I recently saw an article on Stack Magazines about the Ladybeard magazine. I had never heard of this publication before but I was intrigued by the cover that I saw. If I’m honest, I didn’t know what the magnified image on the front was, all I knew was that it was certainly unlike any magazine in which I have seen before.
After researching the issue further, I found that the wraparound cover was indeed of an ultra close-up bottom! There is also lips one as an alternative, showing the natural wrinkled and aged upper lip. I feel that this was confrontational in nature and stresses that stereotypical beauty is not real beauty.
I like the fact that Ladybeard really challenge the image of what our culture finds beautiful; they disrupt the ideal. This particular issue shape-shifts through time and across continents and focuses on who sets the standard tells us something unnerving about who holds power.
I really admire their challenging interpretation of beauty, it is thoughtful and challenging. The magazine takes a fascinating look at what beauty means to different people. This is a fresh and arresting piece of publishing guaranteed to surprise and inform.
When looking at the independent publication, I felt a genuine sense of mission. Beauty to me is the appreciation of what our bodies allow us to achieve, the challenges we overcome and our values. I personally feel that this is so much more powerful than any physically external aesthetic and appearance.
I appreciate how Ladybeard have revolutionised it’s content, making it unlike any other glossy magazine. Mainstream media has created a culture of self-hate and constant comparisons, both of which I have fallen for in the past. I have found that this, as well as aspects of social media, massively confine our gender, sexuality, dress-size, pigmentation, imagination and aspirations. They set out this ‘ideal’ which is mostly unachievable and un-aspirational in my opinion. Everyone has individual qualities that allow them to succeed, no matter on their complexion, body size or identity.
Ladybeard aim to liberate and platform the voice that you will not hear in women’s magazines; voices of people who love any and every deviation from the straight, white, able-bodied ‘ideal’. They open up old topics like the body to vital new perspectives that I feel we could all learn something from; whether it be how we view ourselves or how narrow minded society still is.
The founders are feminists, however they stress that they are not just for women. They want to play with gender, sexuality and identity, rather than dictate their term. This, I feel, is represented perfectly through their name, ‘Ladybeard.’
I really would encourage you to check out their work, order a copy of the magazine or even just follow them on Instagram to see how beauty can be redefined. What society says are ‘flaws’, Ladybeard celebration and exaggerate.