What if Women's Magazines Could Catalyze a Social Movement?
I remember standing in the Seattle airport, overwhelmed by a gigantic wall of women's magazines—all the same format, all electric colors, cluttered headlines, and one overarching message: YOU, woman, are not good enough.
This is the reality that my dear friend Kelli Redfield and I would have debates about right after college. We held the modern mold of "woman" up to the light and asked: is she who we really desire to be? Or is she tired, insecure, picked apart, stretched thin, Photoshopped away?
With all of our feminist "freedom," we still felt very much pressured by society and media through unattainable expectations to be very thin (but not too thin), be very sexy (but not slutty, of course), to pursue pleasure (but not be selfish), to be ambitious (but not aggressive), be as soft as a woman, (yet as tough as a man), sensitive (but not weak) … and so on. We were absorbing the toxic mixed messages while trying to stay afloat with positive body image and confidence. On top of this, we both were dealing with anxiety, depression, failed relationships, insecurity, etc. and knew we lacked healthy guidance and a voice of wisdom in our lives.
So we started talking … dreaming … talking—over months of coffee amongst ourselves and with friends about a new magazine for women, one that was more than a glossy face but rather a social movement; one that…
- Refuted the idea that "ordinary" women are always in need of adjustment, and that the female body is an object to be perfected.
- Didn't use Photoshop or present a barrage of messages about thinness and dieting.
- Fully represented all sizes, shapes and types of women.
- Gave tangible advice and valued character and a woman’s ability for influence locally and globally.
- Didn’t value celebrity gossip and overspending, but instead, meaningful conversation and generosity.
- Said women are more than their sexuality.
- Was always uplifting, always encouraging, speaking truth through love and correcting with gentleness.
- Called women to the same team and prompted them to drop out of the "competition" and embrace their true selves.
Above all, we wanted to use the same vehicle causing so much damage to change the landscape of media for good.
This is where Darling Magazine was born.
Since its inception, Darling has been spreading like wildfire, and we aren't stopping here.
Our ultimate goal?
For all women to feel beautiful in their own skin and worthy just as they are. To keep putting out an encouraging publication, but also expand into conferences for women (our first one happening June 2014!), curriculum for high schools, intentional dinners, short films and other resources to expand this message.
Darling is a social outcry for reform in our hearts, on our TV screens, in glossy pages, and in our face-to-face interactions. It’s a call for a revolution of renaissance—the art of being a woman. We believe in the power of the feminine spirit to evoke change in the world, and it starts with you and me.
Multiethnic group of women standing together image via Shutterstock
This Yoga-in-Schools Program Just Raised $31,000 in Crowdfunding R.I.S.E. introduces Bay Area teens to yoga, to help with self-image, grades, and other adolescent nightmares.
A New Olympics Just For Nomads Playing polo with a 100-pound goat carcass to save nomadic culture and build national pride in Kyrgyzstan.
New Detroit Program Trades Houses for Literary Excellence Write a House names Brooklyn poet Casey Rocheteau as first recipient of free home in Detroit
A Chance in Hell Yaks, America, and The Apocalypse Up against an $88 billion beef industry, it takes a leap of faith to raise yak in the United States.
Specialty Coffee Retailers Try to Prove They're Good to the Last Drop Searching for the perfect cup of sustainable and ethically produced joe. #NationalCoffeeDay
Metalhead Ballerinas Rock the U.K. Brutal Ballet slayed U.K. audiences last week with the debut of original choreography set to a metal cover of the Game of Thrones themesong.
You’re Now a Two-Minute Video Away from Getting into College
Goucher College will accept video applications in lieu of the traditional essays and test scores.
3 Epic Racial Profiling Blunders from History
Racial profiling not only harms innocent people of color, it can cause law enforcement to lose crucial time in pursuing the true criminals.
10 Overlooked Issues That People are Protesting This Week at the U.N.
The U.N. General Assembly is a magnet for protest from every race, color, and creed. Meet some of the people behind the picketing.
Why We Still Need the Nation State Overshadowed by international organizations, global commerce, and even individual cities, the nation state still has a vital role to play.
Flip-Flopping on Fats Health and sustainability concerns drive the two largest donut chains to change their policies on palm oil.
The Challenge of Branding a Life-Threatening Disease Can mitochondrial disease go mainstream? There are promising developments for mitochondrial disease in genetics and cellular therapies—now, if only it could get some buzz.