Elephant is Quitting the Candy Business.

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Feb 14, 2013
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Over the past week, several events have made me take stock of what we publish here.

First, Waylon’s article about whether elephant is becoming too fluffy. It’s true. We’ve had more than our fair share of positivity spiritual-lite articles lately. And relationship stuff, well, it’s important. How we connect to each other is important, if we are talking about it in a genuine, meaningful way. Not if we are a glorified version of Cosmo for yogis.

Second, I started thinking about an argument I had with a friend who didn’t want to listen to the news. “Too sad. Don’t want to ruin my whole day.” Yikes. Is this what we’ve come to? Feeling warm and fuzzy is better than knowing what’s going on? We’ll take the illusion of things being okay over the truth?

And then, today, one of our editors asked if it was okay to publish a news story about a difficult, heart-breaking event today, since it was Valentine’s Day.

What the hell kind of show are we running here if instead of keeping our hearts broken open and looking at the difficult things, we run for cover under platitudes and happy Instagram pictures? A mindful life isn’t one that only looks at the parts that make us feel good. If our mission, as an organization, is truly to benefit our readers and inspire them to live more mindfully, our “candy” articles should be the lesser five percent of what we are publishing.

Here is what we are about:

We are about increasing our readers’ awareness of what is going on in the world.

We are about giving our readers tools, genuine tools, to sit with the present moment whether it is beautiful or heart-achingly painful.

We are about people—of every background, every walk of life—who want to live a more mindful like and be of benefit to the world around them.

And we don’t get there by publishing bullshit articles that make you feel better about how your vagina looks or 10 more ways to feel “happy.” We get there by looking at all of it—the parts that inspire us and the parts that make us cry.

If we are going to make a difference, sometimes it means talking about things that sadden us or anger us. What we do next is what’s important. We don’t share articles about sad or difficult issues to make people fearful; we do it to inspire people to do something. The inspiring, uplifting articles aren’t meant to make us feel better sitting in our nice warm houses watching television. They are meant to make us want to share that light inside with others. When we share with each other in an authentic way, we skip the fluff and offer our true selves. When we start a conversation about the things that are broken, we begin to work together to fix them.

So, we are quitting the candy business.


Share your heart, share what’s true, write what is setting you on fire and you can’t keep in. You deserve to read more than candy, and we are here to give it to you.


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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


32 Responses to “Elephant is Quitting the Candy Business.”

  1. SaraCrolick says:

    I'm all in, Kate; well put.

  2. Mara says:

    How do you reconcile this new policy with your increasing frequency of naked yoga type posts? I find them very offensive.

  3. karlsaliter says:

    So glad to read this, because I for one can't even find my vagina.

  4. elephantjournal says:

    My comments: I don't think we were ever in it, but we are showered with it daily, and some gets through our filters (editors)…but now that we have paid, trained, inspired, fun editors, hopefully less and less gets through.

    To be clear, we were a quality magazine for six years before the web site, and the site offers mostly great stuff. That said, we're big enough now to be inundated with "candy" that we haven't asked for—fortunately, too, we're big enough to pay editors to process such candy. I don't mind sweet in small doses–our job is to be equal parts accessible and worthwhile—one without the either is a disservice. ~ Waylon Lewis

  5. Rosanne says:

    I like how you and others at EJ are addressing this whole candy fluff that you feel is taking up too much space and time. Very honest and open. I look forward to see the change that will surely come about, bring it on!

  6. Tara Lemieux says:

    I absolutely love this new change ~ and I believe, longer term, it will be a much greater benefit to engage our readers in discussion over these sorts of things.

  7. Erin Motz says:

    I'm a big fan (and fellow contributor ;)) of Elephant and am happy to hear this news. I mean, yeah, who doesn't love a cutsie article about sweet nothings? But I totally see the "bigger" direction, and to that I"m sayin' Right On!

  8. Carolyn Riker says:

    Thank you so much for this timely article. Focused, intelligent, savvy, quality articles are the way to go!

  9. senthaimassage says:

    The vagina subject isn't bullshit though"And we don’t get there by publishing bullshit articles that make you feel better about how your vagina " The vagina subject isn't bullshit though, is it? I thought if anything that writing about vaginas a rather political subject.

  10. […] think this is when most people find religion. Most people can’t handle this kind of responsibility. If you think strict moral codes are tough, try absolute […]

  11. Padma Kadag says:

    A large part of the problem is the use of EJ by persons who are engaged in "spirituaity" and have something to sell. They use EJ to advertise their feel good methods for free. Week after week they come up with crappy articles which only beg to drum up business.

  12. Bravo Kate & Elephant Journal. haters are always going to hate no matter what, but that's on them. Good stuff here!

  13. Rachel says:

    I have always enjoyed Elephant Journal, but canceled my subscription because of all of the porn/playboy stuff that started showing up. It find it offensive as well. I am not against sex, sexuality, or vaginas. I am against a preponderance of naked women's bodies/sex/sexuality used for the sake of selling magazine subscriptions – or selling anything at all, for that matter. I hope this kind of crap at least slows down so that I might want to support Elephant Journal again.

  14. Tracie says:

    This is the best news I've heard all week. Bravo!

  15. Freya Watson says:

    Thank you Kate! As a 'newbie' writer here, that has been one of the internal struggles I've had between writing articles that catch an audience and sharing what I feel is worth sharing. It's been a little like walking a tightrope at times, and probably still will be as we're all individuals and will interpret writing according to our own experiences. But yes, lets see integrity back at the heart of it – even if it means that we have to explain more explicitly why we are moved to write the articles we write. It'll be interesting to watch what that means in practice and I don't envy the editors' work trying to decide where a naked body or sexuality is used with integrity and when it is used to 'sell'. And, then again, if it 'sells' it means there's an audience there to 'buy'… hmm :) I love what EJ does and the intention behind it, so I'm with you anyway.

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