Alternative Beauty Issue Out Now!
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Shameless is Canada’s independent voice for smart, strong, sassy young women. It’s a fresh alternative to typical teen magazines, for girls who know there’s more to life than makeup and diet tips. Packed with articles about arts, culture and current events, Shameless reaches out to readers who are often ignored by mainstream media: freethinkers, queer youth, young women of colour, punk rockers, feminists, intellectuals, artists, activists — people just like you! We tackle teen life with wit and wisdom. —Shameless mandate, 2004
Shameless is just shy of being a teen ourselves, and since our creation, in 2004, a lot has changed; we’ve renewed our commitment to our politics, rooted ourselves in principles of social justice and anti-oppression and re-organized our internal structure (twice over!). While our mandate has been refined over time, to be more explicit about our feminism and more inclusive of our audiences, at its core remains a feeling that we’re not like the others — that we’re here to present what the mainstream doesn’t. Over the past few years, we’ve published issues on labour, money, sex, love and relationships, and education, and we’ve largely avoided talk of make-up and diet tips — until now.
The world is a big and complicated place, made up of many systems. These systems — colonialism, capitalism, racism, ableism, transphobia, and others — are huge, and can be understood intellectually and academically, unpacked and discussed, but long before that happens, they are felt deeply and personally. When we feel shame over our body hair, when we hate our shape, when we wish our skin were a little bit lighter, or our hair a little bit straighter — those are simultaneously tiny things and gigantic things. They are deeply personal and private, and they are vastly global and systemic. What we see when we look in a mirror is as much a reflection of these systems as it is a reflection of the insidious ways it plays out on our own bodies.
Because of this, unpacking and understanding the concept of beauty is important. Reclaiming beauty is important. Redefining beauty is important. It’s resistance, and it is truly radical.
And that’s where we’re coming from with this issue of Shameless — our alternative beauty issue. In it, we unpack big systems of settler colonialism (p. 14), ableism (p. 24) and racism (p. 28), and start to make sense of the feelings we may have about our own hair (p. 18), body shape (p. 13) and style (p. 15). We try our hand at our own make-up and beauty tips (pp. 7, 33, 38) and we honour our own style icons like Charm Torres (p.8), Shadiya Aidid (p. 32) and Kim Katrin Milan (p. 36). We do this to reclaim, redefine and resist, and we do this acknowledging that in a very real way, we all already hold the greatest weapon against all those big systems — self-love, and the capacity to see and honour the beauty we already hold.
Yours Shamelessly, Sheila email@example.com