The Magazine Made For Free-Thinkers and "Outsiders"

Say goodbye to the mainstream.

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This magazine offers new answers to old questions with the help of dynamic art, inventive writing, and a penchant for taking the road less traveled.

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What's It All About? On the About page of the website for the London-based feminist glossy magazine Ladybeard, the editors describe their endeavor as "an attempt at liberation."

And What Does That Mean, Exactly? "Ladybeard is a reaction to the toxic messages of the mainstream media," say its editors, who requested to be credited as a team. "We publish pieces that challenge preconceptions." So, in the newest issue, centered on the theme of "The Mind," that means: a piece on how to live with suicidal ideas rather than "cure" them; a feature on conversion therapy; a timeline of misdiagnosis; and an interview with trans activist Julia Serano.

Photo by Ben Branagen, courtesy of Ladybeard.
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How It Starts: As with Ladybeard's debut issue, this one opens up with first-person testimonials, this time anchored around the notion of "Losing My Mind." "They are instant and intense," say the editors, "removed of all contextual markers, and [they] rethink what it means to be 'sane' and 'mad.'" And therein lies the crux of their pursuit: to destigmatize issues too often relegated to the fringes of society.

"Ladybeard is a reaction to the toxic messages of the mainstream media," say its editors. "We publish pieces that challenge preconceptions."

Why the Editors Like to Speak as One: "We aim to platform otherwise unheard voices," the editors say. "We want to profile others' voices, not individuals on the editorial team. A central tenet of Ladybeard is its collaborative nature."

Photo by Ellen Pearson, courtesy of Ladybeard.
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Why They Started the Magazine: The motivation to start Ladybeard stemmed from a love of magazines and a simultaneous disdain for the emotions they aroused. "We all love magazines," they say, "but hated the way they made us feel. Ladybeard is an attempt to...create something covetable and beautiful that is also nourishing."

"We all love magazines but hated the way they made us feel. Ladybeard is an attempt to...create something covetable and beautiful that is also nourishing."

Sex and the Mind: As for why they chose "the mind" as the theme for their newest release, the editors explain that "if sex is everywhere, the mind is nowhere. It's shockingly absent from the mainstream. We wanted to move inward to look at something that was implicit and introspective, like the mind, rather than explicit and extroverted, like sex."

Photo by Rose Pilkington, courtesy of Ladybeard.

How They Choose What to Cover: "We take themes underrepresented or misrepresented by the mainstream media," they say. "Our first issue was [about] sex because it's a stronghold of women's magazines. It's everywhere; however, it's reduced to a single white, cis, penetrative idea. We wanted to open this up to fresh, feminist perspectives."

Photo by Isabelle Wenzel, courtesy of Ladybeard.
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For more, and to buy the first two issues of Ladybeard, see ladybeardmagazine.co.uk. The Ladybeard staff is made up of: editors Kitty Drake, Madeleine Dunnigan, and Sadhbh O'Sullivan; art directors/designers Bronya Meredith and Scarlet Evans; and arts editors Hannah Abel-Hirsch and Tyro Heath.

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