Make Muse: Making Change

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 7.34.52 PM.png

Maura Sheedy

The Make Muse media brand officially began on International Women’s Day in 2018, but founder Maura Sheedy had been passionate about changing beauty standards and supporting women and non-binary individuals long before that. It began when Maura decided to keep an Instagram account called @makeuplessmaura documenting a year of her life without wearing makeup; she used this platform to call attention to the beauty standards society enforces on females. After the 2016 elections and her first corporate internship, Maura realized that the rigid expectations for women didn’t just need changed in the beauty industry, but also in politics, workplaces, and many other areas of society.

This inspired Maura to develop Make Muse, a well-rounded media brand providing the muse to change societal standards placed on women and non-binary individuals by talking about the issues that affect and concern them. “The goal of Make Muse is to create smart media for the young women who care about the world,” Maura says. She explains that Make Muse consists of ten sections, each one focusing on a different societal standard prevalent in women’s lives: “Young women are told to look a certain way, dress a certain way, aim for certain careers, be represented a certain way in art and entertainment, be a certain sexual identity, expect a lack representation from other women in government, and quietly deal with female health issues. These realities shaped the Make Muse sections.”

Make Muse currently presents this sections as  online literary content, updating their readers with daily news as well as producing a semi-annual print magazine. In fact, their first print magazine comes out November 22, with over 100 pages of design, photography, and editorial pieces exploring gender-based societal standards. “We're curating and crafting something that every young woman will want her hands on,” Maura says, “The magazine is made to be the perfect thing to look at when you need a bit of inspiration, a great gift for your best friend, and something to look forward to twice a year.”

Maura would like to recognize the Make Muse team, including editors Beth Brandon, Caitlin Panarella, and Kathryn Hornyak, Femintimacy editor Sienna Brancato, and designers Luiza Sandru and Olivia Jiminez, for their work contributing to the empowerment of women and non-binary individuals. She also has some advice for young women and non-binary individuals working to pursue their passions: “With any challenge or setback, whether it is personal or in the world at large, it is easy to feel that you are incapable of making a change. Whether you want to start a business or want to speak out against injustice in the world, it can be scary. You may feel that you are not ready or do not know what the first step it. Do not let those mental blocks stop you. Sit down, make a plan, and execute it. You have every capability to, it is all about encouraging yourself to actually do it.”

Make Muse’s debut magazine is an absolute dream to read. The content, authors, features, and layout of the piece is what GirlBoss dreams are made of. founders, Zehra and Sophia Naqvi are featured amongst the other amazing women!

Need a bit of inspiration? Want to know more about breaking societal standards for women and non-binary individuals? Check out Make Muses’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and website, and shop their first print magazine here.

Gretta Kissell