The Birth of Heart Eyes

By Peyton Rhodes, former head of writing

When you open a group chat, you can usually expect to find a new joke you’ve somehow missed in three minutes of absence, some juicy bits of gossip, or a detailed outline of the drama that went down last night. What you don’t expect to find, however, are the plans for a music magazine, which is exactly what I found when I opened a group chat about two weeks ago.

It began with the most unlikely thing: an anonymous question to one of the members of the group chat. The simple question read, “Why obsess over members in bands?” Screenshots of the question were swiftly sent to the group chat, triggering a massive outcry from everyone, including myself. I have never seen such eloquent paragraphs on the importance of music produced so quickly.

Why would such a seemingly trivial question cause such an intense response? If you yourself are an avid fan of music, you probably already know. If you are not, allow me to explain. Consider the difference between grown male sports fans and young women who listen to bands. At the core, there is no difference. Both groups of people enjoy a certain kind of entertainment, and are often fanatically involved in supporting their choice subcategory of that entertainment, whether it be a preferred sports team or a favorite band. Both turn up in droves to see their team or band play or perform, and both tend to get rowdy during these live performances. Why, then, are male sports fans considered rational human beings with a valid interest in an important part of society, while young female fans of music are labelled as “crazy fangirls” and “obsessive?” As a young female fan, it gets eternally exhausting to be portrayed as an unstable little girl whose favorite band has only assumed that title because of the lead singer’s deep blue eyes. A shocking proposal: music is important because of the way it affects our lives for the better, not because of the facial features of the creators of the music. But I digress.

In the midst of the chaotic mess of justified anger, one message in the group chat stood out to me. One member half-jokingly suggested, “Idea: let’s make a magazine.” Immediately, we all began to respond enthusiastically with ideas for columns, volunteering for positions and creating social media accounts for our new brainchild. The name was suggested: Heart Eyes Magazine. No other options were necessary. We all fell in love with the concept in a moment.

It is hard for me to believe that this whole idea sprung from a half-serious message in a group chat that was fed up with being labelled as crazy for being passionate about something we loved, something that had brought us all together and inspired us in unique ways. The amount of work that has gone into even the initial production of this website is astonishing. The self-organization and responsibility displayed by the young people involved is truly sobering, and is pushing me to reach higher and run faster, even now. This publication is the culmination of video chat planning sessions that lasted into the early hours of the morning, impressive talent on the behalf of every contributor that uniquely made this project possible, and the absolute love of music that demands to be shared.

On behalf of every contributor to Heart Eyes Magazine, thank you for starting this journey with us. We look forward to sharing our passion with you.