Publisher Kicks Photoshop to the Curb

This magazine’s bold mission is to broaden the definition of beauty…without the help of Photoshop, thank you.

The overuse and abuse of Photoshop in the magazine industry has become the stuff of ridicule and blowback. Celebrities and models alike are speaking out about the bizarre alternations being used to meet a particular standard of what’s beautiful.

The Millennial generation, in particular, seems highly vocal about its distaste for these impossible standards, and many are actively working to take back their right to define beauty for themselves.

One model-turned-publisher is taking an active role in redefining what beauty means via the print title Darling. The magazine, according to Amy Chillage and Christopher Dawson in CNN Money, aims to “present realistic portraits of what it is to be a woman and refuses to Photoshop anyone on its pages.”

“By not Photoshopping women, we are saying women are not in need of alteration in any way shape or form and that they are beautiful the way they are,” says Sarah Dubbeldam, Darling’s co-founder and editor in chief. “That in itself just makes a huge statement.”

Like many niche magazines, Kickstarter funding helped them launch, and three years later the magazine is turning a profit. Social media, not surprisingly, is an important part of their engagement strategy, and subscriptions continue to roll in for the print magazine. It’s also available in Anthropologie retail shops in the U.S. and Canada, the article notes.

“We’re trying to feature a lot of different types of women, a lot of different ethnicities and just really beautiful things (on social media) whether it’s nature or travel or a woman just feeling fully alive,” Dubbeldam explains.

It’s the perfect storm of trending topic, entrepreneurial spirit and creative crowd-funding that allows titles like Darling to find their audience. #thatsdarling