Making its debut in Spring 2015, American Womankind was a delightful surprise, speaking to a hunger I didn’t know I had. I needed smart, engaging, and thought-provoking writing every bit as much as I craved visual pleasure. Womankind has both.
Born in Australia, Womankind intrigued and seduced me at the cover, a butterfly encrusted portrait of Simone de Beauvoir, the French feminist philosopher and long-time companion of Jean Paul Sartre, French existential philosopher. Composed of thousands of tiny butterflies in varying colors and patterns, the portrait hints at the theme of the spring publication. If you think about the life cycle of a butterfly, you can imagine the process of transformation that is part of all life. Like butterflies, we are in the process of becoming. What will we become? What roads will we travel to get there? With what will we identify?
Womankind invites you— without carping—to examine the life you lead, to learn something about women in history whose stories you may not have heard before, and to live more mindfully on the planet. There’s both strength and delicacy in the delivery of essays like: “The Celebrity Machine,” Cooking As Meditation,” and “The One Story That’s Changing Your Life,” framed with startling art, photography and graphics that relate to the articles.
Womankind’s well-written essays explore topics and people in a way I haven’t encountered before— and in a format that invites my curiosity and engagement. Fresh perspectives from artists and writers, concerned with different aspects of the same topic, were paired in such a way as to resonate with my own thinking. I was not just informed, but enlightened; affirmed, as well as supported. I feel that my ability to look at myself individually and as a member of society is respected by this magazine. The lack of advertising invites me to see myself as something more than a consumer. Finally, the magazine inspires as it celebrates women in every aspect of life through art, prose, and poetry.
My second issue of American Womankind arrived with Frida Kahlo, the Mexican revolutionary artist and wife of artist Diego Rivera, on the cover. This time, the portrait was composed of a miniature garden of brightly colored flowers. Again, I was struck by the quality of the content. One essay, “Frontier wars,” by Todd Miller, explored the impact of immigration laws on ordinary people who just want to do ordinary things like take their children to visit grandparents. Regardless of politics, one can’t help but be touched by this human interest piece.
If you’re looking for an intelligent, though -provoking, and visually-engaging magazine, try American Womankind, available at some Barnes & Noble locations, or at womankindmag.com.
Author – Cheryl