A Night for Stories

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On May 21st, Verily gathered in West Hollywood with a group of some of the most inspirational women to celebrate the launch of the June/July print issue, and to share our stories - the ones we tell ourselves, the ones we tell others, and the ones the media tells us. Verily is all about starting fresh conversations, because we believe in the power of authenticity. Little did we know how powerful it actually can be.

In an atmosphere of serene elegance, we had the opportunity to be truly authentic and open our hearts with one another, which is what Verily is all about. In the noise of the world, it can be challenging to sift through the competing messages about who we are, and who we should be. Particularly in women’s magazines, the narrative often winds up falling short and leaving women feeling degraded or “not enough.”

What are the stories that we tell ourselves, and the ones the media tells us? Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Bristol Baughan, challenged us to sift through these messages, to find out who we truly are and embrace it, saying “sometimes we spend our whole lives chasing after a narrative that has been given to us, and wind up feeling totally lonely;” her poignant words reminded us, “a lighthouse doesn’t go out and look for ships.”

We think it’s time for a new story that celebrates the many truly beautiful women doing fabulous and inspiring things. Isn’t this what we all want? As actress Maggie Grace insightfully noted, “Our grandmothers got to fight the fight to find out what they were worth, and now we have to find out what it’s for!"

By celebrating the best of who we already are, we have the opportunity to improve the world around us and the communities in which we live, not in spite of our femininity, but because of it. Actress Josie Loren inspired us by saying, “this conversation is so inspiring and it’s these types of stories that make me feel a little flicker inside of me. Our stories unite us. We need to ignite the world with them.”

We agree. Which is why we chose the moving quote by Anne Frank for the June/July print issue, “how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

The conversation was rich and engaging and the camaraderie so warm. This is just the beginning. We want to give women permission to be who they really want to be, and to be the “desperately needed role models” for others, as actress Candace Cameron Bure requested. Last night, we experienced first hand how powerful it can really be when women dare to be themselves.

We were so moved and grateful to all the beautiful women who joined us to share their heart: Emily Greener, Maggie Grace and Marissa Denig, Susie Castillo, Nicole Starr, Josie Loren, Azita Ardakani, Amy Benziger, Bristol Baughan, Candace Cameron Bure, Shauna Nep, Tawney Bevacqua, Brooke White, and Summer Bellessa.

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For more nuggets of the conversation, check us out on Instagram and Twitter.