Once upon a time I worked at a magazine called CLEO. I moved from Essentials where a coverline would have read something like “50 new hairstyles” to CLEO with a coverline like “10 new ways to give head”. It was like moving from sensible to sexy and sassy, and the two years of working there were full of challenges, laughs, trying to think up dozens of new sex coverlines each month, and some of my best working days ever.
It was announced this week that CLEO is closing, and it breaks my heart that it will no longer be, not only because I worked there, but because it was a great product that had a voice and style different to the rest. I am sad that it wasn’t given the legs to surge ahead as it deserved, and I’m sad for the team who made up the magic.
In the two years I was there, I:
– Edited around 24 sealed sex sections without blushing
– Spoke lines regularly with my teammates from The Devil Wears Prada. That’s all
– Accumulated lots of beauty swag
– Had one of the best nights ever at the second CLEO Bachelor awards
– Learnt how to really be an editor
– Went to Australia to meet the team there and learn more about the brand
– Was pregnant with you Max. You’re pretty much a CLEO baby, and I used to joke that I’d be entering you into CLEO Bachelors 2030. As I grew at CLEO, so did you, and many Cokes and Niknaks were consumed at my desk to ease my morning sickness
– Tried out some fun stuff for the sake of “research” – a five-star hotel, Botox, being an extra on Isidingo, getting fit with a Wii, finding a Prada bag for R10
– Learnt how to apply eyeliner with one hand
– Loved going to work each day
– Learnt from a team who showed commitment and work ethic and talent and the ability to work like stars even with the occasional hangover
– Realised that someone does make better baked cheesecake than me. After about a week at work, I challenged our art director Tiaan to a cheesecake bake-off. And I lost. By one vote
So many glossy pages and so much learning and fun in two years. That’s all.
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