Andrea Zanin

Editorial & Features

Andrea has experience in writing feature articles for various publications, both print and online, including MADE Magazine, SA People News, Motherland, AndPhilosophy, Graceful Chic, Clink Music Magazine and At Home Parenting With Jo Frost. Here are some of her articles:

MADE MAGAZINEfeature on who’s the smarter sex (if there is such a thing anyway)…

 

Andphilosophy.com – feature on Trolls, the movie – Hair and Hedonism…

“…Smacks of Hedonism – right? Not just the pleasure-seeking self gratification spoken of in modern literature or everyday convo. No. A philosophical Hedonism; the kind advocated by Siduri in the Epic of Gilgamesh (penned soon after the invention of writing and typically cited as the first recorded source of Hedonistic philosophy), which advised: “Fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice… for this too is the lot of man”. Add some static hair plus a glop of glam glitter and you’ve got trolls. Shiny, happy trolls…”@ Andphilosophy.com

 

Andphilosophy.com – feature on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Philosophy…

“…Under the guidance of Princess Celestia, Twilight Sparkle and her BFFs seem to have the whole vanquish chaos thing down to an art. Simple friendship is good enough for the restoration of day-to-day disorder but on rare occasions, particularly during events marked by danger and anarchy, the Elements of Harmony are used as a last resort to restore and enforce the balance of peace and order. The ‘Elements’ are six supernatural artifacts representing different aspects of friendship – so; loyalty (Rainbow Dash), honesty (Apple Jack), generosity (Rarity), laughter (Pinkie Pie), kindness (Fluttershy), and magic (Twilight Sparkle). They only work if wielded by one who possesses the corresponding trait and if all six are used in conjunction, then the Elements will come together to form the power of friendship. At its most awesome, Friendship is wielded against Empedocles’ Disorder, who is represented in My Little Pony by a crazed “draconequus”; a name coined by show creator Lauren Faust, composed of the Greek word drakon, meaning dragon, and the Latin equus, meaning horse. Discord is described by Cheerilee in The Return of Harmony (Part 1) as a creature with “the head of a pony and a body of all sorts of other things” – namely “a deer antler, a goat leg, a bat wing and a snake tail” (Keep Calm and Flutter On). Princess Celestia explains Discord as “the mischievous spirit of disharmony.”…”@ Andphilosophy.com

 

MADE Magazine – feature on whether chores are relevant or redundant in a modern world…

 

MOTHERLAND Magazine – feature on raising kids in an emoji era…

emoji-kids “…Rudyard Kipling called words the most powerful drug used by mankind. Was he wrong? Emojis seem to be eating up the alphabet faster than Pac-Man on steroids. The emoji dictionary is ever-increasing, and in 2015 ‘emoji’ was named the word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary. Even the Bible has been emojified – 3,300 pages worth of picture writing.

This is all well and good, but for those trying to raise communicative children, the rise of the emoji is apocalyptic. Principally, emoji, as a language, is regressive – using symbols to replace words and emphasise tone undermines the thought and intellect it takes to construct sentences and convey emotion. Emojis are limiting – operating as a linguistic crutch; stilting spelling and grammar – and the worry is that excessive use of an emoji dictionary could impede a person’s ability to communicate effectively. In fact, two recent studies, one by the University of Tasmania and another published in Reading’s Journal of Research, cite evidence suggesting the debilitating effect of emojis on language as a dynamic mode of expression…”@ MOTHERLAND Magazine

 

MADE Magazine – feature on ‘dads, family and identity’…

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MADE Magazine – feature on ‘mums, perceptions and stereotype’…

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SA People News – controversial feature on the decision to leave South Africa and the concept of ‘normality’…

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“A couple of years ago I wrote an article on my blog (Rant!) entitled ‘Why I will not go back to South Africa’ (see below). It was largely incited by the Oscar Pistorius trial, which was happening at the time – I’d just had a baby and found myself sitting glued to my cell phone at crazy, new-mommy hours of the night, reading ‘Oscar updates’.

The whole saga just made me really sad and brought up a bunch of emotional angst that hadn’t I felt for a long time… so I did what all writers do – I purged it on paper.

My article was published in the letters section of the Cape Argus and people posted masses of comments on my blog.

Even today, two years after I wrote the post, comments pop up all the time. I guess, for South Africans, the decision to stay or go is one fraught with impassioned turmoil – we all have an opinion. I have not changed mine…”@SA People News

 

MADE Magazine – feature on raising girls in today’s rampant princess culture…

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MOTHERLAND Magazine – feature on Yolisa Phahle (CEO of M-Net, South Africa, mum and inspiration)…

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“…It’s been quite a journey – not every decision made has been the right one but I have learnt from those mistakes. Overall, it has been hugely rewarding. A good work ethic, a bit of luck, and being able to deal with setbacks as well as opportunities is what it has taken to get me where I am today. Plus I’m a woman. A black woman. South Africa has an amazing constitution – it is spot on in terms of gender issues and the need to treat men and women equally in society but in reality, many women still face huge challenges.

Although women’s rights are protected under the constitution, ‘old attitudes’ still exist. The customary law that gives black women the status of minors and excludes them from rights regarding children and property has not necessarily been nullified by a piece of paper stating otherwise. Nowadays women, and black women in particular, are still economically disadvantaged: many are unemployed and those who do work tend to occupy more of the lower-paid jobs and they often earn less than men for the same tasks.

