A supporter of the #SeeHer female-support initiative, Meredith’s InStyle prefers to focus on individual women who represent something broader because today’s world is “exhausted” by a plethora of movements. “It’s a big underthink,” says Editor-in-Chief Laura Brown.
By that she means she doesn’t feel obligated to talk about women who represent a given cause or movement, Brown explains in this interview with Beet.TV.
“I want to be like, ‘this woman is an amazing artist or astronaut or immigration lawyer.’ I tell the story of the woman, and then the woman happens to represent something broader.”
Meredith’s digital and print brands are the first to undergo certification for the #SeeHer initiative started by the Association of National Advertisers in 2016. #SeeHer’s goal is to more accurately portray all girls and women in media by 2020.
Whether it’s women taking care of immigrant children, fighting sexual discrimination or exploring space, “I go at it from ‘here is Jenny and this is Jenny’s story. Jenny is married or Jenny is single.’ I always focus on one particular woman and her story, because behind that story is something to support,” says Brown.
By way of example she cites a recent InStyle story about lawyers from the RAICES organization helping children who were separated from their parents while crossing the U.S. border. “Here’s five women from RAICES. Here’s how you can donate to RAICES. But I always put the woman first because she has a character and a story and a life and I’m a storyteller.”
In an age when there is no shortage of social causes, too much is not necessarily a good thing, according to Brown. It just produces exhaustion.
“We’re exhausted by hashtags, we’re exhausted by movements, we’re exhausted by pro Trump, anti Trump, wear this T-shirt, it’s national this day, it’s this walkout day, it’s everything else. I can’t handle it. I’m overwhelmed by it. So imagine everybody else when it’s just noise and we can’t just keep contributing to the noise.”
Following the “hideousness” surrounding the recent Supreme Court nomination process, Brown interviewed feminist and human-rights activist Gloria Steinem and discussed how today’s “female resistance” mirrors that of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
“I go at it from, ‘here’s this woman who is magnificent, here’s a perception she has on something. You want support her? Great.’”