What The XXY Magazine Team Have Learnt In 2017

What The XXY Magazine Team Have Learnt In 2017

“Determination. At the beginning of 2017, I knew I wanted to leave my full-time job working for an organisation I loved, but where I was ultimately in the wrong role. I wanted to move into writing and editing full-time, but needed to find an opportunity that would allow me to do so whilst still paying the bills. Over the first eight months of the year I continued to write on the side of my full-time work, often using my evenings and weekends to do so, and often writing for free. Over the course of that time I wrote countless job applications too, before eventually landing a role as Features Editor for an online women’s magazine in the Autumn.

A highlight of the year for me was joining the team at XXY Magazine in Spring; working here has taught me about the fun that can be had from working on something because you truly believe in it, not because you’re being paid to be there. I’ve also learned a lot through my colleagues at XXY – smart, ambitious individuals, beautiful inside and out, who come from different backgrounds, have faced different struggles and walked a different path to find the magazine to mine. Every time we meet in person I learn something I didn’t know before – and that’s pretty special.

I’m entering 2018 feeling positive about my career, enthusiastic about the work we do at XXY, and excited about what awaits us over the year ahead.”

Holly O’Mahony

Culture Editor

Flower gremlin

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“Steady. I think 2017 has been a real changing point for me in terms of how I produce work. I’ve always struggled with deadlines and getting my ideas from my head onto paper, but after joining the XXY team in June and starting my degree in September, I think I am beginning to learn the importance of teamwork and delegation, and how to ask for help when you need it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I’m definitely not the best at getting work done perfectly yet, but I have noticed a real change in the way I approach tasks. I like to think 2018 will be a year of productivity.

I’ve also learnt a lot about mental health this year, how important it is not to ignore it in yourself but also not to ignore it in others. Check up on your friends and make sure they know you value them and are supportive – similarly, try to surround yourself with people who will support you. Mental health is never easy but sometimes just recognising you need help is a huge step in the right direction.”

Ellie Connor-Phillips

Fashion Assistant

“Strength. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. This year was finally the year that I started to say no. No to situations I knew I wouldn’t particularly enjoy but didn’t want to miss out on because everyone else was there. No to agreeing with people because it’s easier and because I don’t like confrontation. No to the people in my life who didn’t make me feel like my best self but mainly, no to conforming.

Now I haven’t done a complete 180 and radicalised my life and my beliefs, but in the small moments, I have. I’ve started to ask myself more questions and to self-reflect – why am I doing this? Does this truly make me happy? Am I sure? And for this I’m thankful. I’m thankful to all the people who surround me and make me question myself and my opinions more. I’m thankful to all the inspiring people I see doing this every day – many of whom have been a part of this magazine in one way or another. It’s easy to conform in this world, to believe what you read and hear, to adopt others opinions as your own, and to go along for the ride. But every so often, it’s good to take a minute, ask yourself a question, and if you don’t like the answer, see how you can change it.”

Megan Staunton

Marketing Director

“Growth. And letting go of this idea that I can control everything because frankly, I cannot. Many of us think – especially those who work in the media that we can master our image, what we mean when we say it, how we’re feeling and the bubble around us. But actually you cannot shape anything but yourself. I have learnt this year, with myself and others, you cannot force wanting something.

2017 has been a whirlwind of ups and downs and the tenderness, the words and the learning in between the two stages of when things are great in one area and not so much in another part of your life. I know many women are always questioning themselves if they can have it all meaning being a career woman and having a family and social life outside of it all – my year wasn’t so much trying to have it all but growing to learn what I actually want and stand for. This strain of thought is still a work in progress; as I shall always be: unfinished yet unwavering.”

Tahmina Begum


— The XXY Magazine team wish you the brightest new year. 

"So last night was more than special. It was representative. Maybe not of all but of more. Colourism and beauty standards is something I think about almost daily. Not because I have to, not because I'm a "woman of colour" but because I see the world continue where women and men have to go through BS everyday just cause of the percentage of melanin in their skin within their own "communities". We didn't cure anything last night but as I said earlier, I felt as though we encouraged our audience to speak about these issues in corners outside of liberal spaces, outside of panel events and outside their comfort zones. Thank you to @sharmadeanreid for owning the building we all wouldn't have been happily invited in fifty years ago and being an icon of what it means to be a dynamic business woman. Thank you to @areagirl93 and @ellenatlanta and the WAHwomen who helped make this happen and to our speakers: for being kind to those who are still unlearning through their words, minds and wisdom. Thank you to our audience and readers (and hi to our new readers!) for taking the time out of their day to be a part of what's crucial to discuss especially in this political climate. And to my family within @xxymagazine thank you for never asking "why" when I have an idea but instead "how we going to do this?" And man, we did." – Tahmina Begum, CEO & Editor-in-Chief #LETSTALKABOUTIT #XXYxWAH #THEREPRESENTATIONISSUE

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