Introducing Reductress — It's Like The Onion For Women

Reductress-2Photo: Courtesy of Reductress
LadyBits is an ultra-cool collective of tech journalists who look at the world with smart, lady lenses. And since we're always in the market for the best stuff out there, we'll feature its know-how on the regular. Below, check out this LadyBits story, prepared especially for Refinery29.
Advertisement
Have you been yearning for a new shade of lipstick to empower your lips and fight off bullies? Have you hoped against hope that Oscar Mayer might at last release a bologna…just for her?
No?
Well, that’s okay. Reductress is here, like it or not. Launched on April 29, and already catching the attention of mainstream beauty brands, this is news bent on calling out the absurdity of empowerment through lip gloss and the less-than-applicable life advice of supermodels and actresses. This is satire from a distinctly female perspective.
Founders Sarah Pappalardo and Beth Newell are veterans of the New York comedy scene, but found that their punch lines often fell flat. It took a bit for them to realize the common denominator: Guys just didn’t have the context to find the same jokes funny.
The articles on Reductress, written by a team of 20 under the editorial ship of Newell and Pappalardo, run close enough to real news that many readers have been duped as to their reality. While most of the comments are filled with appreciative hilarity, their 6-year-old fashion blogger — written by a team of 20-somethings — has been seriously asked to consider being interviewed for a French style magazine.
Advertisement
“Obviously, we’re in it for the money,” replied Pappalardo when interviewed on the future plans for Reductress. Certainly an admirable goal, but what does success really look like? “Success looks like a green juice — it’s bright, colorful, picks you up in the morning, and is an excuse not to eat solid food. Does that answer your question?” Completely.
By poking fun at the media, Pappalardo and Newell make the media visible. The line between product and identity has been blurred more and more, tying self-realization to purchasing power. After all, what are all those advice articles really saying? “The Most Flattering Swimsuits for Your Crippling Self-Loathing” sets the record straight, tongue firmly pressed into cheek.
When The New York Times laudes a woman's beef stroganoff before her contributions to rocket science and a senator's latest pantsuit gets more airtime than her politics, the line between reality and the absurd is already blurred. Most of us are just so used to it, we don’t hear it any more. Some people — not just men — never notice it at all.
“This is a platform to comment on the absurdity of entertainment media, of blogger culture, and the media industry itself,” said Pappalardo. Scoffing at the sex tip reruns in Cosmo — the same ones, over and over, month after month, for 20 years — the founders noted there’s also a laziness to what women are being fed by the media. It’s obvious to the Reductress crew that there’s a demand for answers, for guidance. Why not point out the absurdity of our expert guides?
No, this isn’t a strictly female issue. However, as Pappalardo says, “It came down to the fact that women did not have one place to address the way media speaks to them,” said Pappalardo. “There just wasn’t a platform for it, and we knew that women had a lot of funny things to say.”
Advertisement
So far, Reductress has been run off spine and grit alone, producing articles certain to have you snorting your cosmo across the table. In case you’re more of a looker than a reader, it's adding a video series, kicking off with Julie Klausner and followed up by Janeane Garofalo.
With more content coming in, they’re looking at a full-site redesign. But they’re not interested in typical online advertising to fund their production, opting to crowdfund through Kickstarter instead. “Putting up crummy banner ads would really undermine what we’re doing,” Pappalardo said. That, and every company will have to think twice when they’re getting placement next to “Eating Raw and Other Ways to Pee Out of Your Butt.”
Obviously, you should try before you buy, but if you want more tips on how to make your name look less fat or advice on what not to do when you’re single — hint: go outside? uhhh, nope — check out their Kickstarter and land yourself a tit-flattering T-shirt, or even a poster of all eight ways to destroy a man’s penis.
Authored by Alexis Finch.
Advertisement

More from Politics

Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
What can you do to make the candidates first head-to-head battle as pleasant as possible? What is the secret to keep yourself smizing as you listen to the ...
The 2016 presidential election has been a captivating contest. If you feel like sometimes you can't look away, well, you're not alone. Even celebrities ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
In the social order of bonobos, females rule and develop cross-generational bonds to keep the males in check. A senior female takes charge, intervening ...
The first presidential debate is finally upon us. On Monday, our candidates for commander-in-chief will finally go head-to-head on issues that matter ...
1. World News: Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency after suffering its largest power outage since 1980.The outage left 1.5 million Puerto ...
Update: Protests continued in Charlotte as the populace called for the release of the tape of Keith Lamont Scott's killing. Mayor Jennifer Roberts ...
Update: Officer Betty Shelby, the policewoman who fatally shot Terence Crutcher last Friday, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, NBC News ...
Step aside, old-school political merch. We're way past bumper stickers and buttons. With the election just months away, people across the country are ...
Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Hillary Clinton from Funny Or Die Will Tim Kaine be president for nine months if Hillary Clinton gets pregnant? ...
Goodbye, paperwork printouts and lines at the DMV. Hello, registering while in line for coffee. Starting today, you can register to vote over text ...
1. Here At Home: No charges will be filed against police in the shooting death of Korryn Gaines. Korryn Gaines, 23, was shot and killed on August 1 ...
It happened again. This week, two Black men went from living, breathing human beings to hashtags. And yet, despite all I hear about hashtag activism, I'm...