Meet: Womanly Magazine
Womanly Magazine provides accessible health information to women and non-binary people through visual and literary art. Subjects include discrimination in the health care system, intergenerational concerns, and physical and sexual health and expression.
Hi Attia! Can you introduce yourself and your background?
I'm Attia Taylor, writer, musician, health advocate, and content producer. I've been working in the nonprofit world for the empowerment of girls and women for over ten years. In those years, I've learned how inaccessible basic health information is to most people in America. My goal is to use the arts as a means to closing that gap. I've also been writing for various art publications for the last ten years. Combining health and media was inevitable for me.
What is your interest in healthcare and what lead to the creation of Womanly? Why print?
I'm an avid health advocate. We live in a country where having your basic needs met can cost you thousands of dollars. Our well-being is tied to our productivity and that leads to an incredible amount of disparity. So many folks fall behind or get lost in their inability to pay for life-saving screenings and check-ups. The cost of medication alone can discourage people from taking care of themselves. To address that, we created a print magazine specifically to bring vital and life-saving information to people with a higher level of immediacy. Finding out about the signs of diabetes or a stroke should not only be something you learn on the internet or when you go to the doctors office. For some people, neither of those things are an option. We distribute our print magazines for free in low-income communities across Philly, Baltimore, NYC, and Oakland to meet people where they are. The information in print is also 100% available online to create a seamless experience. We also sell the print copies online for folks who can afford them so that we can continue to share free copies with our communities.
Love that you distribute copies in Planned Parenthoods and other health centers. What’s been the general response to the mag?
Planned Parenthood of NYC has been a HUGE supporter of our work. We're expanding to other Planned Parenthood offices and clinics more and more as we grow. We receive so much love from the people who come across Womanly online, in cafes, or in clinics. We've received some very personal messages from women who have picked up a copy while waiting for their appointments. People actually feel seen and represented. That response has been so refreshing and it truly helps us to keep working. We're an all volunteer staff so this is truly a labor of love.
What do you have planned next for the future of Womanly?
We have big plans! I'm working tirelessly to make Womanly a go-to name for health care information and community support. We're launching a membership program soon to help sustain our work and we plan to build strong partnerships with organizations to help them be better allies to their patients and employees. There is a lot of work to be done in dismantling the systems that have hidden health information behind lock and key. We're excited for the challenge and grateful to everyone doing this work alongside us.
Who do you look for for inspiration right now?
We're really looking to our community. There is so much strength in the folks that society ignores. Their power and determination in this world is so inspiring. Our cover stars are the people who are never the cover stars. We're also speaking to our intended audience to understand what their needs are and how we can create a better experience for them through our work.
Womanly is currently available at select locations in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Oakland including:
Planned Parenthood NYC
My Sister’s Place Women’s Center