Teen Voices isthe only alternative print magazine created by and for girls in the country. Their local Boston program has a national, and even international, impact through the print and online magazines that reach hundreds of thousands of girls worldwide, and now it’s in danger.
Teen Voices is more than just a magazine; it’s a community institution:
87 Boston teen girlstake part in SHOUT!(Sisters Helping Other Unheard Teens) and work as Teen Editors and writers for the print and online versions ofTeen Voices.” Girls come from the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, West Roxbury, and Brighton.
Their teen constituents are 14 to 18 years of age; 82% come primarily from low-income families and 93% are girls of color (70% African descent, 18% Latina, 5% Asian), and 7% are Caucasian
110 Boston neighborhood teen girls participate in Poetically Speaking, a forum in the Boston Girls Writing Community.
6 Peer Leaders run programs and public forums.
35 college womenand recent college graduates are trained to mentor the teen editors in their production of Teen Voices’ print and online magazines.
Like many girls, participants in Teen Voices are dealing with serious issues at home and in their communities. The issues range from racism, sexism, elitism, hunger, violence, depression, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual identity exploration, and unplanned pregnancy. For many, schools are not institutions that support their ability to address these issues, or their self-confidence. They need safe spaces to talk—with adults as well as peers—so that they can feel validated, supported, and informed. Some girls have support at home with parents, grandparents, teachers, or religious leaders; for others, Teen Voices offers a rare source of consistent, supportive adults.
The Body Collage Project directly contrasts mediated images of beauty with real women. Students covered the walls in a room with idealized images from magazines, then posed for photos in front of the collage.
We have until MIDNIGHT, TONIGHT, FRIDAY MAY 18TH to raise the money for our You’ve Been SPARK’d campaign! You’ve Been SPARK’d is basically a culture jamming starter kit, with sweet post-its that you can use to talk back to media & a central online gallery for people to share their images and talk about issues of representation.
B A S I C A L L Y it rules, and an anon donor just offered to start matching donations between $150 & $500! We know, that’s a lot, especially for our tumblr friends & loved ones, but you don’t have to go that big! We have sweet prizes at lower levels and every dollar counts. Please do us big ups & help us to continue supporting girls by sharing this everywhere.
"In an ideal world, Julia wouldn’t need to request one unaltered photo spread a month, because unaltered photos would already be the norm. However, in the glossy world of magazines, truth and beauty are not always one and the same. I think a reasonable first step for Seventeen to take toward Julia’s ultimate goal would be to do a behind-the-scenes piece about how a photo shoot comes together. After all, girls can only run the world if they’re privy to its tricks."
The Women’s Media Center has opened up applications for their Progressive Girls’ Voices media training program! From the website:
Progressive Girls’ Voices trainings and webinars help girls develop leadership, media, and activism skills. In 2011, Progressive Girls’ Voices graduates represented the Women’s Media Center at the Sundance Film Festival and interviewed Robert Redford, Geena Davis, Tiffany Shlain, and Danny Glover, as well as produced a video that has received thousands of views. Graduates also blog for the Women’s Media Center, bringing their unique voices to the conversation. We have also trained girls and young women bloggers from SPARK Movement and the Arab American Association of New York, among other girl-serving organizations and institutions.
Take it from us: getting media trained by the WMC will equip you with tools that will help you for the rest of your life, whether you want to become a media pundit or you prefer to do your work off camera. Apply now! Applications close June 4th, 2012.
Girls want to be accepted, appreciated, and liked. And when they don’t fit the criteria, some girls try to “fix” themselves. This can lead to eating disorders, dieting, depression, and low self esteem.
I’m in a ballet class with a bunch of high-school girls. On a daily basis I hear comments like: “It’s a fat day,” and “I ate well today, but I still feel fat.” Ballet dancers do get a lot of flack about their bodies, but it’s not just ballet dancers who feel the pressure to be “pretty”. It’s everyone. To girls today, the word “pretty” means skinny and blemish-free. Why is that, when so few girls actually fit into such a narrow category? It’s because the media tells us that “pretty” girls are impossibly thin with perfect skin.
Here’s what lots of girls don’t know. Those “pretty women” that we see in magazines are fake.They’re often photoshopped, air-brushed, edited to look thinner, and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life.
That’s why I’m asking Seventeen Magazine to commit to printing one unaltered — real — photo spread per month. I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me.
We are super super SUPER excited that SPARK activist Crystal Ogar (aka crystalsavestheday!) will be speaking at Women in the World this Saturday, March 10th. Tune into the entire three-day event using the livestream link above. The summit kicks off March 8th at 6:30 pm, and you can see the full schedule here. Crystal’s panel, The Digital Lives of Girls, will happen Saturday at 11:15!
With the explosion of digital & social media, girls’ lives now unfold in the most public of spaces. Yet innovative young women are harnessing digital technology, owning their images, and leveraging the issues that are most important to them.
Moderator: Chelsea Clinton
Noorjahan Akbar, Co-Founder and member, Young Women for Change
Shelby Knox, Director of Women’s Rights Organizing, Change.org
Crystal Ogar, Activist & Blogger, SPARK
Emily-Anne Rigal, Founder and Director, WeStopHate.org
Please stop telling me I’m pretty Please stop telling me I’m fat Please stop telling me I’m crazy Just cause I love every cat Please stop calling me a spinster Just cause I wont lie with you I know you’d be calling me a whore If I went home with you
Don’t tell me I need protecting Don’t say I need to be saved Don’t tell me I’m PMSing If your mindless ignorance sends me into a rage.
Our partners at Beauty Redefined have put together an amazing list of 15 goals to help make 2012 your happiest, healthiest, most positive year yet. We particularly like these media-oriented resolutions but the whole list is great:
Put your $ where your mouth is:Make a goal to only shop at stores that treat [women] respectfully in their advertising and products. Speaking up with your pocketbook is one of the most powerful ways you can show retailers what you will and will not put up with.
Speak up:When you see a media message that goes against what you believe about girls and women, let your voice be heard. Make a resolution to write to companies that produce and distribute offensive messages, as well as those that you appreciate for showing [women] as valuable for more than being looked at. This year, we’ve seen major companies pull advertising and products that were offensive because girls and women speak up! Let this be the year you let your voice be heard.
Go on a media fast:Choose a day, a week, a month or longer to steer clear of as much media as you can. That way, you can see how your life is different without all those messages and images, and when you return to viewing and reading popular media, you will be more sensitive to the messages that hurt you and those that are unrealistic.
Just say “no”:Set a goal to cancel out any media choices you view or read that tell you lies about what it means to be a [woman]. You’ll thank yourself!
Picture perfect:If you are a photographer or like to take pictures, set a goal to steer clear of any Photoshopping or image manipulation that Photoshops those in your pictures out of reality. Signs of life are important and we need to see reality!