The Woman of Glamorous Refusal

The Woman of Glamorous Refusal

Emily Orrson’s movement.

By Nora Rothman

Emily Orrson (she/her) is the creative director & founder of The Magazine of Glamorous Refusal. Entrepreneur Magazine named her one of the 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs in 2018. She lives in Seattle, WA.

What is The Magazine of Glamorous Refusal?

The Magazine of Glamorous Refusal is a print magazine about saying no in a world that conditions women to say yes.

Why does it exist?

I would like to live in a world where saying no is just as easy and comfortable as saying yes. The magazine not only socializes saying no, it celebrates and glamorizes it.

magazine of glamorous refusal, final cover.png

Can you tell us about your playlist?

Women in music have glamorous refusal on dial, from Lesley Gore to Kali Uchis. It’s both galvanizing and defeating to hear the same refusals come up decade over decade for femme artists.

What’s the hardest “no” you’ve ever said?

My hardest “no’s” are the ones that disappoint others. I’m hypersensitive to the expectations others have for me, which makes it hard to speak my truth.

The magazine not only socializes saying no, it celebrates & glamorizes it.

Who’s your biggest “no” role model?

Roxane Gay is a “no” inspiration. She does a great job of socializing and saying no; kicking down the boundaries society has set for us with style and flair. She actually refused my request to have her write something for the magazine, which I basically consider a personal honor.

How do you balance a 9-5 and creative work?

I’ve had to say no! A lot! Refusal is a key ingredient for setting healthy boundaries. Saying no keeps me in the driver’s seat of my life.

Print by Emily Orrson & Niala Zakersnik

Print by Emily Orrson & Niala Zakersnik

You’ve been partnering with powerful femme creators on a pop-up series this month. How did you make those collaborations happen?

Yes, this month the magazine came to life in a pop up shop where we hosted events and installations around glamorous refusal. There is so much we need to feel empowered to refuse - almost everyone I talked to was interested in using the space as a platform. We had drag queens perform glamorous refusal, musicians hold open mics for refusals, a neon art show around “Saying No in Neon” and much more. Many of these creators are also featured in the magazine.

What’s next in the world of Glamorous Refusal?

Issue 2 baby!

My hardest ‘no’s’ are the ones that disappoint others.

What’s your favorite thing about yourself today?

I am mastering my formula—what turns my mood around, what sets me up for success, what pairs well with a rainy afternoon or a tray of roasted pumpkin seeds. A big part of that is listening for my own voice & honoring it.


Who’s one artist on your playlist we need to start following immediately, and why?

Lesley Gore—she was an amazing musician, composer and activist!


Upcoming Events

Open Mic of Glamorous Refusal: Wed, 10/31, 7-10pm at 1402 E. Pike St.

Issue #2: Spring 2019