How to Be

How to Be

I don’t know about you, but by the time I was a teenager I was so bored of most magazines. They were either all just repetitive, or hard to relate to, full of girls who didn’t look like me. I like makeup, but it’s not my life. I like celebs, but it’s not like I only care about people on the hottest vampire show. I think that a lot of the time, mainstream magazines don’t understand that teen girls are more than lip gloss and celebs, with a dash of girl power thrown in for good measure. We can like lip gloss and women’s rights. We can want relationship advice without it being strictly hetero. We can love clothes but also love really inspiring photography.

Some of these online magazines really mix the best of both worlds. They’re for those of us who love reading magazines but want a more down to earth, less mainstream approach to them. From mags full of dreamy photography to awesome personal essays, here are seven cool online magazines that are a visual and mental orgasm.


1) RookieMag

Of course we have to include Rookie in this roundup. From photography to personal essays to awesome playlists, Rookie is definitely the reigning queen of cool, alternative online magazines for teen girls. They even have a “yearbook” they release once a year full of more photography and writing. If you aren’t keeping up with Rookie…what are you doing with your life?


2) I Love Fake Magazine

This magazine is full of visual orgasm candy. Seriously, even if the styles featured in it just aren’t your speed, they’re still so cool to look at. I mean, look at this pastel wonderland below.

pastel style arvida bystrom i love fake magazine 1


pastel style arvida bystrom i love fake magazine 2


3) Ballad Of

This is such a cute indie publication full of awesome photography, interviews with young writers and artists, and cool advice guides (as seen below).  They exist online but also in limited print editions that you might want to check out.

beccys guide to life ballad of magazine


4) Polyester

This is a super new online zine that is just starting to pick up a little more speed.


5) Shade Mag

Shade Mag is the bomb, especially because it is ran by women of color and it aims to represent people of color in a way that many magazines, frankly, don’t. Plus, the girls behind the publication, Apryl and Azha, just seem like the raddest girls ever. Check out the photos on their site, you won’t be disappointed!

shade magazine


6) Tartzine

This magazine is a celebration of art, style and music in a gorgeous, edgy package. Created by young photographer Maisie Cousins, Tart highlights the diversity of femininity and womanhood via  illustration, photography and every other medium in between. If you’re into that, Tart will definitely be a feast for your eyes.

Natalya Lobanova happy2bsad


7) Sister Mag

Sister Magazine is so fun! In their mission statement they said that their magazine, “celebrates femininity and promotes empowerment” and highlights, “unsung women of the future, today and the past.” So imagine all of that with some awesome photography thrown in. Sounds like a girl mag dream. They also have a print version of their magazine that you can check out, too.



What other small, independent online magazines are you into? Are you more into magazines that are about fashion and beauty or about culture and lifestyle? Tell us in the comments!


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