This month on the BBP blog we’re excited to feature 4 women who are truly making a positive impact in their industries and represent the 4 tiers of our site: braveBODY, braveEATS, braveLOOKS and braveWORDS.
This week, we’re super excited to introduce you to Andrea Stanley.
Andrea is a Manhattan mama, editor at Seventeen Magazine, and a dear friend of ours. We sat down with Andrea to talk about her career, what being brave means to her and more. Read up!
BBP: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
AS: Nothing gives a writer full-body hives faster than the classic “tell me about yourself” question. But here we go: I’m an editor at Seventeen magazine where I get to tell big, important stories about girls who are changing the world, in addition to covering all of our health and fitness content. I pinch myself everyday. It’s a total dream. I’ve also worked at some other really rad places, like ELLE and SELF. But when I’m not at work pretending to be a teenager, I’m spending time with my husband, Greg, seven-year-old son, Connor, and our little pooch, Wilson. I drink a lot of black coffee. I often have a serious case of wanderlust and wish I could travel somewhere new every month. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was six. I secretly love sneakers as much as I do stilettos. I’m training for my first serious race. How’d I do?
BBP: What does living a brave life mean to you?
AS: My absolute favorite quote of all time is from writer Jack Kerouac (one day I’m going to be brave enough to get it as a tattoo!). He said, “The road is life.” That way of thinking really epitomizes brave living to me because it’s so easy to associate the idea of being brave as something you pull out occasionally in those larger-than-life, name-on-the-bigscreen kind of moments. But to me, it’s about choosing to be fearless and honest and true to yourself all of the time. Being brave isn’t waiting until you’ve arrived. It’s living fully and really going for it even when you aren’t quite there yet.
BBP: What was one moment courage over fear in your career?
AS: A little less than ten years ago, this was my life: Got married. Bought a house. In a suburb that fined you if your grass wasn’t green enough. Worked part-time at a city magazine and the local newspaper. Had a baby. Wasn’t happy. Totally happy with the husband and baby. But not happy that I leaned towards what was safe, instead of taking a chance on myself when it came to my career. I never went for the New York job because the thought of failing felt like it would leave a hole in my life so big it would swallow me. But that was happening anyway. So late one night I went onto a job posting site and applied for a bunch of random magazine jobs in New York City. It was dark. And no one knew I was doing it. It almost felt like a dream. But it was real life and eventually the phone was ringing and someone was on the other end asking if I could come to New York for an interview.
I remember flying into the city that day so clearly. The sunlight was so heavy and blue and gold that it made me feel like I was viewing life in slow motion from underwater. I left the interview feeling like I totally bombed it. My outfit was too lame. I was shaky in my answers. I was seven minutes early—not the acceptable five. I was positive I’d never get the job, but I wasn’t crying myself to sleep in the corner. I actually felt good—really good—like I had done something. And I had—I had tried. And I realized that’s where strength comes from, not in the succeeding, but in the trying.
Two weeks later I got offered the job.
BBP: Tell our readers how you stand up and stand out as a confident strong woman in a male-dominated work field.
AS: Well, I’ve been really fortunate. Ever since I started working in publishing in New York, I’ve been surrounded with super-smart, strong women all along the way. In fact, every boss I’ve ever had has been a woman, and each of them have not only helped shape me as a professional woman, but have empowered me to totally own who I am. With that being said, because I write for women, I have had to deal with the occasional “boys club” mentality that tries to minimize the work I do and box it up as fluffy, light reporting because I cover “girl” issues. You bet I write about periods, boobs and birth control. I also write about transgender teenagers who are sharing stories that could put their lives in danger, teens who are championing for gun reform, working on the cure for Ebola or fighting to eradicate stereotypes against certain races and body types. All of this is valid. Anybody that tries to tell me otherwise is just noise—and I don’t listen to the noise.
Thanks for sharing with us Andrea! Stay up to date with Andrea on her Instagram and online (or on newsstands!) at Seventeen Magazine.