Empowerment is a beautiful thing. In a world driven by consumerism and comparison, it can be easy to fall prey to the if-only’s and what-if’s the media uses to sell us a new product or a trendier lifestyle. Rarely do we find a sense of ownership in the magazines we read or the shows we watch. Thankfully, a new kind of publication has emerged, one that celebrates who we are instead of trying to sell us something.

I recently stumbled upon Darling, a Los Angeles based magazine for women. In many ways, Darling is not your ordinary magazine; Inside, you will not find celebrity gossip or a list of spring fashion ‘must-haves.’ You will find a thoughtful guide to facilitating meaningful conversation at your next dinner party, or an essay on conscious commerce. Darling is part of a new breed of magazine, a growing trend in print to produce something substantial and long-lasting. Thicker and often printed on heavier stock paper, these artful publications waste few (if any) pages on ad space, instead opting for uninterrupted editorials. More of a book than a magazine (and priced accordingly), these become part of a permanent collection to be treasured by their readers for years to come.

Simply put, Darling is about “the art of being a woman,” though their mission statement, beautifully hand drawn on the back cover of every issue, says it all:

Every issue is divided into eight personas, each one being a characteristic that every woman recognizes in herself: we are all dreamers, achievers, hostesses, intellectuals, stylists, confidants, beauticians and explorers in our own ways. At the beginning of each section, an illustration paired with a poem set the tone and create a pleasant pause in content, adding a layer of detail and craft to even the way in which we read the magazine. Stunning layouts and crisp graphics support thought provoking articles that inspire, nourish and amuse. In their seventh and most recent issue, Darling included an a postcard outlining a challenge to join the “#DarlingMovement” — On the back of the postcard are eight persona challenges ‘to help motivate and shape us into the women we want to be.’

I for one have fallen in love with Darling’s affirming attitude, fresh perspective, and eye-catching editorials. To me, this is everything a women’s magazine should be. Gone are the days of paying for 200 pages of designer advertising and shallow fashion tips; Here is something of substance for women of substance.

To pick up your own copy of Darling’s spring issue, you can save on shipping and stop in and see Jon at Simple Pleasures on Front Street in Downtown Marietta. (He just might have a few copies of the Winter issue left as well!)