The last few days I began a digital fast (yes, off all electronics and social media—and survived!) and ended up spending more time than planned on discovering a magazine that’s redefining women’s cultural parameters—or, better yet, reflecting the extraordinary ripples of change that are already surging in society.
I stumbled across the retro-appeal of Darling Magazine on Instagram, ordered a couple of back-issues that arrived last week, and now I am mesmerized by the broader implications.
It’s a tide that’s been washing in for a while. With movements like Sacred Beauty Salon Series (coming up again soon!) and dedicated days like Embody Beauty Retreat, women are reclaiming our birthright to beauty and awakened self-hood that’s causing us to revisit existing norms—objectification, distorted expectations, stale beauty language (see this)—and redefine them on new terms.
What came through immediately on flipping through the magazine is that the wave is gathering momentum. Rather than treading on a well-worn feminist platform, Darling is curating one of its own.
That’s not to say that feminism doesn’t have a necessary role in empowering women. It absolutely does and I am grateful for it. But the 21st century voice appears to be evolving into a kinder, gentler, more feminine version that embraces the many facets of a woman and her role within society, as well as in relationship with herself.Notably absent from the photo-candy filled pages are ads of any kind, product promos, cleavage, retouched, flawless images (these models are refreshingly real!), or trite headings with barely disguised SEO bait.
While Elle, Allure, Cosmo, or Vogue have not entered my home in years, Darling Magazine can easily settle on my coffee table in good company with Thoughtfully Mag and in plain sight of my kids without me worrying that they’ll see something out of sync with our lifestyle principles and beauty priorities.
What I find immensely evocative about Darling is the mission statement printed on the back of every edition. It elicited a soul-deep sigh of “yes, this is what I have been waiting for without even knowing it” and gave me chills.
The words stirred me and unsettled me because I knew that I wanted to be part of its manifestation. It’s a message that begs spreading over and over again. So here it is. I’d love to hear your thoughts and to find out if you are moved by these five sentences too.
What are your impressions of Darling Magazine? Are you sensing the shifting tides too?