How Social Media's Positive Role Models are Translating to Print | Rebecca Monks
'When it comes to social media, my motto is "your vibe attracts your tribe",' says Hannah Taylor, the brains, heart (and probably the lungs and bones) behind independent magazine, She is Fierce. For Taylor, the vibe is positivity. The vibe is creativity. The vibe is sisterhood.
She is Fierce was founded last year with one clear goal. Taylor wanted it to be a positive influence on young women, and to let them know that they can be exactly who they want to be: creative, independent, and unique. That message is something which resonates within every item of content they create, be it in their print magazine, or via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
'She is Fierce was born out of a frustration with the mainstream media, and the way that they portray young women just now,' Taylor says. When she was growing up, the only real content out there were instructive fashion articles (wear this to be cool), and destructive beauty articles (fix that or be gross).
Now that she has a daughter of her own, Taylor is aware that young girls have much more content to consume than she did, especially with social media. She knows that influence is inevitable, and wants to make sure that her reach is positive and creative. In other words, girls should know that it's cool to be interested in art, books and design. In fact, it's cool to be interested in whatever it is that interests you.
'We're trying to prove that there's an alternative type of girl out there,' Taylor says, 'and I guess with the social media side, it's all about championing other girls who are doing amazing things.'
Recent sisters that have been featured include independent designer Laurie Lee Leather, signmaker Daisy Emerson, and floral artists Pyrus. For Taylor, featuring these creatives only has one purpose: inspiration.
'It can be really exciting for a young person to see these women, and think "I've never thought about doing that as a career, but that seems really cool". All of our contributors have their Instagram and their emails available, and they're more than happy to be contacted by our young readers. It's about making everything accessible.'
There can, of course, be a downside to the wide-reaching nexus of social media. Inevitably, negativity is out there, and its influence can be harmful to young women. That is something Taylor is all too aware of, and something she seeks to combat.
'My little girl is 11 going on 18 and it's ridiculous,' she says. 'Even with all of my really strong opinions on social media, she's getting sucked into some of the negativity it and it can be really frustrating for her.
'The important thing for me when I'm using social media is to make sure I'm moving in the circles that I want the magazine to be seen. It's trying to get as many young people as possible into a positive net.'
That positive net is something that is being embraced by a wide range of publications, not just those aimed at the younger generation. Othala for instance, is aimed at millennials, and was established as 'the ink-and-paper embodiment' of founder Bekki Ramsay's conscience. It's all about sustainability and eco-friendly fashion.
Ramsay says that 'Othala is an endeavour of self-discovery, which aims to influence readers into rethinking their consumption habits.
It’s an optimistic tool aimed to communicate conscious consumption in an attractive but attainable way, taking it from niche to normality.'
Then, there's the newly-launched Marbles magazine, which founder Kirstyn Smith says was created as a way of 'exploring, dissecting and exploding the stigma of mental health' for all ages. It uses its platform and influence to discuss essential issues, such as self care and mental health in the workplace.
All three of these publications have something in common: insta-worthy layouts, an awareness of their audience, and a clear goal to make the world a better place.
There's a new generation of media coming: one that is aware of the power of positive influence. Their aim isn't to cause controversy, or to put numbers and figures above their responsibilities to readers. It's about making positive change, and above all, finding the right vibe.
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