A Note From The Editor: Seth Godin is known the world over for his astute marketing and business advice, and we find his writing so rich not just because he’s smart, but also because he has a way of tapping into cultural cues that better help us connect with society, and thus, create better products and provide better services. When we read one of his latest articles, we knew we had to share it with our audience, here. This short entry from his mailing list hits on why we are so passionate about what we do at Darling. We want all women to find their voice. We want all women to realize the lie that says “you are not enough” and to begin to take back the confidence that Photoshop and advertising have slowly won away. Read it and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Stop for a minute to consider those magazines that stack up like firewood at the doctor’s office, or that beckon you from the high-priced newsstand before you get on the airplane. The celebrity/gossip/self-improvement category.

All the airbrushed pretty people, the replaceable celebrities and near celebrities. The mass-market fad diets, the conventional stories, the sameness tailored for a mass audience.

It’s pretty seductive. If you can just fit in the way all these magazines are pushing you to fit in, then you’ll be okay, alright, and beyond criticism. Boys and girls should act like this, dress like this, talk like this. Even the outliers are outliers in tried and true, conventional ways.

The headlines are interchangeable. So are the photos and the celebrities, the stories and the escapades and the promises.

Magazines believe they have to produce this cultural lighthouse in order to sell ads — there are advertisers that want average readers in order to sell them their average products. But this doesn’t have to be you. These aren’t cultural norms, they’re merely a odd sub-universe, a costume party for people unwilling to find their own voice.

PS. We’re also excited to share that a feature with Seth will run in this winter’s Darling Issue No. 14! 

What would you like to see change in mainstream magazines?

Image via Ryan Page for Darling Issue No. 8. See “Quick Fixes, Easy Tricks” on page 82 for more on this topic of women’s magazines.


  1. Love this writting! I never much liked those mainstream magazines that tell you how to look, behave, smell, wear, etc etc. Mostly because my self-esteem then would be low low. I sometimes flick through them when my mother brings them home, but mostly I like magazines which cover art, history, culture, new recipes (huge food lover), travel insights.
    The reason I love Darling is you don’t retouch the women, the stories are philosophical, insightful (is that a word?), deep and beautiful. They are not shallow. Thank you Darling!

  2. First of all, I love Seth Godin’s insights! In response to the question on IG, the only magazine I read is Seattle Met, which is a local magazine with articles about the city and things to do, etc. Other than that I pretty much stick to blogs for things that back in the day I definitely used to look at magazines for. Blogs are so much more specific and personal. I think that would be what I would want to see differently in mainstream magazines as well.

  3. I love this! The fact is, Darling is unique and all the better because the mainstream magazine world exists. If we didn’t have that we wouldn’t appreciate the mission of Darling as fully. Granted, it would be amazing to have a world full of people and media which support a true picture of men and women, but I don’t think that will ever be. All we can do, as Seth says, is not allow that to be us.

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