Magazines are everywhere, from big box retailers and corner stores to pharmacies and bookshops. While I love high fashion magazines — Vogue’s return to putting models like Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss on the cover has filled me with joy — I crave a more accessible approach to fashion and health and wellness. The following magazines promote eco-friendly fashion and beauty, offer easy-to-understand health information and focus on mental and emotional wellness as a necessary component of living a healthy life.
Darling may seem like a sweet and unassuming name for a magazine, but make no mistake: Darling takes women’s empowerment seriously. The magazine’s manifesto states that it “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 eschews Photoshop and encourages readers to join in with the #RealNotRetouched campaign. The staff’s collection of gorgeous makeup-free portraits provides excellent inspiration, as do the stunning editorials within the current issue of the magazine, featuring a diverse array of models and celebrities such as actress Jennifer Morrison, who writes about the power of positive thinking. The issue also contains articles about anxiety and the lack of mental health resources in America and highlights apparel by Krochet Kids, Intl., a nonprofit that provides mentorships and jobs to women living in poverty. Darling is available in print and digital editions, but you can read lots of wonderful free content right now at Darling’s website. A great deal of Darling’s health and wellness articles can be found under the category “The Beautician,” where you can learn about healthy food, skincare basics, one woman’s journey to learn ballet and so much more.
Verily, an online magazine whose mantra is “Less of who you should be, more of who you are,” wants to help you become your best self. Need a little encouragement? The Daily Dose feature offers little bits of inspiration to get you through your day. Want a break from perfectly airbrushed glamazons? Like Darling, Verily has pledged to not use Photoshop to alter images of their models. Looking for fitness motivation? You can’t argue with this great list of exercise benefits. Verily wants you to be healthy, but they don’t attach health to a particular body shape or size. I don’t always agree with the magazine’s cultural commentary — I am still side-eyeing a piece from last year in which a writer pondered, “Has the ‘Who Runs the World (Girls)’ Beyoncé been lost to Sasha Raunch?” following the release of Beyoncé’s self-titled album — but I do enjoy Verily’s approach to healthy living and willingness to discuss feminism. Recent articles include a piece on socially conscious jewelry brands, a no-fuss guide to grocery shopping, heart health for twenty- and thirtysomethings, tips for handling stress and vital information about ovarian cysts. Verily also aims to strengthen interpersonal relationships with articles about balancing career and marriage, embracing single life and coping with postpartum depression. I like to think of Verily as that friend with whom I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we still have the same end goal of equality for women and have fun whenever we meet.
Direct from Australia, Peppermint Magazine is the epitome of a holistic health and wellness publication. Peppermint is so committed to eco-friendly practices that it has been certified carbon neutral. Whether it’s shopping vintage or finding ways to recycle everyday containers, Peppermint thrives on breathing new life into old items. The pages of Peppermint are full of information about companies that believe in sustainable practices. Most are based in Australia, but Peppermint highlights eco-friendly businesses and artisans throughout the world, such as Chicago jeweler Rebecca Mir Grady. The current issue’s cover girl is blogger/magical self-empowerment goddess Gala Darling, creator of Radical Self-Love Boot Camp, and she is featured alongside other inspiring people such as Carolyn Danckaert, co-founder of A Mighty Girl. Other standouts from this issue include a look at the thrift-happy blog Never Ever Pay Retail and a profile of the surfwear brand U&I. Peppermint has inspired me to break out my sewing machine thanks to their sewing school, which includes free patterns and instructions for making adorable clothing and accessories such as easy day dresses, totes and polka dot shorts. The quarterly magazine is available internationally, with digital copies and subscriptions on sale via Zinio.com.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop collecting September issues, but I’m glad there are magazines offering a different perspective on fashion, beauty and health. Tell us: what are your favorite magazines?