Familiarize yourself with the approximate beginning and end of the pro sports seasons. Not having an opinion about the Lakers’ record is fine; not knowing that the season is over is lame.

The same goes for time periods: Baseball has nine innings; football and basketball have four quarters; hockey has three periods; soccer has two halves.

And that's it! No need to worry about such unimportant details as field goals or free throws or anything that would give the impression you actually have the slightest command of any of these games. At least there's nothing here about, like, the Lakers wearing purple and gold…together.

Upsets are the most exciting thing about watching sports. Watch highlights of the most buzzed-about games on YouTube so you can join in the national conversation. (Just check out when the U.S. soccer team beat Spain in this year’s Confederations Cup.)

At last…an explanation! It’s the “national conversation.” Apparently, the country is also absorbed with walking in platforms and cheek-kissing, because those are two of the other life-and-death matters covered in this article. Can I assume GQ and Esquire are instructing their readers to bone up on those topics?

Deeming a lack of knowledge about sports is undignified seems just as arbitrary as declaring which colors of eyeshadow are in for fall. Why single out sports as an essential topic—especially when the only explanation comes in a picture of a couple getting cozy on a baseball diamond? If the idea is that some basic sports knowledge will help readers relate to men, they could at least be upfront about it. (And imagine the amazing conversations that would result from following this article’s advice: Him: “I love hockey.” Her: “I don’t like hockey, and I won’t pretend to like hockey, but Allure says that game has three periods! Now let me tell you how many innings a baseball game has!”)

Instead, Allure’s advice perpetuates the myth that women don’t like sports while simultaneously implying that a lack of interest or knowledge in the subject is a personal failure. I don’t know what game this is, but I don’t think Allure is playing fair.

Related: Cosmopolitan: Sports Fans, Prepare to Be Single Forever

3 thoughts on “Allure Strikes Out with Sports Advice

  1. I was really hoping that you might cover the “Skin Truths” article, which begins, I swear, “Doris Day, star of song and screen, sang ‘Que Sera, Sera” about her future, asking ‘Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?’ But really, wasn’t she the tiniest bit curious about signs of premature aging, or how to ward off a freckle-mottled chest?”

    WTF? Seriously, I can’t think of a more insulting intro to a skin-care article, even if they are quoting some NYC dermatologist named Doris Day. Weak.

  2. I’m a guy who’s not overly into mainstream sports and in general hates these stupid womens magazines.. from the ones I’ve read in the work break room, they have NO idea what any guy wants except the superficial idiots that women claim to not be interested in yet buy magazines telling them how to attract them – here’s an idea, be yourself and communicate with your partner… problem solved.

    Anyway, off topic there… but it seems that everyone is missing what I would consider to be the point here. Allure has missed the point yet for such a magazine is surprisingly close. In bashing their article one could say you’ve also missed the point.. but I suppose your point was to point out their lack of getting the point so I guess that works.

    What will really turn a guy off is not your lack of knowledge of sports – it will be your complete lack of interest in something that he is interested in. For instance.. my girlfriend enjoys making candles – so I now know the basics of candlemaking because naturally she talks about the things she is interested in and I in turn listen.

    If you’re not willing to share a partial interest in the things your partner likes then the relationship is going nowhere. All too often I’ve dated girls that expected me to listen to everything they had to say yet just tuned out if the conversation turned to my interests.

    That isn’t to say that you need to share every interest your partner does.. but if i was a big football fan I could date someone with no real sports interest, but I wouldn’t date someone who after a few months still didn’t know the game was played in halves… why? Not because she knows nothing about sports but because if I’m a big sports fan, I’m going to talk about it – not picking up a few things here and there shows that she’s not listening to me when I talk about something I’m very interested in – why would I want that relationship?

    A relationship is all about give and take, thats why it’s called a partnership.

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