The Launch of the Body Positive Magazine VERILY and Other Female-Centric Indie Publications

Posted by on October 16, 2013

It’s not always easy being unapologetically proud of your body, especially when that body is not the ideal. However, my body is and always will be secondary to my self-esteem because I am not reliant on a small waist-line or jiggle-free thighs to feel good about myself.

There are so many outlets that tell women that they’re not good enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, or even worse, that they’re too smart, too funny, too confident. You have to perfectly straddle the fence between slut and saint, brainiac and bimbo, to be appreciated as the ideal, and that’s just where our personalities are concerned.

The battle against a woman’s appearance is even more alarming and unattainable, especially when you add in the overwhelming prevalence of photoshop.

Photoshopped image

Congratulations, not even Jessica Alba looks like Jessica Alba. FYI, this would be rated as an ‘under 30 percent’ alteration job. Via: The Collective

Some statistics for you: 100 percent of all images in fashion magazines have been digitally retouched. 100 percent. Every single image that your eyes fall on in a fashion magazine has been changed with computers (and maybe magic) to look better than the real-life version.

Although, only 94 percent of all print advertisements undergo more than 20 percent “significant alterations,” so…there’s that, I guess? However, when you’re considering that beauty and cosmetic companies digitally enhance a model’s eyelashes, for example, when marketing mascara, and then call that under 20 percent alteration, that is still tantamount to lying to the consumer.

Enter: Verily Magazine, a newly launched fashion and lifestyle magazine for women ages 18-35 with an absolutely no photoshopping policy. Verily (which is a synonym for “truly”) is a magazine with a devotion to living life authentically.

Verily magazine

It can actually be done. Credit: Verily Magazine

Ashley Crouch, a contributing editor and Verily’s PR manager, said in an interview with the Huffington Post that the editors of the magazine believe that, “The unique features of women, whether crow’s feet, freckles, or a less-than-rock-hard body, are aspects that contribute to women’s beauty and should be celebrated — not shamed, changed, or removed.”

They even had a “Runway to Realway” feature in their inaugural issue, in which they turned to social media to find nominations for their “real” models, who are actually publicists, writers, advertising assistants, and sales associates. The feature shows runway examples of designer works and then gives examples of how these everyday women chose to style the same looks. It’s really quite wonderful both in concept and in execution.

If you want to start reading and endorsing independent media outlets that will give you, your sisters, friends, and daughters a better outlook on their bodies and on their lives, I recommend a subscription to Verily and some of my other favorite body positive publications:

Rookie puts out a yearly print yearbook in addition to their online content/

Rookie puts out a yearly print yearbook in addition to their online content/

1. Bust Magazine is a well-known feminist publication that’s been around since the ’90s. It’s published bimonthly and covers news, crafts, art, sex, and fashion from an indie perspective.  It also covers some plus-size fashion news every now and then, and well-known plus-size blogger Nicolette Mason wrote a lovely, long feature in August about the fashion world’s conspiracy against the plus-size woman.

2. A somewhat new venture (Issue #6 ships in December), the magazine Darling makes the discussion of modern femininity the focus of their publication. The founders were sick of the concept that the female body is an object to be perfected, so they created Darling as an alternative lifestyle, fashion, and beauty publication for women who want to see only beauty in themselves and others.

3. For the teenage girls, or those of us who are still in a state of arrested development, Rookie is an online magazine created by the fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson in 2010. It publishes fashion, DIY crafts, art, and literature, and the topics range from celebrity gossip to social justice issues. The issues usually have a theme and it publishes updates five days a week. Gevinson is only 17, but her blog “Style Rookie” had achieved enough success that Jane Pratt, the founding editor of Sassy, noticed her and helped launch Rookie. Pratt now has no official role in the magazine and instead serves as a “fairy godmother,” according to the New York Times article “How Sassy is Tavi Gevinson?Rookie deals with issues ranging from the effect of the male gaze to the strong feminist tones of The Golden Girls. Gevinson and the Rookie crew also curate print “yearbooks” of the best articles, art, and commentary which are available for purchase on their website.

Do you have a favorite body positive magazine that isn’t on my list? Let me know in the comments… I’d love to check it out!

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