Notes from the Editor Life Announcements

Dishing on our cultural trials and triumphs: The best of Culture & Taste 2016

2016 hands down has been one of the most challenging years for so many of us. When it was good, it was incredible, and when it was bad, it felt like the worst, ever.

Since The Tempest‘s launch in March 2016, things have been really busy. So many diverse women want to share their stories and they have, but many others are still hiding, afraid to do so.

This year we’ve led the way in talking about the issues that face us, and continue to be committed to share those authentic narratives The Tempest is known for. From New Zealand to Egypt,  New York City to Grenada, our writers span the globe, sharing their experiences, dreams, and challenges.

I’ve been in awe reading the stories of these phenomenal women, who for so long, have been told that their perspectives and experiences didn’t matter- that no one wanted to read them. The Tempest has flipped that script – you absolutely do matter, and we want to share your tales.

One thing that I’ve learned this year is that there’s so much more waiting for you just outside your comfort zone.

Taking the leap is scary but it’s SO worth it.

It’s difficult to choose just five, but here’s my #BestofTheTempest2016:

1. I won’t apologize for not being married. 

A shameless plug for myself as a writer but I’ve included it because it was something I was nervous about writing and required vulnerability to do it, and I’m absolutely glad that I did. It may just be my favorite piece I’ve written thus far.

2. Don’t let anyone shame your wedding fantasy.

Being feminist doesn’t mean you can’t be romantic, which I think can be a common misconception with the label feminist. I loved the way this article showed that it’s not an either or situation but you can easily be both feminist and romantic, and being romantic doesn’t detract from that. Something I can completely relate to.

3. I come from a long line of women who disobeyed society’s rules.

2016 made you want to throw your hands in the air and give up. There are so many gems in this powerful piece which I think embodies so much of what The Tempest is about; for one, smashing the patriarchy. I think it’s inspiring when we can look to women in our family as trailblazers and when we think of hard times remember what they endured, and that gives me strength to continue.

4. My skin might be brown but my mother thinks that my mental health is white.

As the Senior Community Editor, there are some pitches I receive which gives me chills, and this is one of them. This piece talking about a life long battle with mental health issues, is so raw and encapsulates the authentic narratives The Tempest is known for. I was honored that she wanted to share her story with us.

5. Being broken down was the most freeing moment of my life.

I love this article because it was spot on about going out of your comfort zone, and taking things one at a time when you feel like your life has completely fallen apart. I know exactly how she feels and reading this gives me hope and helps me remember how to take those first steps to mending those broken pieces.

Reading the life stories and thoughts of our array of writers this past year, has given me motivation to keep moving on. Now more than ever, the voices of diverse millennial women who’ve been othered need to be told, and we’re here to tell it.

By Laila Alawa

Laila is The Tempest’s founder and CEO. Laila has given a TED Talk, appeared on BBC World News and NPR, and contributes on women’s issues and entrepreneurship to Forbes and The Guardian. She was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media and’s inaugural The Cafe 100, and recognized by the White House. Before founding The Tempest, Laila worked at the White House and Congress, and was previously at Princeton University.