Darling is an independent, 100% ad-free, quarterly print women’s magazine with a “no-retouching” policy. A magazine developed upon a foundation of empowerment of women, it claims the slogan, "the art of being a woman. Lauren Conrad, Jennifer Morrison, Olivia Wilde, Kristen Bell, Minka Kelly, and YouTube personality Ingrid Nilsen are among a few people who have been featured in their previous issues. The magazine is based in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Darling Magazine’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sarah Dubbeldam created Darling in 2009. The magazine started off as a blog and produced its first print issue in fall 2012. After gaining a large online following enough to fund a Kickstarter campaign, Darling was featured on Kickstarter’s homepage and soon after, launched their first print magazine. Darling embraces women of different ethnicities and body types. All photographs are not retouched to alter women's faces or bodies. Sample articles include exclusive articles about self-empowerment, self-improvement, career, relationships, style, travel, recipes as well as interviews, features and stories from a pool of selected creative contributors. All articles are paired with unique and artistic photography that are specifically shot for each article. The magazine is currently carried at Anthropologie stores, select Whole Foods stores, and independent boutiques nationwide, as well as Darling’s online store.
Within each issue, Darling partitions articles within eight “personas” which are: The Dreamer, The Hostess, the Confident, the Stylist, the Explorer, the Beautician, the Intellectual, and the Achiever.
In addition to its print publication, Darling hosts “Darling Dinner” events that take place around the U.S. Each event is themed around a selected topic and invites the community to gather to share a meal and engage in thought-provoking conversations.
In 2013, Darling launched the #DarlingMovement in hopes to get their readers to get involved and take action after reading the Darling issues, inspiring women to create positive change and see the raw and natural beauty of being a modern woman. The movement represents the effort to live out Darling’s mission statement through a multitude of ways that includes the readers’ involvement and allows readers to share their voice and how they connect with the mission of Darling.
Darling has been praised for its content of displaying beauty in aspects outside the norm. The Los Angeles Times has described Darling as a magazine that “uses “models of all shapes and sizes” and eschews retouching and photoshopping.” The Huffington Post has noted that Darling “encourages a woman to be the best version of herself rather than a cheap one-dimensional imitation of a false reality.” Paper & Type Graphic Design Co. has also called Darling magazine a "publication that roots for womankind, with articles to encourage, to sweeten and cheer, to listen to, and to celebrate the woman."
In 2014 Darling partnered with the International Justice Mission, a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world. Darling is donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of its magazine to support the work being done to end sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic.