If there’s one thing that’s for sure about the state of the media, it’s that there are no certainties. If we are to believe the hype, print as a medium is dead and buried—this is not news anymore. But as technology advances more and more quickly, and new forms of social media emerge and eclipse their predecessors like rapid-fire, it takes a unique type of individual—creative and enterprising, adaptable and versatile—to roll with the punches. As media mavens go, Edith Zimmerman might just be your hero.
“I love the internet because of its immediacy, because you can see right away if people like what you’ve put up, and you can see what they’re saying about it, what little dialogues are sprouting below it, who “likes” it, who “recommends” it, Tweets, hearts, Diggs, whatever,” Zimmerman said. “Also because when you see that something’s stupid, you can just go back and fix it. Or delete it months later when you’re drunk and ashamed.”
A 27-year old Massachusetts native, Zimmerman moved to New York City in 2005 just after college, for an internship at Esquire Magazine. Since then, she has been steadily making her mark on the media world on her own terms, and is in the midst of solidifying her celebrity both in the annals of online and in the pages of some of the most esteemed print publications in the world. She began her career as a contributor to The Awl, a culture website with a serious cult following, with a series of fake letters to the editors of women’s magazines. Her series earned her a fanbase almost immediately, and served as a springboard for Zimmerman to expand her repertoire, and write for other publications regularly. Shortly thereafter, Zimmerman launched The Hairpin, a sister website to the Awl, where she now serves as the editor.
Zimmerman’s work is fiercely smart and observant; part satire, part self-referential social commentary, The Hairpin is billed as a women’s website—but one that is far removed and radically different from the classic trappings of traditional, pointedly gendered media outlets. While her focus tends to be on women—writing about them, and typically for them—The Hairpin represents a modern and progressive perspective of pointedly gendered media.
“The Hairpin is a women’s site, but I try to approach it as just a site that I like where most of the writers are women,” Zimmerman said. “And to keep it fun and funny and playful. When we go girly, to do it in a fun way–as humorous and honest as possible.”
In fact, at Jewcy we love Edith Zimmerman so much that we included her on the Big Jewcy list despite the fact that she isn’t even Jewish. She just sounds Jewish.
“Everyone thinks I’m Jewish, but I’m not, I swear. To Christ, my Christian savior,” she said. “That I wrote for Heeb probably contributes to the whole seeming-Jewish thing. Gotta keep ’em guessing.” She adds, “Just kidding, I’m not religious.”
Since we like her so much, we’re making her an honorary member for the Big Jewcy.