A lifestyle and women empowerment magazine started blooming on campus. Olivia Paladino, a sophomore communications major, felt inspired by friends who work at Equal Time Magazine, a women’s lifestyle publication at Syracuse University.
“This is the type of journalism I personally want to do. I want to write for fashion and beauty magazines in the future and there’s no medium for that here at Manhattan College,” Paladino said,
Looking to build her portfolio for showing future employers, Paladino thought about combining both her passion for women’s issues and her writing skills through empowering other girls, “[by] making sure that hey have a safe space to exist, to develop and thrive,” Paladino said.
Lotus Magazine’s goal is to redefine the idea of beauty and the concept of what a traditional women’s magazine is and should look like.
“I can remember being a younger girl reading Seventeen Magazine. I saw all these beautiful models but I didn’t really look like any of them,” Paladino said.
The response thus far has been more than expected. On their first meeting, Dec 1st, more than forty students showed up and the gathering resulted in a 63 person email list of those interested in collaborating for the magazine.
Paladino joined forces with Melissa Gallardo, also a sophomore communications student.
“We got to talking and Melissa was really on board with it. She gave me the push to make it happen,” Paladino said.
As a team, they have divided the tasks of the editor-in-chief position between the two.
“Olivia is the creative end, she’s the writer. I’m the organizer, the one behind the emails, social media, agenda, all the nitty-gritty work,” Gallardo said.
When asked why “Lotus” for a name, Paladino explained that a Lotus flower has to go through mud in order to flourish.
“I see a lot of girls like Lotus flowers,” Paladino said.
In the midst of representing all women, Lotus Magazine is looking for different types of models.
“We’re looking for girls all different shapes and sizes. There’s a lot of tokenism in traditional media and we want to break that stereotype, that stigma. We want to redefine that standard,” Gallardo said.
On the other hand, Paladino says it’s important that all [models] are from MC.
“Every female student can see themselves in the magazine, showcased in a place where they’re being called called beautiful, powerful and strong,” Paladino said.
Even though they have had unwavering support, they’re still in the process of achieving club status.
“The hardest thing right now is getting club status, our biggest concern is getting people involved and staying on board, besides getting the publication started,” Gallardo said.
For Paladino, “it’s about showing [the office of] Student Engagement that there’s a really large following and that there’s support behind this, staff, and people reading this,” Paladino said.
Printed once a semester and updated online through their online ebook, as articles come along, Paladino and Gallardo are looking for writers, models, editors, photographers and graphic designers and even though the magazine is focused on feminism, “boys are absolutely welcomed to join. They can become male contributors, editors, etc, as long as they share our passion for feminism,” Paladino said.