Yeah, we know that headline is a headscratcher. But hear us out. Maxim magazine, the so-called “lad mag” that features suggestive, bikini-clad ingenues on its cover, with taglines like, “Who Are The Hottest 100 Girls Next Door?” and “Katrina Bowden: Your Dream Girl’s Back–Literally!” (accompanied by a picture of her booty, of course) just did the smartest thing in its 20-year history: it hired a bad-ass woman, Kate Lanphear, to serve at its editor in chief. Lamphear has worked at magazines like New York Times’s T, Elle, Vogue Australia and Harper’s Bazaar. (She’s also known for her cool, androgynous style and is commenly snapped by street style photographers.)

And because Lanphear is smart and modern, she is bringing the mag out of its archaic just-give-me-a-hot-mute-girl-in-a-tight-sweater mentality and into 2015, *our era* in which women and men work together as equals. And she’s done so in a stylish way that still honors the idea allure and attraction.

maxim then and now

Maxim in 2012 vs. Maxim in March 2015.

On the mag’s overhaul, Lanphear says:

“We want to celebrate women’s physical beauty because it’s an essential part of the brand, but we also want to celebrate their success and tell their stories. They’re as successful and energetic and driven and confident as the men we want to speak to. My vision is to show women who will be a partner. She’s not oiled up on a surfboard, she’s carrying the surfboard to the back of the truck you’re going to go to Montauk in together.”

Considering that feminism means believing in and working toward equal rights for women and men and celebrating  everyone’s (men’s and women’s) success, then Maxim may just be our new favorite feminist magazine.

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