Printed on the back of Darling Magazine is a promise. It begins with the publication’s mission to “be a catalyst for positive change,” ending with “women are not just here, but here for a purpose.” It’s a mantra clothed in the guise of a mission statement whose phrases, and the words in between, sum up Darling’s essence: the art of being a woman.
More coffee table tome than glossy fashion bible, Darling’s pages are filled with profiles and poems, introspection and hilarity – pieces written by real women about real women problems, with nary an artificially air-brushed model in sight. The publication’s features are divided into sections ranging from “The Dreamer” and “The Intellectual,” to “The Stylist” and “The Confidant” – all descriptions of individual women, or the distinct facets that combine to make a woman an individual.
Darling’s story began in 2009 in Los Angeles, CA when editor-in-chief Sarah Dubbeldam decided to create something more than just a typical print magazine. And maybe that’s Darling’s biggest calling card: defying the norms of celebrity, excess and perfection lauded in the majority of women’s magazines today, replacing them instead with authenticity, respect and a celebration of the aspects that make every woman unique.
That’s not to say the magazine is devoid of celebrity, fashion or general girliness. There are articles about style – they’re just about embracing your body, not striving for skinniness – romance – focused on a mutual sense of respect in relationships versus serial dating – and celebrity – honest accounts told by those in the spotlight, not inflated glamorization. But there are also pieces on women’s urge to have it all, combatting ego in relationships and dealing with depression and anxiety. Darling embraces all sides of the story, not just the pretty parts.
At $20 per quarterly issue, the price may compel you to pick up a more wallet-friendly tabloid in the checkout line. But what Darling lacks in economy it makes up for in content: encased within its pages are stories of beautifully authentic women daring to be nothing more or less than themselves. And that’s a promise Darling intends to keep.