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Women all over the world can relate to the feeling of their voices not being heard. Although we make up around half of the world population, sometimes it seems we don’t exist. We have struggled for equality for years, and yet in many countries we are still being paid less, not achieving the best job positions, and constantly criticized by the media, men and even our own gender. But the fight to have our voices heard is far from over: new media has enabled women with the same opportunity to be heard and make a difference.
‘Positively Smitten’ is one such website. Toonari Post was fortunate enough to get an interview with Crystal Maldonado, Stephanie Wilcox, Co-Founders and Editors, and Liz Reddinger, Managing Editor.
Toonari Post (TP): What influenced you to make Positively Smitten?
Positively Smitten (PS): We really wanted to create an online magazine that supported women. There are so many blogs and magazines out there that target women, but we felt many of them gave conflicting messages about self-acceptance. At the end of day, the magazines didn’t make me (or any of us) feel represented. The result was unproductive; I walked away feeling like I had all of these things I wanted and needed to change about myself. As much as I loved these magazines, I didn’t feel they were meant for me, and it became a dream of all of ours, independently, to create our own magazine at some point.
Steph, Liz, and I all grew up writing; Steph and I actually pursued journalism (and women’s studies!) in college. We felt our experience was, at the very least, a strong foundation to tackle a magazine of our own. We have been consumers of magazines aimed at our gender since we were young girls, yet we felt there was a void in mainstream media that we could fill. (Crystal Maldonado, Co-Founder, Editor)
TP: What type of people do you have working on the website?
PS: As far as leadership goes, the three of us, as editors, are exactly the type of individuals we want to target with our articles. We all strive to be “positively smitten” with all aspects of our lives; that is, feeling engaged, proud, excited, amused, in control, and working toward the best version of ourselves possible. We want to acknowledge that all of us are a work in progress and have our flaws. If we want to encourage other women to be proud of who they are, even as flawed human beings, we need to lead by example. On our Founders page, we come right out and introduce ourselves immediately with our flaws and vulnerabilities.
Our current group of contributors are all very different, and that’s our strength. There are a mix of people in various life stages, with different careers, backgrounds, and lifestyles. We are even lucky to have Bill, our one male working on our graphics and branding, and he fully supports our mission .Working on this site, and writing for it, is fun, because there’s no holding back. We can be who we are. (Stephanie Wilcox, Co-Founder, Editor)
TP: What type of content do you include on your website?
PS: Our online magazine covers the following sections: Advice, Beauty, Career, DIY, Entertainment, Inspiration, Life, Relationships and Wellness. All articles are uplifting, positive and hopefully thought-provoking. Articles range from lighter, more fun topics like Springtime beauty staples, to media critiques analyzing diversity on television, to deeper topics like how to deal with the loss of a loved one. We aim to entertain, inspire, and make all women feel represented and welcomed. (Liz Reddinger, Managing Editor)
TP: Who are the people that your website is targeted towards?
PS: Right now, our entire staff is made up of women in their mid-twenties and early thirties, so I think a lot of the stories and experiences we’re sharing resonate with that age group. However, some subjects really do transcend age, especially when it comes to things like body acceptance and coping with the loss of a loved one or really learning to appreciate your family – all things we’ve covered. As much as we’re writing for ourselves, we’re also writing for the younger versions of ourselves, sharing things we wish we’d known or advice we wish we’d been given. And we’re writing for our future selves, or at least, women who are older than us now, but who can see themselves in us. We’ve been lucky to have readers and commenters of all ages; good writing with a message, which is ultimately what we’re striving for, can resonate with anyone. (Crystal Maldonado, Co-Founder, Editor)
Continue reading the rest of the interview with ‘Positively Smitten’ in the article Women’s Voices in New Media: Positively Smitten Part 2.
Image credit: Positively Smitten Magazine via Facebook