Editor’s Note on Our September 2020 Kickass Women Issue

Design by Kelly Alexis Lewis

We’re in the habit at Orange Coast of showing off amazing women every month as we share stories about this community. So I originally thought it was a little redundant to do a cover story on Kickass Women in O.C. (Page 78). “We feature remarkable women all the time,” I mused. Followed quickly by, “How would we narrow the list enough to fit in one magazine?” (Short answer: Arbitrarily, and through recommendations of other women. Plus, we trust you to know our choices are in no way comprehensive.)

As we dove into the reporting, I changed my tune: This has become one of the most inspiring and rewarding pieces I’ve worked on. It’s impactful and empowering to see all these women together and to know their work is happening right here. We talked to spectacular women from many backgrounds, with countless areas of expertise, and representing five generations—from Silent to Gen Z.

Illustration by Martha Napier

The thing that stood out most? In every case, they praised another woman. To a person, each mentioned a collaborator, role model, ally, mentor, or friend who pushed them, inspired them, or advocated for them. It’s glorious to see women support each other: I’m lucky to witness that every day with our fantastic all-female editorial team.

Finally, kickass. Is it offensive? Not in my book. But would anyone we chose be opposed to that description? Nope! The honorees were thrilled and proud to be included, and many chuckled at our wording. They have each motivated me—to practice mindfulness, to be more of an ally, to eat better, to check my biases, to appreciate the small things, to immerse myself in culture, to be optimistic about the future—and they’re but a sampling of the phenomenal people energizing our community.

Ms. Alan Gibbons

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