If you are like me, you may like the occasional indulgence in magazines such as Cosmo and People. However, I often find myself looking at the (few) articles that promote female empowerment (whether career-related, or about body image) with a mixed bag of emotions. While these articles are encouraging (and needed) they are usually buried beneath mounds of advertisements that aim to tell us otherwise: that we can do all we want to climb the equality ladder, but really it’s just all about what you wear and what wrinkles you need to get rid of. This dichotomy is even worse in the magazines that are directed at our girls, who in their most vulnerable tween/teen years, are the most likely to be pulled in by the superficial marketing.
This weekend we went to PA to visit with family, including 2 of our nieces who are in the tween/teen years (by the way- they took both kids off my hands for most of the weekend! Yay for older cousins!). While perusing the magazine selection in the – ahem– bathroom, I came across one I had not seen before: New Moon Girls.
As I flipped through the pages the first thing that jumped at me was the complete lack of advertising. It wasn’t just devoid of overly-sexualized, product placing ads. This magazine is completely AD-FREE! It leaves all of it’s pages to actual written content for girls to get the information they are searching for.
The content is geared towards girls ages 8 and up, and is mostly run by girls, for girls. With adult staff and supervision, the mission of New Moon Girls is to produce a girl-led magazine (print and e-mag) as well as a supportive and safe online community. The magazine articles consist of topics that many tween/teen girls are interested in- body questions, promoting good relationships with friends and BOYS! There are sections of Q&A about various topics answered by peers, as well as places to learn about other cultures and how to create change in the world we live in. It is also a safe place for girls to express themselves creatively through art, poetry, and writing. To see what I am talking about, click here to view the December issue!
Looking through the website, I found that in addition to the print magazine (or e-mag), there is a safe online community for girls to participate in. It is similar to other popular social networking and instant messaging services with the exception that the site does not allow the posting of any personal information and is also completely moderated by trained adults. These adults make sure that anything posted will not lead to girls offline as well as making sure any content is positive and not hurtful in any way.
Although my daughter is only 3, these next 5 years are going to fly by, and I know that this will be a great place for her to be able to turn to for advice and information, while staying safe and away from the harmful influences of advertising and mixed messages.
Now, if only they had a place like this for boys….