After a number of years working at magazines in the Spokane area and then in Orange County, Calif., Heather Evans was fed up with false advertising and unrealistic expectations for beauty standards in the media.
So much so that she felt like she needed to combat it in a strong and positive way. On Jan. 1, Evans launched HaveHeart Magazine, a publication to prove the media still has heart, and ever since she's been inundated with emails from interested readers looking for opportunities to get involved.
“Our mission statement is we strive to redefine what beauty means and inspire that change in the world,” the Moscow, Idaho native says. “Women are becoming more educated about what they want in advertising and we don’t have to necessarily advertise to men anymore. We want to establish a new definition of beauty in media with models of all shapes, sizes and ages.”
Evans says poor body image is an epidemic, that girls are being diagnosed with eating disorders as young as 7 years old — and that has a lot to do with the images they see. The magazine focuses on the beauty and importance of everyday women, and has a strict no-Photoshop policy, never altering a model’s face or body structure.
For now, the magazine exists solely online, but Evans is hoping that’s only temporary.
“Our original plan was to be a national print magazine, but it was really strongly suggested to us that we start online because that’s where everything is today,” she says. “When we have a strong footing we’ll move to print. That’s our two-year plan.”
And even with the intention to stay national, HaveHeart has carved a readership out for itself with women in places as far as Australia and India. The magazine publishes everything from recipes to DIY projects to personal essays about body acceptance and positivity. The first cover model was The Divine Jewels, a Spokane performance artist and burlesque dancer who Evans met and worked with when she first moved to Spokane. Evans recognized her as exactly the kind of figure the magazine wanted to showcase. In the upcoming issue, there’ll be a feature on happily married men, “because you just don’t hear about that too often,” Evans says.
As it stands, HaveHeart is personally funded through a private source that stands in line with the magazine’s mission. There is no advertising on the magazine’s website yet, but the challenge as Evans foresees it is will be finding major advertisers willing to place ads without photoshopped models. Once the magazine makes it over that hurdle, the plan is to test out a print edition in different markets.
For the time being, though, Evans acts as the magazine’s social media manager, trying to build a readership and following that way. She’s caught the attention of sassy 94-year-old quilter, Muriel B, who has almost 45,000 followers on Twitter. She’s agreed to be a cover model and Evans could not be more thrilled. “We’ve been out for 10 days,” Evans says, “and it’s been amazing how many people have wanted to be a part of this.”