Ladybeard mag launched to critical acclaim in Jesus Forum

A new “feminist glossy” was launched in Cambridge on Sunday, at an open event held in The Forum, Jesus College. Ladybeard’s ‘The Body Issue’, which was first initiated in July 2012, has been praised for being “stylish” (by the BBC’s Jane Garvey) as well as hard-hitting and innovative.

The event, held in a spacious venue decorated with fairy-lights and with copies of the magazine displayed on the walls, was described as having a “very optimistic vibe: exciting, positive”.

The launch sparked national coverage and excitement. In April, the project was endorsed in the Observer; more recently, earlier this month founders and editors Sadhbh O’Sullivan and Kitty Drake appeared on ‘Women’s Hour’ on Radio 4 to discuss with Garvey the launch and the motivations behind the new magazine.

The first issue, which has over 70 pages of content and attempts to balance experience pieces, original poetry, photographs and illustrations, was crowd-funded through Kickstarter. The lack of external funding has limited the wider spread of the first issue, but 10 universities other than Cambridge are set to receive 40 copies each, while plans are afoot to put the magazine online at a later date.

“What we’re really trying to do with Ladybeard is make gender more fluid, mellifluous, and encourage gender-bending,” explained Kitty, pointing out that this is not a magazine solely by or for women; while Sadhbh praised the “very diverse range of voices” which resulted from their choice not to commision pieces, but to give anyone the freedom to “submit something you’d like to see in the magazine that isn’t there”.

Submissions are already open for the next issue, under the theme of ‘Sex’.

Image Credits: Sandy Rushton

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