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'MEL,' The Men's Lifestyle Magazine, Stopped Publishing This Week

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Whether GQ or Esquire or Playboy, magazines marketed to men often take a certain approach. Mel Magazine was different.

ALANA HOPE LEVINSON: What are the things that men we know think about at night? It's not that they don't have the nicest suit. It's not what kind of whiskey they're going to drink. It's their relationships with other people. It's their careers, their family. Are they showing up?

CORNISH: That's Alana Hope Levinson, former deputy editor at Mel. She and other staffers were laid off this week by parent company Dollar Shave Club.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Yes, Dollar Shave Club is a razor and toiletries subscription service, which launched an independent publication questioning what it means to be masculine. Josh Schollmeyer was editor-in-chief and co-founded Mel in 2015.

JOSH SCHOLLMEYER: I wanted to have every kind of viewpoint in masculinity. So, you know, queer voices were really important to me, trans voices, I think in the early days, especially female voices.

CORNISH: From a woman who fell in love with an ISIS fighter to the curvature of Pringles, Mel had few limits on what it would cover. Zaron Burnett was a contributing editor.

ZARON BURNETT: One of the first pieces I wrote for Mel was called "How Do You Tell A Dead Man That You Love Him?" And it was about a friend of mine who died, and they wanted me to reach deeper into my feelings about what it means to love a man. And that piece - people still reach out to me about it.

SCHOLLMEYER: You can still be a tough guy, super-masculine, and embrace a lot of things that are outside of the box in order to help square some of the things that you're feeling.

SHAPIRO: On Wednesday, Josh Schollmeyer announced Mel Magazine would stop publishing.

(SOUNDBITE OF BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT SONG, "EVERYBODY DAYLIGHT") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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