Anna Buckley
Gina Vaynshteyn
January 01, 2017 10:00 am

I never read a magazine’s “Letter from the Editor,” and always skipped ahead to The Trends You Need To Follow This Year Or Else You’ll Turn To Dust, or quizzes that affirmed absolutely nothing about my personality. Give me unwearable fashion! Give me health tips I will bookmark and totally ignore! Anything but THE LETTER.

But after taking over as Editorial Director of HelloGiggles in October of this year, I went back to the Letter from the Editor. I started paying attention to it whenever I bought a magazine, reading it, and sometimes even taking out a pen and ANNOTATING it (English professors who had me in college, I dare you to tell me you’re not proud of me right now, I DARE YOU). For me, the Letter from the Editor is a way the person overseeing a publication can tell their readers, “Hey you. I see you, and I’m listening to you.” And that’s what I wanted to do, to connect with you, our smart HelloGiggles readers, and get back to basics.

HelloGiggles was founded on the principle of establishing a special relationship with our readers. In fact, our column, “From our Readers” is part of our site’s DNA. From the very beginning, we really tried to carve out a safe, inclusive, warm space for women that can often be hard to find. Last fall of 2015, we were acquired by Time Inc, and it was incredibly exciting, because that meant we would be getting even more resources to grow as a community, publication, and even a video platform! (Have you watched our videos lately? I may be a teensy bit biased, but they are the best videos on the internet.) And we have grown! Today, we publish around 120 stories per day — we cover everything from the latest Kat Von D. beauty product, to what quirky shoes Emma Stone was wearing on  the red carpet, to women’s health, to what the Kardashians are up to (and more on that in a sec).

But we get that we publish content that is not up everyone’s alley. The social media team and I read through every Facebook message we get — trust me, we are listening. We see that maybe one of our writers made a typo and the editor didn’t catch it (we’re only human! But we are trying to be better humans every day.), that if we post one more Kardashian story you will combust into a tiny million little cranky pieces (yes, we do report on the Kardashians, but only because they’re a guilty pleasure for many readers — including ourselves), or that we accidentally gave away a spoiler without posting a spoiler-warning in a story (our bad!). We hear you, and we’re doing our best to not only provide you with smart, inspiring content, but we also try to balance that out with some not-so-important-but-omigod-is-it-fun-to-read stories that you sneak in on your lunch break.

A new year means a time for new beginnings, right? After a very confusing, perma-facepalming year we just had, the HelloGiggles team is determined to still be the place for all kinds of people to retreat to. Whether you’re the kind of gal who likes to read about who Taylor Swift is dating, or a dude who likes to keep up with every rainbow/polka-dot/unicorn hair trend that Instagram has to offer, or someone who needs a good recommendation where to find a cute feminist tee, we’re your girls (and a couple guys, too).

Happy New Year, everyone. We love you and cherish you and are thankful for you. Now, go nurse that hangover with a grilled cheese and some Gilmore Girls reruns. Or, you can read some of my favorite HelloGiggles pieces we published this year:

What we owe Hillary Clinton as Millennial women

Why I started writing down my accomplishments

No, you’re not different, you’re just an “Aging Millennial” 

Luckiest Girl Alive author Jessica Knoll gives us the most honest advice on writing and life

How other women’s stories of surviving sexual assault have taught me to let go of shame

A deep dive into the important, unapologetic blackness of Beyoncé’s “Formation”

How to deal with pop culture beauty standards when you’re a black Muslim girl

James Charles talks about launching new merchandise, working with CoverGirl, and how he hopes to sing with Demi Lovato

What Philando Castile and Alton Sterlings’ deaths mean to me as a black mother

Please stop shaming me for washing my hair every day

6 iconic movies in pop culture I have never seen & what I think they’re about

How I learned to let go of impostor syndrome and trust my talent

This gender neutral company is run by a 19-year-old female entrepreneur 

Amber Rose talks to us about her partnership with MeUndies and ways you can get involved with activism after the election

Yep, I had a historical symbol of a vagina tattooed on my arm

We talk to witches about the connection between makeup and magick

Detox to retox: A diary of my fish collagen-drinking, Dirty Lemon “cleanse”

How I found my black girl magic

Here’s what you should know about Dia de los Muertos, through the lens of death-embracing artists

Until next month,

Gina

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