From the Editors:


Hi Cropped readers!

We’re back with a fantastic March issue.

The writers covered some important topics, many of them we haven’t yet discussed on Cropped. Look out for stories from: Josh about living well with a chronic illness, Brenna on how literature and poetry help her through some dark moments and from Rose about her experience being “unschooled” growing up.

We also want you to know we’re on a new schedule.

In order to be sure we give you the best stories possible, we’ve decided to publish once every two months. We’ll still stay in touch on social in between (most frequently on Instagram — find us at @WeAreCropped if you don’t follow yet).

We’re also soon launching our newsletter (finally, we know), which will not only deliver Cropped stories to your inbox, but some additional fun stuff as well that we’re excited about. Subscribe here and look for the first one in the next few weeks.

We can’t wait to show you what we have in store.

Lots of love and happy spring,
Marina and Maria



When I was in college, there was a “cool professor” known by one name only: Renee. I never had her for class (despite the fact that she taught psychology, and I took a lot of psych classes), but I frequently heard my classmates raving about her. About a year ago I got to meet Renee Engeln by phone because she was working on a new book about perceptions of beauty, and particularly how they affect women, for a book she was writing. She and I talked about social media and how wanting to look beautiful (or at least acceptable, whatever that means) in photos can sometimes lead to insecurity and unhappiness. She has now published the book! It’s called “Beauty Sick,” and I will be buying it for myself and many other women in my life. If you want to see where Cropped is featured, flip to Chapter 8!

Anyone else a fan of “Black Mirror?” I started watching a few episodes this month and am so into it. The first episode of Season 3 is so Cropped.


"Life will always be hard and life will also always be beautiful." I can’t tell you how many times I’ve returned to this quote since watching and then immediately rewatching this conversation with Cheryl Strayed a few weeks ago. It is a statement that’s both achingly and comfortingly true. Cheryl is one of my favorite authors who time and time again blows me away with her wisdom.

Books and magazines and zines are my jam — #longliveprint (bet you could guess I’m a magazine designer). So this recent article about why zines prevail in our internet age was right up my alley: “Producing zines can offer an unexpected respite from the scrutiny on the internet, which can be as oppressive as it is liberating.” Now that we’ve published 12 whole issues, I’ve found it fascinating to look back and see where there’s overlap in the topics covered by our contributors, to see what resonates. Maria and I have long dreamed about Cropped’s print possibilities: Maybe zines by theme — finding friends in new cities, living abroad, grieving the loss of parents — are a place to start? (But first, that newsletter!)