Have you ever discovered something and then immediately thought to yourself, “I wish I would have come across this sooner,” because you know that your life had just become much more rich because of it? For me, some of these beautifully hidden gems include learning to use cruise control, Starbucks Cold Brew coffee, and today’s topic of discussion, Darling Magazine.
Growing up, I was actually never that into magazines. I would occasionally pick one up here and there if I was taking a long trip, or if there was something going on in an issue that particularly interested me (for example, you better believe I made a B(ee)-line to my nearest news stand the MOMENT the issue of Us Weekly containing Lauren Conrad’s wedding pictures was published). But to me, magazines always seemed to feature girls that were skinner than me wearing clothes more expensive than I could afford, in locations more beautiful than I was in, talking about sex I wasn’t having, so I never bothered using the little bit of cash I had to pay for a monthly subscription. However, that all changed towards the end of 2014.
One thing you will come to learn about me (and I’m sure this will not be the only time that I will mention this) is that I have a SERIOUS YouTube addiction. More often than not, you will find me watching, sharing or talking about a YouTube video. One of my all time favorite YouTubers, the ever-so-lovely Miss Ingrid Nilsen, featured different Darling articles throughout several of her “favorite” videos, and announced that she would actually be contributing her own article to issue #11. I always loved Ingrid’s videos; I truly have come to value her opinions and viewpoints, so I just knew that I needed to get my hands on this magazine that she had spoken so highly of (and I was giddy at the thought of seeing and reading her own words in print), so I IMMEDIATELY purchased my subscription. Little did I know, this would become my newest and dearest obsession.
I received my first ever copy of Darling, issue #10, in November of 2014. Before even cracking the cover, I knew that this publication was about to become an important part of my life. The magazine came packaged in a cardboard box adorned with the company’s beautifully crafted mission statement that begins with the following statement- “Darling is… the ART of being a woman.” At first glance, I immediately felt inspired and empowered.
I instantly noticed that this was not a typical looking magazine, it was much, MUCH more. It was larger in size than any magazine I had ever read, it was thicker and made of matte, cardstock like paper, “this is an absolute work of art,” I thought to myself, and I hadn’t even made it passed page three!
As I continued on, I learned that there were eight different sections to this magazine, each a different persona of woman- The Hostess, The Dreamer, The Confidant, The Stylist, The Explorer, The Beautician, The Intellectual, and The Achiever. I wondered which one would I relate to the most, and as I devoured all 164 pages, I learned that I had the power and desire to embody each and every one of them.
The more I read, the more I fell in love. I saw the words “NONE OF THE WOMEN IN THIS MAGAZINE HAVE BEEN RETOUCHED #RealNotRetouched” proudly spread out along two of the beginning pages of the magazine.
An untouched, advertisement-free magazine? Unheard of, until now. It was becoming apparent to me that Sarah Dubbeldam, the Editor-in-Chief, was becoming my idol, so obviously I had to let her know.
If I haven’t convinced you, Darling is different. It’s funny, serious, light-hearted, insightful, didactic, addicting, and so much more. It really is a hearty, delicious meal for the eyes, mind and soul. While it started out fairly small, the company has really begun to flourish, and with that, some changes have been made. For example, issue #15 was the first to include advertisements, but I can’t be mad, in that issue’s letter from the editor, Sarah Dubbledam eases the mind of readers by addressing this new addition. She wrote, “Also, you’ll notice a new change in this issue—advertisements! Don’t freak out, we aren’t becoming a glossy mag [smile]. This was a congruent choice with the message of being fierce. Darling has a lot of work to do in this world, and in order to grow, to spread our message more, to do more good, we’ve realized we need to partner with other brands. We promise, they will always be pretty, and things you’ll like, because we like them!” And she has stayed true to that, nothing tchotchke.
Since receiving my very first issue, I have recommended Darling to almost everyone whom I’ve come into contact with, because I just truly think it is THAT wonderful- I want everyone to experience this with me, which it why I wanted to write about it today, to tell YOU about it. And while Darling is mainly for those feminine at heart, fear not my dear male-readers, Sarah’s husband has a similar project of his own, Wilderness Collective (can you say relationship goals?). While I’ve never read this publication, I’m sure it’s just as awe-inspiring as Darling. Side note: In the past, I recommended (and actually loaned my copy of) Darling to one of my favorite male professors, and he loved it.
When people ask me what my dream job is, I tell them it’s to move to California and become a part of the Darling Magazine team, and I still stand by that statement today. It’s hard to find a company whose morals and values align perfectly with your own, but I have found that in Darling. Every third month (Darling is published quarterly), I look forward to receiving this paperback perfection, and I hope that after reading this, I have inspired at least one person to look into this further. It really is worth it, and I think you all will enjoy it just as much as I do.
So, what do you say we all bee Darlings?