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my lip life: dunja kay, managing editor

My first introduction to lip was on myspace, which should give you some idea of just how long ago it was. Someone had commented on another magazine’s page urging everyone to check out this “lip magazine” and I actually can’t remember what I thought of it. At the time, I was in the mindset that I needed to be published as far and wide as possible, and hurriedly bought a couple of back issues to see if my writing would be suitable for it.

Lip was the first publication that wasn’t my university’s magazine to publish my writing. It was a piece called ‘back on the road in three hours’ and I wrote it in a San Francisco hotel when I was all packed up and ready to head to the airport to begin my journey back to Australia in, you guessed it, three hours (titles have never been my strong point). I didn’t really think about lip being a feminist magazine, and these were the days before I even called myself a feminist, although I suppose I already was one.

Soon after, lip was offering up a copy of each of their back issues for some ludicrous price and for a period, I would pick one out and chuck it in my bag to read on the bus. Lip gave me things to ponder over, and pleasing aesthetics, and knew that I did still care about boys, but that my value and worth shouldn’t be linked to how sexually alluring men found me.

Increasing my involvement with lip was somewhat incidental; I applied to be Web Editor and Zoya, in her newly appointed position as Editor, offered me a column instead, which a friend suggested I name ‘Love Out Loud’. Some time later, the lip website was relaunched and was in need of a music sub-editor. I leaped at the chance, determined to jump start my career in music journalism. I had zero experience but I got the position and basically just felt my way through it until I got the hang of things.

Zoya eventually bumped me up to Editorial Assistant to Editorial Coordinator to, most recently, Managing Editor for the website. I suspect Zoya sometimes thinks I’m an overenthused upstart (kind of like Natalie Keener in Up in the Air but with less rigid hairstyles), but she’s surprisingly open to most of my ideas/incessant emails.

There’s a lot to be said for doing work that you value and this is what lip is for me. It has tested me at times, taught me to act with conviction (they don’t talk about it in Sex and the City, but writing about the dumb things ex-partners do tends to make them mad…speaking of which, “Carrie Bradshaw tryhard” has probably been my favourite insult to date), and both opened my eyes and kept me energised about feminism. Lip can be a lot of work, but I derive more fulfillment from it than most other things in my life, and I think it’s so important that young women have a publication like lip available to them.

That’s why I’m still here, because I really believe that lip offers something different. We don’t want to make any assumptions about you or push you into any mold. We just want to celebrate young women’s (and men’s) sass and smarts, and realise that you don’t just have to accept everything the world says.

I can only hope my career with lip is long and illustrious yet, but it can’t happen without you! Please consider donating if you’ve got the $$, and help us keep bringing lip to you!

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