University of the Arts student reimagines a more ‘authentic’ women’s magazine

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Aubrey Fink (right) created The Bridge Magazine, a literary manual about woman-hood, that fosters cross-generational conversations. She is pictured with her mother, Kim Fink. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Aubrey Fink (right) created The Bridge Magazine, a literary manual about woman-hood, that fosters cross-generational conversations. She is pictured with her mother, Kim Fink. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Aubrey Fink, a senior design student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is reimagining the women’s magazine. Instead of glossy pages filled with ads for makeup, jewelry and shoes, Fink is focusing her new magazine, The Bridge, on content she says is more “authentic.”

That authenticity comes straight from the women in her own life.

It all started when Fink was sitting on the subway reading comedian Amy Schumer’s memoir – specifically, the chapter critiquing mainstream women’s magazines.

“You can only read about transitioning your outfit from day to night so many times,” Fink said. “And I started thinking about the advice I get from my family — my mom and my aunts and cousins.”

“That’s the valuable information to me. They’re the ones who get real with me about when, like, what happens when you have a chin hair? And … what it means to be in a relationship.”

That thought stuck with her.

With the help of a $2,500 grant from the University of the Art’s Corzo Center Innovation Lab, Fink spent a year developing and designing the magazine, including writing many articles.

She decided to call it The Bridge — field guide for the female — a name Fink said captures the experiences of women of all generations.

The first two issues include articles such as, “How to Manage Menopause,” “How I Became a Mother Without Giving Birth,” “How to Tell Your Gyno You’ve Been Sleeping Around,” “You Don’t Look Mexican,” and “Questions I’ve Frantically Texted My Mom.”

“I was trying to describe what it feels like to go to lunch with my extended family,” Fink said. “And there’s been a lot of brunches over the years that end up going three hours and we’re talking. My aunts are howling at some dirty joke somebody told and I’m getting all this information about menopause and everything.”

Unlike the magazines you’d find on newsstands, The Bridge is the size of a small composition book, with thick pages and no ads.

There’s advice, humor, and some personal stories that could get you a little choked up.

For example, in issue number two, a woman shares her story about losing her son to addiction. Her name isn’t given. She’s simply identified as “A friend of Ours.”

“I wanted it to feel like people had an option to share valuable information without having to expose themselves,” Fink said.

Fink, who graduates in the spring, plans to keep putting out two issues of The Bridge each year including more diverse female voices.

Hard copies of the first two issues are available online and twenty-give percent of each sale supports Girls Inc.–a non-profit that supports school-aged girls.

For more information go to BridgeMagPhilly.com

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