Christianna Silva is the editor in chief of Tucson’s newest publication, Bottle Magazine. She’s also a full-time UA student. The journalism major founded the online magazine and rounded up a team of over 50 women, located all over the world, to contribute, design and edit the publication. Despite being live for only two months, Bottle Magazine has accrued a large following with content on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The site reaches approximately 80,000 views a month. Check it out for yourself at bottlemagazine.com.
Tell me about Bottle Magazine.
Bottle is a different kind of publication. We are written by women, for everyone, about everything. I think we are young women who are used to being lectured at and talked about and marketed to, but we haven’t been invited in to sit at the table like this before so that’s what we are doing.
How did Bottle get started?
In December of 2015, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some really strong, independent, smart women who wanted to share their valuable opinions and didn’t have a platform to do it so we created a platform. It’s women from all over the country and all ages. A couple of our editors are in New York City. Most of them are in Tucson. I’m in Tucson and a lot of them are students in Tucson. Some are graduates, but the one thing we have in common is that we are women and we are feminists.
A lot of the people are from UA. We have all written together and we have all worked together before at the Daily Wildcat. We have one … who studied abroad in the Middle East and she met people there who correspond for us. We have someone else who is studying abroad in Italy so she talks a lot about that. I think a lot of times when you have strong independent women, they don’t stick to one place. They travel around and we follow them.
So when we first started, none of us really thought it was going to be that big of a deal. About a week into it, one of our articles by Jacqui Oesterblad went viral. It got about 160,000 views and it got onto Huffington Post and was picked up by NPR in Australia and she went on that talk show. We really built our momentum off of that. It’s become a way bigger thing than any of us had ever expected. And I expect it to continue to grow like that. We are working on building an app to make it more accessible.
Who can be a contributor to Bottle Magazine?
We have people who contribute as a one-time contributor and people who contribute twice a week and people who are editors. We have spots open for all of that. Any semi-offensive person can apply. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org. I have found that that opens it up to a lot of people that I wouldn’t necessarily go searching for. About a month ago, I got an email from someone who is 70 years old and disabled. She loves to write, she has her masters but she can’t get any jobs. She tried working as a teacher … but, at the time, no one would hire her because they were worried that the kids would “be scared of her.” It was obscene. She is just in a wheelchair … So I got an email from her with a little voices piece that just sort of describes what it’s like. Having it open … opens up the door to people like her.
What was your motivation for starting the magazine?
A lot of us have stuff to say and nowhere to say it so we just decided to create our thing. Women are often talked about as one of two things. You’re either this career-centric, educated woman with an informed opinion who people want to listen to or you love pop culture and YouTube videos and homemaking and gardening and cooking. But that’s not really how people are. Most people are both of those things and all of us are both of those things and we expect our audience to be both of those things. We are whole human beings that love our careers, have informed opinions, and we watch YouTube videos and have sex. So we want to talk about all of those things because women aren’t one of two categories.
Where do you see Bottle going in the future?
This isn’t anyone’s sole career … It’s all on a volunteer basis. The great thing about this is that you get to write something when you’re really passionate about it so you don’t have to write a certain amount of articles every week. We are definitely not planning on stopping anytime soon. We are going to keep publishing more and more and build off this momentum.