Welcome to the 1st issue of the all-new Maine Women Magazine, our celebration of 10 years of publishing. As a gift, we gave ourselves a makeover.
I’ve said it before: Women go through many phases of reinvention in their lives. As the only women’s magazine in Maine, we felt a strong desire to break free, change, launch and emerge with a totally new look and feel. You will see our transformation here in print, and also on our new website, www.mainewomenmagazine.com. There you will find more information for and about women that we intend to update frequently. You can also learn more about all of our staff and contributors, and get updated calendar information in between printed issues.
We’ve been working on this re-launch for the last three months. Behind the scenes, we have a very diverse and extremely talented group of Maine women of all ages and backgrounds who have devoted their time, energy and passion to making this magazine both visually attractive and full of content and ideas that are pertinent to women of all ages. We have brought in a group of thoughtful local writers, a veteran designer, a sharp photographer and an awesome editor. I think we have put together a great magazine for our readers, and I hope you agree.
In this first issue, we worked from a theme of Body Image. Say this to most any woman, and you will see an immediate reaction, followed by some sort of personal story. We all have our own body image struggles and successes.
In this issue, you will meet two women who are using their bodies in a way that brings them con dence, empowerment and strength. Liz Leddy, whom we have profiled in the past, is a local boxer who found the courage in her own physical strength to completely turn her life
around. Read Liz’s story, as told by the talented Alicia Fisher, on page 10. Margaret Brownlee chose burlesque dancing as her medium to showcase her body confidence, strength and sexiness. Margaret’s story is on page 15.
A few years ago, I took my then-teenage daughters to see “The Vagina Monologues” when the show came to Portland. The show itself is an empowering, energizing experience for women. Spending an hour or more with my girls in an environment that was completely stripped of fear and shame, surrounded by dozens of other women, was a life changing experience.
We three left the church on Munjoy Hill feeling strong. As we walked the block or so to the car, we were encircled by three young men calling, “Hey baby,” and cooing their vulgar dialogue as they picked up the pace toward us. I said to my daughters, “Walk tall, look straight ahead, and be brave.” The 25 seconds that it took to get in the car and lock the doors erased all of the power we had gained. Street harassment and slut shaming is, unfortunately, a fact of life for most women. Read Emily Straubel’s piece on this topic on page 28.
You will find some familiar voices and meet new ones in this issue of Maine Women magazine. Be sure to read Slant, featuring Carrie Losneck’s view on dress code; Polish with Alana York; At the Table by Claire Jeffers; and don’t miss the male perspective in our new feature, Ask Andrew.