body acceptance body love

Summer 2015 Letter from the Editor - Body Love/Summer Adventure Issue

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Hello readers! I am so excited to share this issue with you all. June marked the official start to summer and there is so much to be happy for. This issue is our largest issue to date. The staff and I put a lot of long hours, blood, sweat and tears into this issue. Halfstack is truly our labor of love.

With the release of this issue, we are leading into an amazing time in history. On Friday, June 26th during our press trip to Milwaukee – The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. Just writing those words gives me goose bumps. It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by people that weekend who were overjoyed at this announcement. It was even more amazing to see so many people in Milwaukee and back home– young and old, straight or gay celebrating this monumental victory giving much needed civil rights to the LGBTQ community. Just a year ago we released our Equality issue that truly showcased our stance as a media outlet and highlighted that love truly does win. It has been one of my favorite issues to work on and the couples we showcased in it continue to inspire me to love unconditionally and appreciate diversity, day in and day out.

This Summer our issue has a dual theme. As is typical for summer, we explore adventure, but this year we are giving it a retro twist. Our cover shoot features Chicago designer: Borris Powell and was shot on location at Lickity Split Frozen Custard & Sweet shop in the Edgewater Neighborhood. We also went on multiple urban adventures this issue; exploring the ruins of Gary, Indiana and the Midwest gem Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We give you an insiders view to check out all that Milwaukee has to offer including Summerfest and great food. Our writers have a round up of things to do this summer, sports to keep your eyes on and places to visit off the beaten path overseas. To celebrate the diverse cultures that our readers have, Tareq is bringing some global focus into view with articles on Ramadan’s Diva: Sherihan and several other Middle Eastern cultural icons. 

Aside from our adventure theme, this issue is delving into the topic of self love and body acceptance. We worked with the amazing Laura Lopez from Pickapose Photography once again to bring to life these amazing concepts. This issue she worked on a deeply moving and personal piece highlighting beauty in imperfection. We also shot our Rising of the Phoenix feature together showcasing work from Eli Borrowman of Fermented Fruit Clothing, accessories from CambyCam and True Partners in Craft. This shoot was done on location in Gary, Indiana. We featured many historical landmarks that are now in ruins as the backdrop to showcase beautiful empowered women surviving through darkness. Our models included Karli Butler of – we featured her acid attack survival story a year ago and it brought things full circle to have her model in this feature.

This issue I wanted to focus on finding beauty and strength from within. The idea of empowerment is so important. We as a people need to continue to come together to make the changes we want to see. Many are too afraid to step up to the plate and then there are a select few who throw all inhibitions to the wind and fight for what they truly believe in. One of our features highlights a woman who is leading the self-love cause through her #effyourbeautystandards movement. Tess Holliday, is an American plus-size model based in Los Angeles. She self-describes as a "body positive activist" and started her #effyourbeautystandards movement on Instagram in 2013. Jen Oquendo shares Tess’ journey and more about the #effyourbeautystandards movement. We also showcase Jassmine Parks, a young woman who embodies empowerment. Her rough start in life didn’t hold her back from pursuing her dreams and breaking the cycle of poverty she grew up in. She is a young woman on a mission, leading change and helping her community in the process. We also feature Michelle Landriault, the MUA and plus size blogger behind Michelle Swoons who is making a name for herself on Youtube.

Olivia shares her latest features showcasing local Chicago celebrities including: Candace Jordan and Marcellas Reynolds. Thom features a new Chicago hotspot: HERB and Danielle continues to bring us the latest and greatest in beauty, grooming and lifestyle.

I close out this issue with a beautiful and personal letter from our newest writer: Rachael Stewart. As a young girl, I knew to well the struggle that Rachael has faced with the eating disorder she isn’t allowing to control her anymore. Her letter to her fragile self is heart wrenching and yet so brave. Each day is a battle, but each day you overcome is a success. Rachael’s story is a reminder to each of us to love ourselves and to realize that it isn’t just the outside love from others, but the love that you have for yourself that is the most powerful, moving and healing.

I hope the stories in this issue move you and inspire you. Thank you, as always, for your constant support. Read the full Summer Issue on Issuu!

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