I’ve been writing for FLURT for just about a year now, but have been a fan for much longer. Very few places online allow people to be themselves, to feel safe and welcomed for who they are. Any gender, any sexuality – where mental health, body image, sex and dating are all topics on the table. FLURT is a positive space that values new perspectives. I cannot list how many publications run stories that are fat shaming, thin shaming, negative and just all around unhelpful. Instead, FLURT focuses on no photoshop, no gossip, affordable products rather than expensive, corporate-driven products. Readers of FLURT are raised up rather than torn down.
I personally feel that my biggest contribution to Flurt has been writing about mental health. I was given the opportunity to be transparent about my experiences. I felt safe, encouraged and accepted. Having the chance to write about my mental health without restraint meant a lot to me, as I’ve always wanted to be honest about my mental illnesses and many publications wouldn’t have made that transparency a priority. Writing my first article about depression felt so therapeutic, and even though I was slightly nervous about publishing something so personal, after it was posted there was a tidal wave of support.
Negativity and shame don’t exist within the FLURT squad. Everyone’s experiences are celebrated. Everyone is welcome to be who they are. Sharing experiences that are sometimes deeply personal is absolutely scary, but in this space we are all safe. Writers, vlogers and readers are all secure to feel beautiful, important and worthy.
FLURT is currently only available on-line in PDF form. You won’t see us lining the grocery store checkout yet, but with our upcoming kickstarter that could change and I hope it does. Among the plethora of magazines at the cash line, how many body shaming headlines and photoshopped covers do you see? Being involved in a body positive, photoshop free publication means so much to me. I’m 26 now and 10 years ago when I was 16 a publication like this didn’t exist or wasn’t in my reach.
I have to wonder – if something like this was around when I was a teenager, would I have gone through times when I hated my body? Would I have internalized so much of the beauty industrial complex? There was no exposure to LGTBQ lifestyles, ethical fashion, vegan food or anything other than the mainstream. Even the music and books advertised in magazines were the most popular. There was no room for being unique.
FLURT means so much to me because it’s everything I’ve been looking for. It’s a healthy form of media that doesn’t care what your body looks like, who you love or what pronoun you use. If you want to talk unabashedly about what matters to you while making friends with other like-minded people then this is the place for you and there will always be space for everyone. Come as you are.