GL turns 20: An open letter from Bill and Dave
An open letter to our readers:
BILL: We’ve answered lots of questions from you over the years, and we’re continually reminded that, despite our best efforts, there’s still a huge gap in what girls know about guys. Guys and girls are like mobile phones with different operating systems. We can both do the same thing, but we usually do them in a different way. That’s OK, though. In fact, the difference between guys and girls is a lot of what makes life interesting.
If I had to boil the difference down to one thing, one piece of advice that will keep you from tearing your finely coiffed and lovingly brushed hair out, it would be this: Guys like to be heroes. We may be clueless. We may be a little dumb. We may be completely unaware of a conversation going on in front of us, or the latest fashion trend, or even what color your eyes are, but we truly want to be the knight on the white horse.
This can be tough for girls because sometimes you just can’t wait for a guy to come up with the obvious answer. You’ll ask us if you look fat in this dress. Obviously, we’re not supposed to answer that. But we’re guys. We don’t know that stuff. You ask if we have any ideas for a date. We might be good at coming up with something the first time or two, but after that, we need your help. Ever want to understand the mind of a guy? Throw a ball down the street and watch how many guys chase it. Most guys will. Not much different than a well-trained pet.
But when the chips are down; when you need someone to tell you it will be OK; when you think that no one cares about you, or everyone is laughing at you, or you don’t know how on earth you’re going to get that homework assignment done—that’s when a guy comes in handy. We like challenges. We like problems. We like to be the hero. And though it may not always seem like it, we like you, too. We need a companion with a different operating system. That way, together, we’ve got everything covered.
DAVE: First off…wow, 20 years! Big congrats to the whole Girls’ Life team. It’s no secret that the lifespan for a magazine these days is shorter than Jennifer Lawrence’s hair, so this is a major achievement. It’s a tribute that GL has prospered for so long while maintaining such high standards.
Over the years, as y’all asked great question after great question, I always had an answer. But I’m at a loss for words for this column. It’s been you who’s inspired Bill and me to be introspective, think harder, go a little deeper into the motivations behind our actions. We guys certainly have plenty of room for improvement and you’re always keeping us in line, making us better, well, guys.
Girls’ Life readers teach me a thing or two with each issue and, on this anniversary, I reflected back on moments when the magazine inspired us to see the best in everyone.
A little while ago, I was involved in putting together a GL photo shoot. The girls were from very different backgrounds, from financially disadvantaged to physically handicapped, even the daughter of a superstar athlete. The genius of the feature was that the girls were all professionally shot in the same, simple white T-shirt-and-jeans outfit. Each and every one looked fabulous—however, the photos were not captioned. The reader was tasked with matching those great faces with their incredibly diverse bios.
This was not a fluff piece. But it wasn’t surprising that Girls’ Life went there as the magazine always champions diversity, featuring girls of all different shapes, sizes and colors.
That amazingly educational piece of journalism affirmed to me that Girls’ Life was in it for the right reasons and for the long haul. I’m glad Bill and I could be a part of it. We look forward to the next 20 years.