Letter from the Editor.
Welcome to WinWin, a new online magazine for young women!
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We respect and acknowledge the traditional owners and Elders past and present of the Eora and Gundungurra lands on which WinWin is created.
I was obsessed with magazines when I was younger. I’d walk up to the local newsagent, spend a bit of time flicking through what was on the shelves, buy a mag along with a snack, and go home for a couple of hours of blissful escape. I just loved magazines! Then I studied design and always thought – if I’m going to be a graphic designer I will ONLY work in magazines. This conviction worked for a handful of years, but eventually I ventured a little off that path.
I had the idea for WinWin a few years ago. I had studied a fine art masters and was painting all these images of young women. And reading a heap of things. At some point, the topic – the issues that young women deal with – overtook my interest. Who knows why; perhaps I’m working through some stuff of my own! So when I was later teaching a uni subject about design for social change, it occurred to me that I could put my money where my mouth was. The students would pick an issue and create something with a goal of helping to create change. They were doing human-centred design and perhaps I could do the same.
This was before the whole Weinstein thing. Before Trump. Before #metoo and Times Up. Those events have only made this project – a magazine for young women designed to inspire and inform – more pressing. More poignant.
Over all of this time, one by one, my beloved print magazines have been folding. A newsagent these days looks very different and the shelves are a lot shorter. Print media simply struggles to keep up with the immediate and often free stuff we can access on our screens. There’s still a very valid place for print, but of course we have all gotten used to content coming at us easily and quickly on our devices.
On the other hand, digital is great but it can seriously be lacking. Lacking in depth, lacking in quality, and lacking in accuracy. Where’s the editing? And what about curation? The idea of a voice from cover to cover?
Mostly though, where’s the escape?
Our news feed, Instagram feed, messaging – they all do a bit of the job of distracting us, sometimes inspiring and informing us… but is there something else? Is it possible to feel immersed in something that is positive and interesting, and doesn’t lead us to make comparisons about ourselves and others?
Oh, and young women like to read. That’s something that the internet in general often seems to forget.
So that is my punt. A magazine – albeit a digital one – that creates an escape, and is ALL about empowerment, info and inspo. A magazine that delivers high-quality content and trusts that if you’re interested, you’ll read and watch and listen to it. No surfacey stuff, no cliches, no celeb gossip, no BS.
I began by surveying a bunch of girls about what they wanted to read. I narrowed down the topics of interest to five categories: Life, Career, Travel, Image and POWER. They’re the five main sections of WinWin. I started mapping out ideas for content that would always be oriented towards informing and inspiring.
Then I took a deep breath and slowly started telling people what I was doing. This was a big step – trusting that putting my idea out there would be the right thing, rather than keeping it close, comfy and tight to my chest. I told a couple of friends, my husband. A couple of people at work. This felt risky but I was surprised and happy that people listened and were deadset on board. Ride-or-die mates who always asked me for updates, and some awesome pros around me who said “tell me how I can help.” Our cover artist Evi was one of these people! One of our features writers, Amelia, was another.
Then I slowly told more people. My parents, more friends… until it was a case of whoever would listen, would get the lowdown! A couple of weeks ago, I finally mentioned what I was doing on Facebook. Whoo!
Don’t get me wrong, there were a LOT of people who weren’t interested. Not interested in hearing about the idea. Or initially interested in working on the mag, then never-to-be-heard-of again. So while a couple of these ghostings felt like hard blows, I learned not to be derailed. Or pissed off. Everyone has stuff going on and is juggling in their life; ultimately this mag means the most to me.
But there was a lot of yes. SO much yes! Way more yes than no… and substantial ones, at that. I would ask someone for a simple favour and what would land in my inbox would be a beautiful, big and creative contribution to a mag that I could never have imagined!
Remarkably, everyone who has contributed to the mag has been the right fit. Their contributions have been spot on. They all ‘get it’. There’s been plenty of teamwork and collaboration, but there have been no ‘this is awkward but can you do it again please?’ moments. I’m really grateful to everyone who has helped on the mag over the last two years; contributors of course, as well as people who have offered their expertise, advice and insight along the way.
Plenty of people have suggested how this needs to be done. What I should focus on, who I should talk to. A few have suggested that this should be a magazine for boys and men.
It is true and I deeply agree that the work of empowerment is the responsibility of everyone. It is exhausting fighting your own battle, right?
I have a daughter and a son and I hope they both grow into incredible, clever feminists. That they both battle for the cause of equality. That they grow into sensitive adults, and understand that propping women up is essential to society in about a thousand different ways. That’s some work ahead of me on the home-front! And a mag for the guys might be something we work on down the track.
But for now, here is the WHY of WinWin and my belief:
Empowerment is something we have within us. It is not ‘provided’ to us by anything external. The term is thrown around a lot and used to make advertising sound more genuine than it is, and products more useful than they are. But empowerment is actually something you already have. It might be hard to access and cloudy to see. It might be tiny, the size of a seed! But we all have empowerment and it is sitting right there in your chest, your brain, and your guts.
The big problem is that there are so many forces that can make empowerment hard – sometimes impossible – to access. Especially for (those who identify as) women.
Alas, discussing equality is another letter in itself, and I won’t skim the surface here.
But fundamentally, WinWin believes that with nourishment, that seed of empowerment sitting in your chest, brain and guts will grow. Provided the right tools, information and inspiration, our ability to deal with what’s in front of us is improved.
Consider WinWin as tools for your kit. In this Edition, because it is our first, the tools are about GOING FORTH.
To GO FORTH might be making a big decision. Or equally, getting over something. Asking questions and having them answered. It might be as simple as feeling strong in the morning, and putting together a wonderful, energising breakfast.
To GO FORTH might be deciding about being ready for sex, ‘doing’ consent, and not feeling shame (nor slut shaming your mates). It might be drinking alcohol safely. Putting together an activists pack. Listening to a motivating playlist. Adding to your list of incredible empowered artists to watch and listen to. Printing off some posters for your next rally, getting to know your inner feminist. Feeling inspired to dream about travelling to an awesome city. Or simply having fun and making some crazy shoes.
To GO FORTH might be hearing honesty. Seeing proof that you might be able to do what you want to do… hearing advice from high achievers, and reading about amazing people from all backgrounds achieving their dreams (as well as the bumps along the way).
We might start small but we can grow big.
We can start from within and work outwards.
Over time, with a custom toolkit you have put together, perhaps you’ll feel ready to make your choices. Then ask for what you want. Have the hard conversations. Provide ideas. Sit back and listen. Be an ally. Speak up. Educate those around you on the problems you see. Understand other perspectives. Start feeling like you might be able to drive change. Feel empowered to do something about the BIG issues that bother you.
That’s super lofty, but don’t worry. We know what it’s like to start, just like that little seed. This magazine, it’s tiny! But here at WinWin we have big, beautiful ambitions and I’m so glad to have you along as we grow.
Thanks for reading. My letters won’t always be this long, I promise!
And of course please enjoy the mag 😊
Help us produce the next Edition!
To help WinWin be free to our readers, we’re fundraising for the production of the mag! If you enjoy the mag, believe it has value, and you have some $$ to spare, we’d be so grateful for your donation. Donations over $50 will receive a lovely little gift posted to them. And we are donating 10% of all proceeds raised to Plan International Australia, who are working hard around the world to end childhood marriage.
Donate here ❤️
Partner with WinWin
If you’ve made it this far and you’d like to discuss advertising or sponsorship opportunities, I’d say our brands are a very good match!
We’d love to hear from you!