This time of year makes me feel somewhat reflective. While most Decembers I’m generally too busy to be able to breathe during the day, I find myself lying in bed at night thinking back on the year that was. This year, I found my thoughts drifting even further back…
Next year, Villainesse will turn five. When I threw my doubts (and my sanity) out the window and decided to start this epic little site in 2015, I had no idea what was about to unfold. I wouldn’t change it for the world. During that time, we’ve made My Body My Terms, The REAL Sex Talk, He Māngai Wāhine, The REAL Drug Talk and other meaningful campaigns for various organisations. We’ve launched Wāhine Kākano – The New Zealand Young Women’s Festival. And, most importantly, we’ve had the privilege of presenting smart, no filter media to you – our esteemed and much-loved readers.
Something that has particularly stood out as a highlight for me over the last few years has been seeing our writers grow and evolve, and watching them go on to create other amazing work elsewhere. I’d particularly like to shine a spotlight on Erin Gourley and Kahu Kutia.
When Erin emailed me earlier in the year to tell me that she had a flash new role, I was excited for her, but admittedly my stomach clenched, as I hated the idea of losing such a talented young writer. Thankfully, she agreed to stay on to write the odd piece for us here and there. The rest of her time this year has been spent writing for Critic – and breaking major stories that ended up in national newspapers.
Kahu left us last year, and has since gone on to write for a number of other media outlets, and to create the sensational podcast He Kākano Ahau for RNZ. If you haven’t checked it out already, add it to your list of summer listening.
Seeing these two young women spread their wings and fly has been immensely satisfying, and while I wouldn’t dream of taking any credit for their brilliant work, it has been an honour to be a part of their journey. I created Villainesse to give young women a voice and a platform, and I’m so thrilled when our writers go on to raise their voices elsewhere.
Anyway, now I’ve got my weird motherly blubbering out of the way, I’d like to extend an enormous thank you to you – our readers – for your support not just this year, but over the last nearly-five.
Over the next four weeks, the Villainesse team (Jo, Erin, Abigail, Nina, Aimee, Maria and myself) will be taking a break. But never fear! Over the next four weeks we’ll be counting down the top 30 most read Villainesse stories of 2019. There’s plenty in there – stories about bogan chicks, Wife Swap, Kim Kardashian’s body makeup, racism, mindfulness, feminism, period undies and heaps more.
We’ll be back towards the end of January. Until then, have a merry Christmas, a safe holiday period, and lots of fun in the sun – or the snow.
Lizzie xSupport Villainesse