Rebekah Sweeney was fed up with the airbrushed women who grace the covers of shallow magazines, the type that promise to reveal weight-loss secrets and sex tips in every issue.
Where, she thought, was the substance?
"I was tired of not finding something whole," she said.
And that led to another question, which Sweeney admits with a laugh -- "How hard can it be to put a magazine together?"
Eighteen months later, the Springettsbury Township woman is about to give Cosmo and O a run for their money.
Sweeney and Arizona-based business partner Ana Gonzales Lewis are assembling the first issue of THAT magazine, which will hit grocery and book stores across the country in November.
About 75,000 copies will be printed and distributed in the magazine's first run.
"We're going to be front and center," Sweeney, 39, said. "I feel it's going to fly off the shelves."
Less drivel: While there may be a market for endless articles about weight loss, makeup and orgasms, Sweeney said she's convinced some women want more substance and less drivel in their magazines.
The mother of three daughters, Sweeney said she moved to York four years ago. Her daughters' experiences in high school made Sweeney realize how tough it is to be a teenage girl these days, she said.
Magazines and other media emphasize being attractive to others but do little to help their audiences build self-worth, Sweeney said.
The goal of THAT magazine is to serve both the politically interested career woman and the homemaker who wonders, "How can I make a difference and still be a mom?" Sweeney said.
"We realize that women are well-rounded," she said. "It's about encouraging women to find out who they are."
For example, the November issue will feature articles on the power of the female voting bloc and efforts to stop a sex-trafficking ring in Seattle. There are also plans for regular parenting and humor columns. The magazine will regularly address self-esteem and body-image issues.
Lewis, who is also the founder of a website called Women on the Verge, is the magazine's managing editor.
From home: Sweeney is a one-woman marketing, advertising and circulation department. From her home, she spends her days courting national companies to buy an ad or sell the magazine.
THAT magazine will be different from the other publications on the grocery-store shelves, Lewis said.
"We're trying to be as real as we can," Sweeney said.
-- Erin James may also be reached at email@example.com.