I try to help my now-teenage sons (18 and 14) understand the South African context and to become young men who are aware of the need to protect and improve the plight of women in the workplace in global society today.  This is not a South African problem; women are under-represented at senior levels in business all over the world. I hope to set an example for my boys. I work for a company that has taken on board the need to transform our country, there are a number of women who hold very senior positions and I have been given many incredible opportunities for which I am very grateful. I love being able to make things happen…”@MOTHERLAND Magazine

 

MOTHERLAND Magazine – a three-part feature series entitled “When I Had My Baby”, telling the stories of ‘ordinary’ women who have had children at different times in their lives…

motherland-mums-seriesHannah, now 26, was 18 when she gave birth “…People were shocked when they found out that I was going to be a mum; they didn’t even know I had a boyfriend – we’d only been ‘official’ for a couple of months. News spread fast but I don’t think those who knew were intentionally gossiping; I think it was more about the shock. A lot of people were disappointed in me and that word – disappointment – was used a lot. Seeing how people were reacting, my friends and family rallied around me. The people who I thought would be really disappointed in me were just so supportive.

When you’re a teen mum, you’re placed under the care of a special group of midwives. I remember walking into an antenatal unit and I was surrounded thirteen-year-old girls and, being 17, I was not at that point anymore but I also couldn’t relate to the average 30-year-old mum-to-be. It was an awkward space. I was young but I was working and could afford to buy things for my child; I felt like I was prepared but looking back, I think “Wow! You were such a little girl.” It’s something you only realise in retrospect…”@MOTHERLAND Magazine

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Kristin, now 41, was 36 when she gave birth “…Those first three months are a blur. I envisioned myself being earth mother and I just wasn’t. I found motherhood tiring; I had all these friends who had had babies in their twenties and they made it look so easy. I found it really difficult. Really difficult. Although my husband was a great support, I wasn’t tuned in to London, where we were living, so I didn’t know there were things like play groups, so I felt very alone.

I lost myself; I was exhausted. I think I had post natal depression but only realised afterward. I remember it as a dark time; not that I was unhappy… I was thrilled to have my son and l loved him to death but I remember thinking ‘how many more years until I don’t have to do this anymore – how much longer?’. I was counting days, looking at the books trying to find cures for things for which there are no cures – it’s called having a baby.

I’d always been successful – in the sense that if I had worked hard I had always got there but no matter how hard I worked with my baby, he was not going to take a nap. I had no control, no matter how many books I read or charts I made. It was a real lesson in letting go; finally one day I just said ‘these spread sheets are stressing me out and I need to get rid of the stress,’ so I stopped looking at articles; I stopped trying to solve things. Feed him, change him and take him to bed – and get on with it. It doesn’t matter; he’s going to be OK. And that really released me…”@MOTHERLAND Magazine

moms-series-image-emaEma, now 43 and a single parent, was 42 when she gave birth “I’ve always loved children – I’m a nanny, after all. But at 42 I didn’t think I’d ever have any of my own. My mum was 15 when she had me and my nan was 16 when she had my mum… I think both of them felt the pressure of having children at such a young age. I felt it with my mum; it wasn’t that she didn’t want me but having me that young was hard. I was nine when my mum left – she was only 24; I am sure it was because of the responsibility of motherhood, the weight of it.

My nan raised me. I love mum and nan dearly but I know that if they had the choice to do things over, teen pregnancy would not be top of their priority list. I didn’t want to have a child that I resented; a concept that I associated with young mums. I went on the pill at the age of 13 and it was only in my thirties that I started trying for children. It didn’t happen.

I tried for about six years and then the relationship I was in ended, at which stage I knew that if I was going to have children, it’d probably be as a single mum. And I was OK with that, mainly because I’d spent the last 20 years doing everything I’ve really wanted to do – being crazy. I’ve done the mad benders and been out and not had any responsibility. I remember thinking that the best thing about not having a child is ‘no responsibility’ but now, at 43 with a one-year-old son, I like the responsibility…“@MOTHERLAND Magazine

 

MOTHERLAND Magazine – feature on Susanna Widmann (Tattoo Artist, mum and entrepreneur)…

susanna-widmann-feature “I studied Fine Art, specialising in Illustration, and then worked as an illustrator for a few years doing mainly children’s books and illustrations for magazines, but I always had an interest in tattoos, piercings and body modification. A childhood friend opened one of the first tattoo studios in Barcelona, where I am from originally, and I did reception work in his studio while studying. But it wasn’t until I met Jesse, my husband and co-owner of Scratchline Tattoo, that I began to pursue my interest in body art. He was heavily tattooed and extremely passionate about everything to do with tattooing and body modification – he did his final anthropology dissertation on the subject! He gave me my first tattoo machine as a present and told me I should start tattooing him. So I did. And now we run a business. Scratchline Tattoo has been open for three and a half years and finally everything is falling into place.

I wasn’t expecting to start a business so soon but I knew that it was something I was going to have to do at some point. The thing with the tattoo industry (although it’s a bit better now) is that it’s a man’s world and it’s not family-friendly. When I was pregnant with my first daughter I had a difficult time getting a job and then when I fell pregnant with my second daughter, my (then) boss told me that my job was not sustainable in the long term – having to take time off for my baby meant that I was no longer a reliable source of income for him. It was then that I decided that work was going to have to be my own thing, on my own terms…”@MOTHERLAND Magazine

 

Graceful Chic – cover feature on CBS Inside Edition correspondent Megan Alexander

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Graceful Chic – cover feature on  Kristen Dalton American actress and beauty queen who won Miss USA 2009 and represented the United States at the Miss Universe 2009 pageant, placing in the Top 10…

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Graceful Chic – Flagship article and cover feature…

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At Home Parenting with Jo Frost – “All About… Montessori”, co-author (p281)…

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