Last week I was tickled pink to find three of my favorite words — girl, crush, and zine — combined to form an awesome new project. The project is the brainchild of two women literati: Thessaly La Force, web editor for literary magazine The Paris Review and Jenna Wortham, a digital culture and tech geek writer for The New York Times. The pair are launching Girl Crush Zine, where women can gush about other women; women they admire, worship, love, envy, and, well, crush out on.
La Force cited her need for girl crushes for The Daily Beast in 2009. The article lamented the perils of being a woman among women in journalism:
As a journalist in New York City, I’ve found that media is an especially fraught industry for these kinds of relationships. Looking for a formal “mentor” seems forced; worshiping someone from afar, creepy; deciding one of your friends or co-workers is really cool and doing everything she does, single white female-y. And frenemies and backstabbers lurk behind every door. The intern you thought was interested in learning the ropes from you is actually just interested in taking your job.
Ouch! The media certainly does love to focus on the smack talking, gossiping, and backstabbing of women, whether it’s in Hollywood, publishing, or politics. Girl Crush Zine is an awesome dose of positivity: a space where women get to love and admire other women, without the competition and the drama.
Writer and Girl Crush Zine contributor Emma Straub wrote about the girl crush phenomenom for The Paris Review earlier this year, writing, “All teenage girls are half lesbian.” She wasn’t talking about sapphic acts of love, necessarily, but instead the passion and obsession that teen girls regularly come to find for each other — their BFFs, their cliques, their cool girl idols.
La Force and Wortham are taking this idea and giving it an adult place to geek out. Each contributor will be talking up some woman they admire, real, imagined, celebrity or otherwise. Wortham’s girl crushes include Kathleen Hanna, Joan Jett and Lisa Turtle. La Force counts Sofia Coppola, 2011 Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Jennifer Egan (the subject of many female literati’s girl crush), and Jane Mayle among her girl crushes. And if the Girl Crush Zine blog is any indication, the publication is sure to be a riot of awesome pop culture love: The pair listened to Kreayshawn while drafting the zine, there are random bursts of love for everyone from Alice Waters to Sandra Oh, an awesome gif of Lindsay Lohan from Mean Girls, and Wortham gives proper freak out regarding The Gossip covering Aaliyah (say what?!).
Issue One is available for pre-order, and a proper girl crush fete will be happening next month in New York. Count another win for the ladies.