Lotus Magazine:
A Passion Project

By: Alyssa Chiang

I’ve recently started a new passion project with my college roommate that I am incredibly excited to share. We’re launching Lotus Magazine, which is a zine by definition since we are self-publishing, and our intended purpose for it is to serve as a platform by and for self-identifying Asian-American womxn. That said, we want our readership to be diverse, so I encourage you to follow what we’re up to and the stories we put out, whether or not you identify - after all, the hope is to fight marginalization, not to perpetuate it. 

The idea came about when I went home during the quarantine to Los Angeles. I was cleaning my room, and pulled out my old magazines (I used to receive a lot, not too sure why) - some of these included Cosmopolitan (don’t judge!), Vogue, Glamour...and I was thinking how strange it was that none of the cover girls looked like me. I mean, there are so many beautiful Asian women out there, and yet none of them made the cut? This was where it all first began to form, but as events over the summer unfolded, the motivation to finally sit down and do this reached its activation energy (haha). 

At around the same time that I was brewing at home, many things were happening around the world (and still are!) that continuously made me check my own privilege and acknowledge what I know I am lucky to have and what I am fortunate to be in a position to do. It also made me think a lot about marginalized groups on a larger scale in general. In many cases, I would say that I am in the boat of “I acknowledge that I can’t fully understand but I can and will stand with”. Although I still think about ways I can give to the causes around me given that I am in a position to do so (feel free to hit me up if you have ideas for me; I’m all ears and am in full support, always!), I felt that I wanted to put some energy into a corner of the world that I am personally connected to, as an Asian-American woman - a position I can understand and can stand with as well. This was the catalyst to putting plans into action, and I am so thankful that my college roommate was ready to jump in headfirst with me because I know I can’t do it alone. 

I think that, generally speaking, we all have a responsibility to try to be as inclusive as we can. That said, it’s my personal opinion that minority/marginalized groups also have a responsibility of their own to make their own voices and stories heard, especially when others aren’t making the conscious effort to search for them and listen in. Furthermore, sometimes lack of inclusivity can stem from lack of understanding or exposure to unfamiliar ideas/stories. Yes, I do think that established platforms such as Vogue and the like should make an effort to be more inclusive, but at the same time, we also need to be bringing out what they have missed, because there is so much richness among us that lies beneath the surface. This is the core of our vision for Lotus Magazine. 

Every month, we’ll be releasing stories we collect from people like yourselves and content that caters toward Asian-American womxn. We are not going to be a gossip magazine or a beauty magazine. We are just curious women who genuinely want to hear from y’all and share what we hear. I am personally so excited to learn from all the brilliant people around me. :) 

We currently are putting out a call for submissions (deadline Nov. 15): https://tinyurl.com/lotusmagdec2020

If you’re interested in keeping up with us, you can find us in various places: 
Website (subscribe here!): lotus-mag.com 
Instagram: @lotus_mag
Facebook: facebook.com/lotusthemagazine

And last but most definitely not least - if you have any ideas or suggestions at all, do not hesitate to reach out! You can reach us at info@lotus-mag.com. <3 


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