Hey friends!! As most of you know, I’m a proud intersectional feminist who loves to mix in typical fashion posts with Instagram and blog posts calling for action and justice on a multitude of human rights issues. I’m a supporter of all things women-related, especially when they are by women, for women. So, naturally, when I came across Make Muse earlier this year, my heart sang.
Make Muse is “a media brand dedicated to highlighting the vast and varied experiences of young women, trans women, and non-binary individuals.” With a mix of articles, personal essays, poetry, and photography, all submitted by femme-identifying, female, or non-binary individuals; Make Muse sheds a light on the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful parts of being a woman in today’s age. I head to their website or Instagram page more than any other, so when they announced they were releasing a print magazine come November, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
*In full disclosure, Make Muse ended up reaching out and gifting me with a magazine, but those who know me know I would never promote a product that I didn’t genuinely love. After all, the magazine contains everything I stand for as a woman and a human, so how could I not be head-over-heels in love with it?*
After receiving the magazine and reading it cover to cover more than once, I can safely say it contains valuable and enlightening pieces throughout. The magazine is full of pieces on the subjects: body, fashion, career, education, government, activism, wellness, community, art, and entertainment; with many of the pieces overlapping into more than one of these important topics. Some of my personal favorite pieces from the magazine are:
- “Self-Love Starter Kit” by Lidija Jurovich: an article all about steps to take to achieve self-love and body positivity
- “Captivity” a poem by Sienna Brancato
- “Caulk of the Walk” by Beth Jensen: a personal essay describing a sexist experience with a plumber
- “A Teacher’s Manual: How to Reduce Gender Bias in all Areas of Education” by Caroline Geithner: an incredible article complete with tips on accomplishing exactly what the title states
- “#MeToo: How Women of Color are Excluded from Their Own Movement” by Melanie Rodriquez: an educational piece explaining the pushback women of color have received from #MeToo
However, my most favorite piece was one by Caitlin Panarella called “Female Relationships and the Feminist Gaze.” It addresses dismantling the strong presence of the male gaze, which is, as Panarella states, “the way in which media portrays the world and women from the heterosexual, masculine perspective, essentially making women the objects of male pleasure.”
Reading this article made me realize that one of the most powerful things about Make Muse as a whole is that it is entirely free of the male gaze.
Like I mentioned before, all articles are either written by their all-woman team or submitted by femme-identifying, female, or non-binary individuals. This creates a safe space that allows the reader to immerse themselves into what they are reading as if it was their own writing.
I’ve never felt more at home than when I’m reading Make Muse. The collection of articles reads like a personal journal meant specifically for me. I can relate to some of the experiences and learn from others to craft a view of my own on everything from sexual assault to wearing makeup as a feminist. Make Muse is the perfect starter resource for all my people out there who want to become more educated and aware on current events and important topics.
For me, some of the most enlightening and eye-opening articles that come from Make Muse are those written by people who have had polar-opposite life experiences when compared to mine. These pieces are the ones I can learn the most from. As a cis-gendered, straight, white female, I get to walk a mile in the shoes of those different from me and begin to understand the reasons behind why they believe and fight for the things they do.
Being free of the male gaze means that while reading, there is no power dynamic of the patriarchy at play against the she/they reading it. In Panarella’s words, there is no “[self-objectifying, or] looking at herself through the lens of male desire and approval, or the lack of such desire and approval.” Make Muse is a gateway in helping women identify who they are and what they stand for without the infiltration of the male view.
When you realize this, all of a sudden, the articles and writings become more powerful and meaningful. They can help you come into your own, escape reality for a while, and/or strengthen your point of view free of the male gaze.
Make Muse is by women, for women; the greatest power dynamic of all.
I’m excited to see what the next few print magazines look like for Make Muse and to continue to read their wonderful online pieces, and you should be too!
Want to submit your own piece to be published on Make Muse? Click HERE!
Ready to buy the magazine (only $16.50 + shipping) and be freed from the male gaze? Click HERE!
Love you all, and can’t wait to continue to grow with you 🙂