Editor's Note

ELLE (Canada) - - Editor's Note - Noreen Flana­gan Editor-in-Chief Fol­low me on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram @noreen_flana­gan We love hear­ing from you! Please write to us at ed­i­tors@ ELLECanada.com.

There are thou­sands of emails stored on my hard drive, but none of them carry the emo­tional wal­lop of the letters and cards I’ve squir­relled away in a plas­tic con­tainer my hus­band calls my “box of mem­o­ries.” There are sappy love notes, sweet birth­day cards from friends and hand­writ­ten letters from my fam­ily that I re­ceived while trav­el­ling through the Mid­dle East and Asia dur­ing the pre-What­sApp era. I couldn’t af­ford to call home, so my fam­ily sent notes to postes restantes in the var­i­ous cities I vis­ited. I re­mem­ber ar­riv­ing at the New Delhi post of­fice and ask­ing the clerk if there were any letters for Noreen Flana­gan. When he re­turned with a bun­dle of notes held to­gether with twine, I burst into tears. Ev­ery time I open the plas­tic con­tainer, I think about throw­ing out some of the letters, but that never hap­pens. My most re­cent trip down mem­ory lane had me laugh­ing over a let­ter from my first crush, whom I met on a camp­ing trip when I was 12. We ex­changed a few letters be­fore I was dumped. “I don’t like longdis­tance re­la­tion­ships and I don’t like you, so I won’t be writ­ing again,” he wrote. If I didn’t have this writ­ten ev­i­dence of my first heart­break, would I have re­mem­bered it? Prob­a­bly not, and that’s one of the draw­backs to life—and love—in the dig­i­tal age. Last year, I wrote a blog about a Korean app called “Be­tween” that I’d read about in The New Yorker. The founders of the app said they wanted to cre­ate “a beau­ti­ful space where you can share all your mo­ments only with the one that mat­ters.” They came up with the idea be­cause, they said, they were suf­fer­ing from “so­cial-net­work fa­tigue” and their online lives lacked in­ti­macy. Ac­cord­ing to New Yorker writer Lau­ren Collins, they turned to self-help books to get an un­der­stand­ing of how one cre­ates in­tim­acy. They con­cluded that shared mem­o­ries and pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tion were cru­cial, so they de­vel­oped a pri­vate online space where a cou­ple can ex­change voice and text mes­sages and pho­to­graphs. (You can only have one con­tact: your part­ner.) There’s also a fea­ture called the “Mem­ory Box,” where notes and photos can be stored as keep­sakes. But per­haps apps like Be­tween don’t en­tirely sat­isfy our de­sire for in­tim­acy. In “Signed, Sealed, De­liv­ered” (page 94), as­so­ciate editor Sarah Laing ex­plores the let­ter-writ­ing re­nais­sance be­hind the #snail­mail­rev­o­lu­tion. “Peo­ple re­al­ize that they miss the warmth of letters, the phys­i­cal­ity of ac­tu­ally writ­ing and that real sense of de­light you get when you re­ceive a let­ter be­cause it’s such a rare thing,” his­to­rian Si­mon Garfield tells Laing. I feel that way when a reader pens me a note, like the one I re­ceived from Gosia Dam­bek in Poland. She col­lects ELLE mag­a­zines, and she wanted a copy of ELLE Canada. She wrote: “...that you can send to me just one is­sue ELLE Canada, it will for me unimag­in­able en­joy! Sim­ply the ful­fill­ment of my dream.” If Gosia had emailed me, I might not have felt inspired to im­me­di­ately act on her re­quest. Af­ter the is­sues were sent, I wrote her an email thank­ing her for her lovely note. #irony

Beauty Grand Prix The re­sults are in! Turn to page 141 to check out which prod­ucts the jury of ELLE Canada read­ers de­cided you can’t live with­out, and then turn to page 149 to find out how to be on next year’s jury.

Dig­i­tal dar­ling

There’s a dig­i­tal theme wo­ven into the sto­ries through­out this is­sue, which is why May­belline’s Gigi Ha­did was the per­fect cover girl. In “Gi­gibyte” (page 76), she tells beauty di­rec­tor Vanessa Craft that so­cial media al­lows her to cre­ate a new level of con­nec­tion with the peo­ple who sup­port her: “Now you can be some­one’s favour­ite model be­cause of how they con­nect with you on Twit­ter.”

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