Badass Women

I’ve been in magazines for over 20 years. I’ve documented every trend, every cool party, every movie star, every new pair of shoes (I bought some of them, too). And that’s great, I’m lucky. But lately, as an editor, and as a woman, that isn’t enough. Magazine brands, at their best, need to represent and react to the culture they’re living in, and no time is more important than now.

Over the years, I’ve found my appetite changing within this industry. I’m not interested in social media models and influencers (God bless them), I’m into women who get things done. I only want to celebrate women I respect. That’s sorta how Badass Women was born.

Last year, President Trump instituted his first, and thankfully so far ill-fated, trans ban in the military. I was so incensed, I raced into the office and asked my team to find a trans woman in service to profile for the magazine. They found a woman called Jennifer Peace, in her mid-30s, who had served in every war of her generation. She’s married with three kids and so dedicated to service that she couldn’t imagine her life without it. When I was reading about Jennifer, I said out loud to my team, “Damn, what a badass.”

So, here we are, with our inaugural Badass Women issue—highlighting women who show up, speak up, and get things done. Serena Williams is on the cover (obviously), and Monica Lewinsky, gymnast Aly Raisman, and a host of women in our first Badass 50 are inside (my favorite picture, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth arriving to a vote with her newborn daughter).

What’s really thrilling is that Badass has taken off like a rocket—we are producing both a 12-episode video series and also a radio show on Beats 1 focusing further on the gutsy women we’ve profiled in the magazine. At our InStyle Awards in October, we will present our first Badass Woman award (thankfully, I am spoiled for choice).

What’s most important: a Badass Woman is on the right side of history. And we need that now more than ever.

Right, ladies?