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Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger
Former editors Cynthia (Cindi) Leive
Categories Women, Health
Frequency Monthly
Total circulation
First issue January 1979
Company Condé Nast Publications
Country United States
Language English

Self magazine is an American magazine for women that specializes in health, fitness, nutrition, beauty and happiness. Published by Condé Nast Publications 12 times a year, it has a circulation of 1,486,992 and a total audience of 5,541,000 readers, according to its corporate media kit.[1] The editor-in-chief is Lucy Danziger. The vice president and publisher is Kim Kelleher. Self is based at Condé Nast Publications' U.S. headquarters at 4 Times Square 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.[2] The Self Challenge is a three-month program that encourages women to achieve their weight loss goals by committing to a healthy lifestyle for 12 weeks.



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:

An extraordinary spirit and energy are emerging in women today. Fitness is the fuel. We have acquired a strong appetite for the full experience of life—the exhilaration of the outdoors, the challenge and success of professional work, the honest enjoyment of sex. Self will be a guide to the vitality we need to do all the things we want to do.

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.[3] However by 1986, the newsstand 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. [4] “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. [5]


  • Lucy Danziger (June 2001-present) [6]
  • Cynthia (Cindi) Leive (August 1999-May 2001)[7]
  • Rochelle Udell (September 1995-June 1999)[8]
  • Alexandra Penney (August 1989-September 1995)[9]
  • Anthea Disney (July 1988-August 1989)
  • Valorie (Victoria) Griffith Weaver (January 1987-April 1988)
  • Phyllis Starr Wilson (1979-January 1987)


  1. ^ [1] Self Magazine Media Kit, September, 2007. Accessed May 2, 2008.
  2. ^ [2] American Society of Magazine Editors, March 19, 2008. Accessed May 1, 2008.
  3. ^ [3] Dougherty, Philip. "Advertising; addendum," New York Times, April 3, 1984. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  4. ^ [4] Blau, Eleanor. "Self Magazine's Editor in Chief Resigns," New York Times, August 22, 1989. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  5. ^ [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.
  6. ^ [6] Barron, James. ""Boldface Names." New York Times [[June 7], 2001. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  7. ^ [7] Finkel, Rebecca. "Leive joins Self magazine as is new editor in chief. Media Life Magazine. [[July], 1999. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  8. ^ [8] "Editor in Chief of Self Magazine Quits., New York Times, [[June 23], 1999. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  9. ^ [9] "Self Magazine Editor Named.", New York Times, September 12, 1995. Accessed April 28, 2008.

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