Yesterday, I had the great fortune to attend a seminar called: The Impact of Image. I’m sure I’ll write more later, since it has sparked a lot of reflection on my part, but I wanted to share a particular highlight with you all and that was: meeting Janet Sahm, the co-founder and Style Editor of Verily Magazine.
Verily is a new kind of women’s magazine: one that celebrates the best of who you are. We feature fashion that is worthy of the woman, relationship articles that go beyond sex tips, and strong cultural and lifestyle journalism. Verily is the modern woman’s go-to guide on how to lead a fulfilling, integrated life.
This magazine is, quite simply put, stunning– and I mean that on a surface-level *and* at a much deeper speaks-to-the-heart-of-what-women-really-want-and-need level. Let me explain:
First of all, Verily has a no Photoshop policy.
You read that correctly. NO PHOTOSHOP POLICY.
From the website:
Whereas other magazines photoshop to achieve the “ideal” body type or leave a maximum of three wrinkles, we never alter the body or face structure of our models with Photoshop. We firmly believe that the unique features of women — be it crows feet, freckles, or a less-than-rock-hard body — contribute to their beauty and therefore don’t need to be removed or changed.
Let’s see what a non-photoshopped model in a swimsuit looks like in their magazine:
I LOVE THIS! Let’s start with the *adorable* swimsuits. Janet Sahm confided that after this issue launched, however, it wasn’t the great fashion that elicited responses from readers. Rather, she received the most fan-mail saying how refreshing and beautiful it was to see moles and freckles on the models– women really responded to the preservation of natural beauty. I have to agree. Finally, let’s look at the body position: they are talking. Relaxing in the sun. Hanging out in their swimsuits at the beach. They are not posing Sports Illustrated-style to show off their cleavage and rock-hard glutes. The model on the right isn’t even facing you! Yet she looks great. And I totally want to buy her swimsuit.
Verily is all about celebrating “authentic” womanhood and “authentic” beauty– not the fake, photoshopped, objectified ‘beauty’ one usually plucks from the magazine rack. They offer real relationship advice (a recent article was about supporting friends who have had miscarriages) as opposed to just relying on “sex tips.” To top it off, all of the clothing they feature is carefully selected to highlight the beauty of the ENTIRE female body, as opposed to focusing merely on something like breasts. SO refreshing.
Plus, Janet assured us that never ever ever ever in their fashion spreads and articles will you read the word “modesty.” It’s all about showing vs. telling. In a world where women are exposed to 5000+ media images daily, it’s important to have a magazine that is committed to helping women feel and look beautiful, inside and out. No negative messages telling you that you “should do this” or “need to learn that” or “have to wear this.” I love it.
And if you love it, too, *please* visit their website, like them on Facebook, and sign up for emails. They launched last year with a bi-monthly magazine, however due to low subscription rates they have had to temporarily suspend their print edition. The more people who know about them and stand behind their message, the better. And although the women who spear-headed the project are Catholic, Janet spoke strongly saying, “Verily is a secular magazine because all women, regardless of faith, want to be beautiful and want to be loved. This is a good desire and should be encouraged and nurtured.”
I, for one, am excited at the prospect of having a magazine that I can leave around the house for my little girls to see. I want to fill their head with media images of healthy, natural, beautiful women as I am also trying to model that for them in my own style and way of life.
So, what do you think?
Would you subscribe? Would you recommend it to friends?
Do you think this is a need that our culture will respond to? Or will it fall on deaf ears?
Oh– and in case you’re curious, this is what Janet looks like:
Isn’t she gorgeous?! Truly a woman to be admired for her beauty, inside and out.