A few years back, during my last semester of college, I discovered a women's magazine that didn't adhere to what modern society deems the "norm." On the front cover, instead of a scantily clad supermodel, was a girl who looked like me—wearing a sundress and riding a bicycle, with a giant smile on her face. Within its pages, instead of "Ten Sex Tips to Please Your Man" or "Lose Five Pounds with This Fat Blasting Workout," I found uplifting stories and insightful articles written by both men and women whose mission was clear: to inspire women to be the best versions of themselves. Verily Magazine was unique in its celebration of real, un-photoshopped women, as well as in its motto: "less of who you should be, more of who you are."
Which is why, only a few months later, when I learned that Verily was no longer being printed, I was crestfallen. If this relatable and empowering publication couldn't survive, was there any hope for a different type of women's magazine to thrive?
Two years later, I (finally) stumbled upon the website of Darling Magazine, a quarterly publication that was first printed in 2012 and whose mission statement closely resembles that of Verily's. Out of curiosity and excitement, I ordered their Winter 2015 issue.
I received the 174-page ad-free magazine in the mail on Wednesday, and nearly squealed as I ran my fingers along the fancily-embossed logo. It was even better than I expected. Besides being just plain beautiful, the book itself is a collection of art in its many forms: mesmerizing photography, meaningful pieces of journalism, and a clean, minimalist design combined with snippets of poetry and scattered illustrations, divided into sections by persona: the dreamer, the intellectual, the achiever, the confidant, the stylist, the beautician, the explorer, and the hostess. The timeless and utterly feminine aesthetic sent my heart aflutter. If Audrey Hepburn started a magazine, says the creators, it would be Darling.
And if you're anything like me (a sucker for all things lovely), you'll want Darling on your coffee table this holiday season. It would also make a thoughtful Christmas gift for a best friend or sister! Click here to subscribe or browse their shop.
I have yet to sit down and indulge in a few uninterrupted hours of reading, but I'm carrying the magazine with me wherever I go, just in case life offers me a little bit of down time. I guess you could say I'm a little obsessed.