Cynthia Dermody has been working for newspapers, magazines and websites for more than 20 years, most recently serving as managing editor of CafeMedia’s The Stir, a popular and fast-growing website for women. She’s now taken the helm of Aleteia’s new offering, For Her. We were able to get the very busy editor-in-chief to share her thoughts on this beautifully wrought new online magazine.
For Her: What is it? Who is it aimed at serving?
For Her is a fashion and lifestyle magazine for modern, active women who are comfortable in the modern world but are also inspired by strong values. They want what most women want: a beautiful and happy life. They want to have balance in their lives without sacrificing their families. They want a great social life, and they want to express their personalities through fashion, beauty, food and decor.
They love to read about entertainment, celebrities, health and beauty, but they are often discouraged or let down by the advice and conversations other magazines give them about relationships, marriage and family — they are struggling to stay true to their roots and their faith in an increasingly secular society that doesn’t always support who they really are. They want and need to feel supported by a community with similar views of life and values, and to enrich their inner life.
And that is what our online magazine is really all about. For Her offers the advice, conversations and inspirations to help women live a beautiful, meaningful life both inside and out. Our readers know that the greatest happiness is to make their loved ones happy.
Can I ask why For Her at this specific time?
We think it’s a good time to celebrate all that is truly feminine, to show that being strong does not mean being aggressive — that being truly feminine is strong, in the way that John Paul II described the “feminine genius.” We feel like it’s time that women with values and depth embrace that part of themselves, and we want to celebrate their way of living to encourage others.
What can we expect to find at For Her?
We will cover every part of a woman’s life that’s important to her, including family, relationships, spirituality, health … but also fashion, decor, food, entertainment and even shopping. Our readers are strong in their spirituality, but their values are reflected in all parts of their lives, from the gorgeous way they decorate their homes to welcome guests, to the communion of a delicious home-cooked meal shared with friends, as well as the beauty of a stylish outfit.
Family and living as part of a wife-husband pair are central themes running through our content and visuals. For instance, we have a beautiful home tour of a chic Paris apartment. But it’s not only the amazing furniture and accessories that make these slides drool-worthy. It’s the family photos on the wrought-iron end table, and the personality of the family’s hobbies scattered througout the house. It’s the family that fills this space and gives it life that makes this spread absolutely stunning.
How will For Her be different from your competitors?
We take feminine beauty and elegance to the next level on our pages and through our content. You are getting top quality content that rivals the best media brands out there. Our editors and writers come from some of the most respected women’s lifestyle and fashion media, including Elle, Vogue, Redbook and Reader’s Digest. We work with top fashion photographers and stylists on original fashion spreads. Our writers are noted magazine, newspaper and book authors. All of our content and visuals are presented through the lens of a Christian perspective that connects with our readers in a way other publications that don’t understand or appreciate their unique values and beliefs can.
Given your media background and your personal life, is For Her reflecting your life back at you?
I am so excited to be part of this project, both as an editor and as a busy, time-stretched wife, mom and professional who is trying to find the balance in life and get more in touch with her spiritual side, and see the deeper meaning of things in life. It’s hard when you can’t even seem to make that dentist appointment that’s four months overdue! Creating For Her has helped me see the importance of making sure to pause and reflect on those things that really matter. I love talking to other women who have found ways to fit it all in, hear them telling their stories and exploring all the topics we do from a more meaningful angle than what you might find in one of the other newsstand magazines.
I could use advice with “fitting it all in” myself. Having seen the layout and the fabulous artwork, I’m blown away and excited to see more.
Well, that’s great to hear, because For Her is for you, and for so many women balancing faith and work and family and trying to find a place that serves all of their interests. We are excited to be able to offer you something beautiful and fine.
Elizabeth Scalia is editor-in-chief of Aleteia’s English edition.