Self (magazine)

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Self magazine cover.png
Editor-in-Chief Joyce Chang
Former editors Lucy Danziger
Categories Women, health
Frequency Monthly
Publisher Condé Nast
Total circulation
(December 2012)
First issue January 1979
Company Advance Publications
Country United States
Language English
ISSN 0149-0699

Self magazine is an American magazine for women that specializes in health, wellness, beauty, and style for the woman who wants to achieve her personal best in all aspects of her life. Published by Condé Nast 12 times a year, it has a circulation of 1,515,880 and a total audience of 5,282,000 readers, according to its corporate media kit.[2] The editor-in-chief is Joyce Chang. The vice president and publisher is Mary Murko. Self is based at Condé Nasts' U.S. headquarters at 1 World Trade Center in New York, NY. Self was nominated in 2008 for a National Magazine Award (ASME) in the "personal service online" category for their annual Self Challenge, an interactive program that allows readers to log their workouts and watch videos, record their meals using an online nutrition diary, share recipes and tips and communicate with the online community as they track their progress.[3] T


Self was founded in January 1979 by Phyllis Starr Wilson, who served as the editor-in-chief for the publication until January 1987, when she was named the founding editor. At its inception, the magazine began with many of the same philosophies it retains today, including health, fitness, nutrition, beauty and happiness, although the categories then were not as specifically named in the magazine. In her opening remarks in the first issue, Wilson wrote the following to the readers:

In 1979, cost of the magazine was $1.50 an issue or $10 for a one-year subscription. By 1983, the circulation for Self reached one million readers with its September issue.[4] However by 1986, the news-stand sales were stagnant. This may have been because other mainstream women’s magazines also began adding sections about health and fitness, so Self needed to redefine itself on the market. In January 1987, when Wilson became the founding editor, Valorie (Victoria) Griffith Weaver took over as editor-in-chief, but resigned within a year.

In July 1988, Anthea Disney took the position of editor-in-chief and made it her goal to refresh the magazine’s image. In the one year she held that position, she reworked the content by seeking out renowned authors such as Ann Hood, Susan Allen Toth, Alice Adams, Helen Mohr and Elizabeth Benedict to supply the magazine with fresher content with a higher degree of journalistic integrity. She revised their cover strategy by replacing airbrushed models with more natural-looking pictures of women in everyday surroundings. It was also at this time when the colors of teal and magenta were adopted for the magazine.[5] “We deliberately chose colors not being used on other magazines,” Disney had said in a New York Times article. Between 1986 and 1989, the newsstand sales increased by 3 percent and the subscriptions increased by 22 percent.[6]

In the April 2014 edition (released in March), Self Magazine published a story mocking marathon runners wearing tutus. The runner in the associated picture was in fact a brain cancer survivor and was running for charity.[7] After news of the offense spread online, the magazine made an apology.[8]


Editor-in-Chief Joyce Chang was named Editor-in-Chief of Self, in April 2014. Previously, Ms. Chang served as executive editor of Cosmopolitan. Prior to that, she was executive editor at Marie Claire and has held editorial roles at People StyleWatch, People Magazine, Lucky, The New York Times Magazine and Allure. She graduated from Princeton University and received her masters from Columbia's School of Journalism.


  1. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Alliance for Audited Media. December 31, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ [1] Self Magazine Media Kit, January 2013. Accessed May 2, 2008.
  3. ^ [2] American Society of Magazine Editors, March 19, 2008. Accessed May 1, 2008.
  4. ^ [3] Dougherty, Philip. "Advertising; addendum," New York Times, April 3, 1984. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  5. ^ [4] Blau, Eleanor. "Self Magazine's Editor in Chief Resigns," New York Times, August 22, 1989. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  6. ^ [5] "What's new in magazine redesign; concocting a formula of paper, type and colors," New York Times, January 1, 1989. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  7. ^ [6]"Magazine Makes Fun of Cancer Survivor's Tutu", NBC San Diego News, Accessed March 27, 2014.
  8. ^ [7]"‘SELF’ Magazine Editor Apologizes to Tutu-Wearing Cancer Survivor", NBC San Diego News, Access March 27, 2014.
  9. ^ Steigrad, Alexandra (3 April 2014). "Lucy Danziger Out at Self". WWD. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  10. ^ [8] Barron, James. ""Boldface Names." New York Times June 7, 2001. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  11. ^ [9] Finkel, Rebecca. "Leive joins Self magazine as is new editor in chief. Media Life Magazine. July 1999. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  12. ^ [10] "Editor in Chief of Self Magazine Quits., New York Times, June 23, 1999. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  13. ^ [11] "Self Magazine Editor Named.", New York Times, September 12, 1995. Accessed April 28, 2008.

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