BY MELISSA SOLANO
Two editors of a women’s magazine visited Franciscan University on March 31 to share how they are spreading the truth about the worth, value and beauty of women through their magazine.
Verily magazine’s co-founder and style editor Janet Sahm and contributing editor Ashley Crouch explained that Verily is a magazine designed to empower women and celebrate their unique nature and beauty with their mission statement: “Less of who you should be; more of who you are.”
Sahm started the talk by discussing how media has warped the public’s perception of beauty and worth that each woman has. She said that 75 percent of women feel worse about themselves only three to five minutes after reading any average women’s magazine and that only 4 percent of women feel comfortable calling themselves beautiful. This, she said, is what Verily is trying to change.
Rather than conform to the typical women’s magazine full of demeaning relationship advice, outrageous sex tips and continuous convincing that women need significant work before they are even close to beautiful, Verily stepped outside the box and said enough is enough.
“We want to combat the media’s idea of cosmetic perfectionism,” said Crouch, “the obsession that people have with flawlessness.” She added that Verily specifically targets this through the publication’s “No-Photoshop Policy” and by having natural and healthy models.
The magazine came into circulation in early 2011 and has been featured in major retail chains such as Barnes & Noble. What mainly sets Verily apart from all other magazines is that they do not market themselves as a Christian or modesty magazine.
“All women want to feel beautiful, attractive, wanted and loved!” said Crouch. “So we don’t want to make it seem like this desire for modest, natural beauty is unique only to Christian women. [Verily is] an amazing tool for evangelizing.”
The editors also presented Verily’s approach to modesty. Rather than take on the position that modesty is needed in order to protect the virtue of men, Crouch and Sahm said that modesty is good for the woman herself.
“It comes from John Paul II, actually,” Sahm said. “Modesty is good for us as women because it invites us to feel our worth and it allows others to see your full and true worth as well.”
Both editors encouraged their audience to embrace the idea of personal style and use it as a means of allowing their true and natural beauty to radiate from them.
“Beauty cannot help but attract others to its goodness,” said Sahm. “We can reclaim beauty from being just about sexy and skinny.”
Crouch added, “As women, we are called to bring beauty into the world.”
The magazine, which is currently on hiatus from print, is focusing on increasing its digital content. Sahm and Crouch encouraged those in attendance to visit Verily’s website to read articles about personal style, trends, relationships, culture and much more from a new point of view.