If you stick around long enough most things come back into style: like bell-bottom jeans and cell phones bigger than your face (remember when it was all about nanotechnology?). Now the newsletter is seeing a renaissance.
Lenny Letter is the brainchild of Girls star Lena Dunham and her writing partner Jenni Konner. It’s a bi-weekly feminist arts newsletter with a pro-choice liberal slant that isn’t afraid to touch on (once thought of as) taboo topics such as gender, race, religion, politics, and sexuality.
Bursting with original content it’s a news platform, open diary and a form of art in itself. Along with interviews, illustrations, personal essays and works of fiction, you can also learn how to maintain the perfect shade of sherbet-orange hair – a little something for every one.
Aided by Dunham’s indie acclaim, the archaic newsletter approach caught the attention of Hillary Clinton and Jennifer Lawrence who both contributed to the open forum with raw, unapologetic opinions. Even when it comes to celebrity culture, Lenny’s content is vastly different from the usual drivel we’re bombarded with.
While the idea of an electronic newsletter seems antiquated, I think its brilliance lies in its simplicity. The layout is shockingly straightforward with clean illustrations, typewriter fonts, and void of any fancy gifs, videos or photos. It almost looks like the kind of e-mail that would normally be filtered to your junk mail, except the content is chalk-full of knowledge you would actually want to take the time to read. It arrives in your inbox unassuming and uncluttered, unlike most of our virtual newsfeeds today.
In the essence of giving weight back to words, Lenny’s motto is: “the e-mail newsletter, where there’s no such thing as too much information.” The first issue was 7,300 words – longer than just about everything we’re used to skimming these days. I feel the same sense of accomplishment in reading my Lenny Letter as I do with finishing full feature articles in newspapers. We deprive ourselves of this languid pleasure in our rush for a quick headline fix. When you slow yourself down, it’s remarkable how much more your mind can absorb and expand.
Lenny’s no-bullshit tone is akin to a wiser, cooler older sister (if I had one). The voice is trustworthy, relatable, and authentic. No hint of condescension, only inclusivity. The collective community is a source of inspiration with a wonderfully modern feminist approach. The vibe is not unlike what we’re all about here at Normale: for women, by women.
Original Article Published 2015/12/08 in Normale Magazine. Link no longer available due to website re-design.