A Note From The Editor: We are very aware that the words we publish in this space and in our print issues have power. Even more so, we’re in awe of how your words, our dear Darling readers, keep us encouraged and motivated in the mission to redefine what true beauty looks like — in the media and in culture — so that all women everywhere can feel known, loved, whole and worthy. We want to start sharing these words with you as well, because YOU are the real voice and agent of change. 

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From Darling reader Caroline Pullen:

Within the past year, I remember scrolling through my Instagram and liking a pretty photo of a cup of tea sitting on top of a Darling Magazine with some fresh flowers next to it. I remember thinking, ‘hmm, that looks lovely & I’d like to be in that moment.’ It planted a little seed in me, wondering what Darling Magazine was? It had a nice ring to it. I never saw it in the grocery store checkout lines that I’m aware of, nor Barnes & Nobles or little news stands at airports where you stock-up on junk magazines before boarding your flight.

As fate would have it, I found a copy of Darling Magazine stacked neatly on a coffee table in Anthropologie, where I work part-time. Of course, the magazine cover was a photograph of San Francisco, so it’s not like I really even had a choice at that point whether to buy it or not – I had to. 

My first impression was that it was going to be just another female focused magazine; although it might contain some good articles here and there, the overarching message would be most likely be one of unattainable beauty, overly photoshopped images, unaffordable wardrobes and glitzy glam lifestyles that cause you to finish the last page of the magazine and feel a little less qualified and a little more like you don’t measure up.

I have never been so pleasantly wrong and surprised at the same time. Darling Magazine challenges all of the typical things I just described in the paragraph above. The thick pages are artfully filled with wisdom, imperfections, honesty and beauty in all shapes, sizes, voices and ages. There weren’t 2 or 3 good articles — the entire thing was full of stories, photography, poetry, literature and thoughts that I wanted to read, re-read and then read to my mom, sister and girlfriends, and heck – any female that would listen.

Remember in English class in middle school we were told to “annotate” the novels we were assigned to read to keep ongoing notes and highlight quotes, etc.? Well, I do that with Darling Magazine. It was like the little girl in me came right back — I whipped out all my highlighters like I was back in 7th grade and wrote all over the magazine in different colors, dog-earring pages, underlining quotes – wanting to rip out others and put them on my bulletin board, but I fought the urge because the magazine is art, and you can’t rip up a piece of artwork.

The voices behind the Darling Magazine, or rather the Darling Movement, want to, “Build and strengthen the art of being a woman. Creating beauty. Embodying love. Original, exceptional and here for a purpose.”

And if reading that wasn’t enough, I want to type it out, because I want to see these beautiful words of truth written on this blank page in my blog and I want it to sink in.

Darling is… the art of being a woman. Darling Magazine holds the modern mold of woman up to the fire to evoke a discussion on femininity and re-shape an authentic design. Darling is a catalyst for positive change; leading women to discover beauty apart from vanity, influence apart from manipulation, style apart from materialism, sweetness apart from passivity, and womanhood without degradation. Darling leads women to practice the arts of virtue, wit, modest and wisdom – all the while creating beauty and embodying love. Darling says women are not only interesting, but original. Not only good enough, but exceptional. Not just here, but here for a purpose.

Since I bought the San Francisco issue a month or so ago, I’ve been working my way through it little by little in the evenings and am nearing the end. It will be bitter sweet to finish it – bitter because I don’t want some of these stories to fade in my mind, but also sweet because there’s another issue I have to look forward to.

As I’ve often mentioned, I love to read, but I find it hard to make time for it. If you’re anything like me and feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to squeeze in some meaningful reading and instead, settle for mindless TV, I wholeheartedly encourage you to buy a copy of Darling Magazine. It is the first of its kind – like a magazine meets a novel. You’ll be doing your self-esteem, mind and heart a great big favor. Better yet, buy 2 copies and give one to another female in your life.

I hope you enjoy reading Darling Magazine, eating up all the words on the pages, feeling empowered and reminded that you are not just here, but here for a purpose.

Thank you, Caroline, and all other “Carolines” out there. Thank you for supporting and sharing your words with us. We absolutely love hearing from you.

Image via Caroline Pullen’s blog, Project 22

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