Who is Ines Šercelj the editor-in-chief of fem.si?
A woman of many contrasts and many interests. Strong and outspoken but very kind hearted at the same time. In love with fashion and beauty in general but dreams of living on a farm. I’ve never managed to put myself or my interests in a box. Well the truth is I never wanted to. Life is so much more interesting if you broaden your horizon. You also learn so much by doing different stuff. Life is not a straight line, you have to learn how to roll with the curves.
What is the online platform fem.si and who is it intended for?
It’s obviously women oriented but in general for people who like to explore and don’t take life too seriously. I dislike the idea that taking care of yourself is a narcissistic act. Why should you hide the effort you put into looking good especially if it makes you feel good? Nothing is really effortless. We put effort into everything we do. So why should that be shameful? We only get one body per lifetime and we take it for granted. Take care of your body, pamper yourself and it will reward you.
On the website you wrote “Fem are women”, so what happens if a man comes on your site?
He’s probably gay. Or afraid to admit that he cares about his appearance and comes lurking around to find advice about fighting acne. I have many male friends who come to me for advice and I really want to empower them on their journey. It’s sad that we still live in a world where men put each other down when it comes to self-love. I mean come on guys your skin ain’t any different than ours and we all deal with the same problems. Just own it. It’s sexy. And puffy eyes are not.
How did you come up with the idea?
Fem was born out of my own frustrations of not knowing how to deal with my skin issues. When I was younger I never had acne. My skin was more or less flawless. Which is a miracle considering all those sleepless nights when I was out partying and drinking everything in sight. But then when I was around 26 my skin said she had enough. Well my body said that and my skin was just delivering the message. My hormone levels also changed so I started my battle with acne. Whiteheads, blackheads, hormonal acne, all that jazz. I was lost. I didn’t have any knowledge of dealing with skin problems. So, I started exploring and Fem is my form of a notebook where I write down all of my discoveries. As I said I’m an explorer.
What are some important things in beauty and femininity, maybe you want to tell something relevant about feminism or representation?
Feminism is a word that has been thrown around a lot lately. Which I think is essentially good but because of the aggressiveness behind it it’s starting to evoke negative feelings in people and creating an even bigger divide. I do consider myself a feminist. For me it means treating everyone as equals no matter their race or gender. I’m an outspoken person who will always fight against injustice but I try to do it in a respectful way sans the aggressiveness. You don’t get very far by being aggressive. It’s about spreading the knowledge and informing people and not about forcing your belief on someone. Everyone has a right to choose for themselves.
Who are the creators behind the Fem content?
For now, it’s mostly me with the help of a few beauty enthusiasts and industry experts. I do all the editing, editorial work and design of the page. Readers of Fem are of huge help as well. It was created for them and we really want them to be involved. They really inspire us with their feedback and our content is based on questions of people who surround us. I really want to encourage readers to get involved. Tell us your opinion, send us a DM on Instagram if you have a problem that you don’t know how to solve. Having said that I wish to work with people who are as curious and enthusiastic as I am.
How are you different from other beauty websites?
I think what separates us from other beauty related websites and blogs in Slovenia is that we want to build a community. We want to be inclusive not exclusive. To be what forums used to be. Hence our wish for people to get involved. At the same time, we want to offer valid information and honest reviews. Everything that is written on the site went through a fact check. I read scientific researches on things I write about and I encourage my colleges to do the same. Products that are reviewed go through a trial period after which an opinion is formed. If we believe that the product is not as great as the ad implies we’ll avoid writing about it. I don’t believe in selling something of poor quality just for the sake of selling. Good products don’t need false advertising.
What are some of the biggest struggles behind running a website like that?
It’s a struggle staying honest and true in a world of Instagram make believe. People these days like to look at pretty pictures. I’m not sure how many of them really question if what they see on the picture is true. Probably not a lot. Putting those fake Instagram lives on a pedestal is destroying us. I strive to keep Fem non- generic, honest and as I said before inclusive. My advice to people starting any business is to do it because they really love to do it and because they want to solve a problem which hasn’t been solved yet. Not because it’s popular on Instagram.
What are your plans for the future?
Oh god, so many plans. I’m always a few steps ahead of myself. We plan to bring in even more writers, to start collaborating with dermatologists, estheticians, makeup and hair artists. We’ll also start releasing video tutorials with industry experts soon so stay tuned. Fem is very open for a collaboration of any kind so hit us up!
Do you have a motto?
It’s not really a motto. More of a general guideline on how to live your life which I really deeply believe in. Be kind. To yourself and to others. Be honest and respectful. Take your thoughts and your words into consideration, they are the most powerful tool you have. Stop taking life so damn seriously. Develop a sense of humour. It will make your life so much more enjoyable. Lastly, explore, be curious. You’ll learn a ton and it will make you a much more interesting person.