I was 15 when I learned about girls by reading the problem pages of Jackie Magazine. It’s all-knowing agony aunts were mythical oracles Cathy and Claire.
I read Jackie on frosty paper rounds. Hunched in the hallway of Blueberry Apartments. And as the sun rose, so too did my eyebrows as I learned about periods, horrid boys, makeup and a seeming epidemic of one-boob-bigger-than-the-other.
I mention this with particular reference to ‘all knowing’. You see, I am not even sure Cathy or Claire were real. Scribbling sincerely at their little desks. Settling the unsettled. Inadvertently shaping the assumptions of curious young boys on paper rounds. And yet I read, digested and learned.
I read the work of similar oracles today. Writers of business books. Spouting about marketing, brand and the good old days of advertising. Some writers are interesting. Some are not. I have to be astute enough to work out which is which, and who has one-brain-bigger-than-the-other. Then work out how this influences me as an Associate Brand Director. Making the things that really matter about your business more interesting to those we need to engage.
And as I’m writing a book in 2024, I sometimes wonder whose perceptions I might be shaping in the future. If indeed I’m read at all. On frosty paper rounds. Hunched in hallways. Or indeed anywhere else.
Time will tell.