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Verily: A new type of women’s magazine

| Friday, February 28, 2014

I have never been a big reader of magazines — I’ve always preferred books. Books teach life lessons, take you on adventures and stay with you for years; magazines highlight stories of Miley Cyrus’ most recent escapades or tips for how to “get flatter abs in six days!”

Sure, magazines are fun to flip through every once and a while, but usually I find them somewhat meaningless. As a 21-year-old woman, ironically, women’s magazines are sometimes the most difficult to stomach. The pictures of thin and glamorous models and articles helping us each perfect our hair, career, relationships, body, etc., have always left me feeling strangely inadequate. But this all changed when I read Verily.

Started just last year, Verily is self-proclaimed to be a “new kind of women’s magazine: one that celebrates the best of who you are” — not who you should be. Thus, Verily is able to cover the traditional women’s magazine topics of style, relationships, lifestyle and culture with meaningful and relatable articles.

For example, one of my favorite recent articles was a piece by Tim Carney, senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Although many women worry about their bodies after pregnancy, Carney argued childbirth actually caused him to love his wife’s body even more, viewing it as a miraculous place where life begins.

Of course, not all articles are so serious. There are also pieces on websites for affordable vintage clothes, how to build a budget, tips for how to have more productive mornings, healthy recipes and regular updates on fashion. Although similar stories might be found in other women’s magazines, all content within Verily is applicable to real-life women. As we know, budgets do not allow for a $700 pair of pants and fashion is not restricted to couture pieces straight off the runway.

Yet the content is not the only thing Verily has to offer. The photography, design and layout of the magazine are also beautiful. In place of flimsy, glossy pages, Verily feels almost like a book, with articles or pictures begging to be hung on the wall. Simple yet sophisticated, the magazine’s style reflects its purpose: to cater to real women.

Adding to its authenticity is Verily’s strict no photo-shop policy, creating pictures that look semi-vintage but also realistic. There are no photo shoots in amazingly exotic locations with futuristic themes, but pictures of coffee shops and apartments, places where women actually spend their time.

Just like books help me to get away for a while, Verily allows me to take a step out of the chaos and pressures of college life and remember what is truly important. It is not to be beautiful, rich, thin and successful but rather to be beautiful in my own way, imperfections and all, rich in friends and family, happy and thankful for the body I was given and successful not just in my career but also in character.

Perhaps most importantly, the magazine inspires me to follow my own passions, write my own articles and be the best woman I can be. Now, in addition to books, I love to curl up with a hot cup of tea and read Verily, turning the last page with the same sense of calm and accomplishment when finishing a book. I have learned new things, experienced something beautiful and been reminded to love who I am.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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