Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer and speaker who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism. She’s a contributor to the books The Church and New Media and Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion, and is writing a book based on her personal blog, ConversionDiary.com. She and her husband live in Austin, TX with their five young children, and were featured in the nationally televised reality show Minor Revisions. You can follow her on Twitter at @conversiondiary.
Yesterday I made my weekly hike to the mailbox, and found a review copy of Verily magazine waiting for me. To be honest, I planned to put off reading it for a while. I had a few other publications waiting for perusal for review, and I'm not much of a magazine person these days anyway. But I pulled the magazine out of the envelope and flipped through a couple of pages on the walk home from the mailbox, and, long story short, I ended up sitting down and devouring the issue, only reluctantly tearing myself away when it was well past time to start dinner.
Now, you might suspect that I'm just saying that to be nice. You might think that I'm so desperate to finally see a women's magazine whose tone wasn't inspired by Helen Gurley Brown that I'm willing to give an enthusiastic plug to any alternative that crosses my path, even if it's actually kinda lame. So this morning when I stepped out on the front porch to read some more of Verily with my cup of coffee, I brought my camera with me. Now you can join me as I flip through this great new publication, and see for yourself why it's great stuff.
In the introductory letter that came with the review copy, editor-in-chief Kara Eschbach said that one of Verily's goals is to give women advice that "goes beyond sex tips." I love that. It emphasizes the fact that women's magazines that are packed with one article after another about how to become a sex object don't offer women more; they offer less.
One thing I notice about Verily is that it assumes the dignity and intelligence of its reader. The editors seem to be writing to the woman who is modern, living in the world, yet also a thoughtful person who spends time pondering what really matters in life. In this issue, for example, we have touching pieces that touch on the deepest concerns of the human life (photo above)...
...As well as runway-to-reality fashion advice...
...And lipsticks tips. I have to say, I love it that we're discussing shades of lipstick. Sometimes publications that try to offer an alternative to the secular rags go too far the other direction: They give the impression that their ideal reader has no other thoughts besides heavy ruminations about how she can grow in virtue, and you end up feeling guilty if you do have an interest in makeup and cute clothes. The Verily editors didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. They had real women in mind when they put this together.
There's also useful, practical advice, like how to take an invigorating vacation for $600.
And even humor!
Thanks to the Verily team for their clarity of vision, and their hard work putting this together. I love this magazine -- and now you've seen for yourself that I'm not just saying that to be nice. It's the women's magazine that we've been waiting for for more than a decade.