We’re taking a deep dive the fundamental problem of retouching in media, why narrowing the definition of beauty is not healthy, how to replace lies with truth, and the upcoming documentary, self(i.e.), with Sarah Dubbeldam, CEO of DARLING Media and Editor-in-Chief of DARLING Magazine.

Sarah Dubbeldam is founder of DARLING, a multi-media company that is positively redefining female-driven digital, social and print content. She serves as CEO of DARLING Media and Editor-in-Chief of DARLING Magazine.

After graduating from Concordia University, Sarah was signed by one of the world’s top modeling agencies.

Although her modeling career was met with success through national campaigns, after a few years she was fed up with feeling insecure and depressed, questioning what she was doing with her life.

Sarah put her dissatisfaction into action and over coffee with her best friend Kelli, came up with the idea of launching DARLING, a magazine that broadened the ideal of “beauty” with an authentic and elevated conversation for women.

The goal: creating media that matters.

Five years after first developing the concept, Sarah turned to Kickstarter in 2012 to get the print magazine off the ground.

Since then the company has grown into different verticals such as video, online, social media and events and has become a movement to build women’s self-esteem.

DARLING is the only women’s magazine that does not retouch women’s skin or bodies and seeks to represent a wide range of sizes, ages and ethnicities.

The cultural phenomenon Sarah has created can be seen in the hashtags #thatsdarling, #darlingmovement and #darlingweekend that have been used more than 15 million times on social media.

Key Takeaways

The DARLING founding story, and how the mission statement came to be.

The decision to not retouch images in the magazine.

The difference between filters and retouching.

Sarah’s definition of perfectionism and the ideal of beauty throughout the years.

The problem with narrowing the idea of beauty.

“A flaw is only a flaw if it’s measured against an ideal.” Sarah Dubbeldam

“Your body is your home. The only thing holding you back is believing there’s something wrong with you.” self(i.e.)

Replacing lies with truth.

Bringing awareness to self-critical thoughts and sharing these thoughts with a supportive community.

Learning to have healthy thought patterns is what it really means to be healthy.


DARLING mission statement.

self(i.e.): the search for real self-esteem in a retouched world

Guest Information

Website: darlingmagazine.com

Instagram: @darlingmagazine @sarahdubbs


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