Have you ever wondered why women’s magazines are so superficial? Why are all the models they work with so skinny? Why do they assume all women are straight? Why do they assume women are not interested in anything other than fashion, beauty, celebrities and relationships? You’re not alone.
Some countries do offer alternatives (such Bitch Magazine in the US, Causette in France and Opzij in the Netherlands), but Brazil didn’t have anything like it, at least not until 2015, when a group of eight women (including myself) teamed up to create a more inclusive women’s magazine. With the mission to represent “women from A to Z”, AzMina is a non-profit online magazine that stands out from the rest by:
- Featuring pictures of women of all ages, colors, shapes and sizes — without excessive Photoshop retouching!
- Publishing in-depth articles about gender inequality
- Being the first women’s magazine in Brazil to also address lesbian, bisexual and transgender women
- Talking about sex with a focus on women’s pleasure, not men’s
- Never, ever telling readers they should go on a diet (especially without consulting a doctor first)
But we had a problem: bringing such a magazine to life costs a lot of money! So, we launched a crowdfunding campaign on social media to make our dream come true.
We’ve managed to raise R$50,000 (around 20,000€) in just three months with the help of 600 donors. Several celebrities and digital influencers mentioned our campaign on social media, including congress members Jean Wyllys and Erika Kokay, comedian Gregorio Duvivier and journalist Eliane Brum. We were even mentioned by UN Women’s Facebook page!
Some of the biggest Brazilian newspapers, like O Globo and Folha de S. Paulo covered the magazine’s launch. By the end of 2015, AzMina was featured on a Buzzfeed list of 13 projects that aim to change Brazilian journalism and Think Olga’s List of Inspiring Women of 2015. We were also featured on the cover of Elle Magazine:
In February 2016, AzMina embarked on yet another social media campaign. This time, to raise awareness about sexual harassment during carnival. Our guide about the difference between flirting and sexual harassment went viral, with thousands of shares — including one from the federal government’s human rights’ Facebook page, which later invited us to take over their Twitter on International Women’s day.
At the time, I was interviewed by São Paulo’s TV channel TVT about the campaign:
AzMina has also won a Troféu Mulher Imprensa Award, one of the most prestigious awards in Brazilian journalism. Currently, the magazine’s website gets about 150,000 visitors a month. Over 100,000 people have liked its Facebook fanpage.
Due to time constraints and living abroad, I’m no longer able to participate of AzMina’s activities as much as I would like to, so I no longer volunteer for the magazine. However, I’m extremely proud of having been part of this project which is, and will always be, very close to my heart.