You know her: she’s always on-trend (but totally unique!) and is just trying to Have It All, whether that means starting on a new juice cleanse or discovering more creative ways to use food during sex. Yep, she’s the Target Female Consumer as imagined by women’s magazines and advertising companies, and she’s basically your BFF if your BFF were an insane robot. Herein lies the genius of Reductress, a fake news website that satirizes women-focused media. What The Onion is to traditional news, Reductress is to that always upbeat, always patronizing voice that’s omnipresent in everything from supermarket glossies to Diet Coke ads.
Since launching last April, Reductress has given us hilarious articles like “The Four Cutest Ways to Photograph Yourself Hugging Third-World Children,” “Summer Looks We Love For Over $1,000” and “Beauty Tips From Mean Gay Guys” that mock the blatant consumerism and completely inadvisable “advice” found in an unfortunate amount of today’s literature directed at women. Founders Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, who met doing sketch comedy at the Magnet Theater, already had careers being funny: Beth interned at The Onion, contributed to McSweeney’s, and directed, performed and taught sketch comedy; Sarah wrote plays and essays and continues to work as a digital strategy consultant.
The future doesn’t look too bad for them. “We’re looking forward to our redesign in March and are hoping to add more video content to the site,”
Newell says.“We’ve gotten some press from publications and blogs we really respect in the past nine months,” Pappalardo adds. “We also get some weird, angry emails from people who think our articles are real.” We’d like a copy of those, please.