Andie Rutland was browsing the newsstand at Barnes & Noble in Omaha, Neb., when a rare image caught her eye. It was Sally Field on the cover of More magazine, very attractive in a scoop-neck shirt but, at 53, also very unlike the twentysomething models on many of the other covers on the rack. "It just really struck me that the person on the cover was a mature person," she says. "It fit me and where I am at this point in my life."
Where Rutland is at this point in her life--49 with grown children, money to spend and visions of a full life ahead of her--is the same point being reached by an unprecedented number of magazine readers. As the baby-boom generation rumbles toward retirement age, publishers are scrambling to follow it. Titles like Rolling Stone and Ramparts, founded to document the boomers' rebellious youth, long ago yielded coffee-table space to Money and Parenting, with their grownup concerns. Now at least two new magazines--Meredith Corp.'s More and AARP's My Generation--claim they have figured out what's next on the mind of the 50-plus generation.
While My Generation, launched in February 2001, casts a net for everyone 44 to 55, More aims specifically at affluent, educated women, 40 to 60. "Most magazines have a primary baby-boomer audience," says More's editor in chief, Myrna Blyth, 62, who holds the same title at Meredith's Ladies' Home Journal. "What makes More different is that we reflect, report and celebrate this woman on every page." In fact, almost the only criticism you'll find in the More letters column comes from women who think models like Christie Brinkley, 47, are too girlish to be featured in the magazine.
More takes the traditional women's magazine recipe of celebrities, health, beauty and fashion, seasons it with travel and investment tips and ages it 20 years. Recent issues have investigated an upward spiral in age-discrimination suits, explored Vietnam War memories from the perspective of a veteran's wife and profiled Linda Fairstein, 54, a New York City sex-crime prosecutor who writes mystery novels.
If More is Cosmopolitan all grown up, My Generation is the younger sibling of Modern Maturity. The AARP, which tries to recruit everyone over 49, struggled for years to make its membership magazine appeal to the 50-year-old corporate executive as well as the 85-year-old pensioner, says publisher Jim Fishman, 61. "Instead of trying to be all things to all people, we decided to launch a new magazine for the younger portion of our readership."
It's not so much their years that separate boomers from other AARP members, Fishman says. It's attitude. Born in a time of affluence, highly educated and accustomed to rebellion, boomers take it for granted they will reshape the world to fit their needs. "If they think of retirement at all, they think of it as the next phase in their lives rather than stopping." Though My Generation editor in chief Betsy Carter, 56, says the magazine has no formula, most covers feature graying celebrities like Jeff Bridges, 51, and Sissy Spacek, 52. September's issue offered suggestions on how to tell your kids not to take the drugs you did yourself. December's looked at once violent Weather Underground members who came out of hiding in the 1980s to lead middle-class lives.