April 15, 2015

Staring out from our magazine racks with more sass than you’d think an inanimate object could muster, Sister magazine’s new Sex issue is almost too much fun to be legal. Serving up a heady mix of riotous features, brash fashion shoots and a healthy dose of contemporary feminism, the magazine is the brainchild of Beccy Hill, who started it when she was at university. We caught up with Beccy at the launch party to find out more…

UO: How would you describe Sister magazine to somebody who’s never seen it?

Beccy:I wouldn’t say it’s particularly easy to sum up! Visually it’s a scruffy homage to Butt magazine, and content wise it’s hard-hitting girl power, injected with plenty of fashion and irony.

UO: Sister has existed for a couple of years now. How did the idea for the magazine come about?

Beccy: Two main reasons; I watched the film Whip It! and was inspired to play roller derby for a few months, which was pretty much the whole foundation for the first issue. Secondly, when I asked my then 16 year old sister who she thought the coolest celebrity was, the best she could come up with was Kim Kardashian. I thought that needed to change…

UO: How has Sister changed since its first issue?

Beccy: The contents of the entire first issue was produced by me when I was 20, it was my Final Major Product at university. Now that I have other people involved, and the network has expanded, it feels like it’s becoming the publication I envisioned it to be.

UO: You’ve resisted the urge to release digitally. What is it about print that you prefer?

Beccy: I grew up with the internet being every kid my age’s personal diary; MSN, MySpace, LiveJournal, Bebo, anybody could publish anything online, at any time. It wasn’t special. There’s something about holding a brand new magazine in your hands that I just don’t think you can get from a tablet or Kindle. Print is more permanent, you have to wait for the final product which makes it less disposable; I still remember articles I read in Vogue when I was 13/14 but I couldn’t always tell you what I saw on Tumblr yesterday.

UO: What can we expect from the new issue?

Beccy: There are girls dressed as boys dressing as girls (faux queens, if you didn’t know), an interview with Zoe Argiros who co-owns the coolest new pub in London where we had our launch party and a bit of a rant about Nigel Farage. We like to keep all bases covered. I chose the sex theme because I feel like gender roles and society’s idea of what it means to be a man or woman, are going through a huge transition (pun intended) right now, and that’s really exciting and something to be celebrated.

UO: What’s your favourite thing about running your own zine?

Beccy:All the people that I get to meet and the things I learn. Challenging myself and being creatively stimulated is super important as well. Life would be dull otherwise.

UO: What advice would you give somebody wanting to start a zine?

Beccy: Find what you love and let it keep you up most nights, mentally pre-occupied around/during work hours and largely penniless. Have fun.