Friday, April 8, 2011
Teen Voices, a Much Needed Alternative
My fifteen year old cousin scares me. Her jeans are too tight, tops are always too low (her boobs are way bigger than mine), he hair always straightened and her makeup always heavy. Where did she get this from? Yes I wear makeup and have the slutty dresses here and there, but I never taught her that the only way to get your crush to like you is by drinking with them, I never taught her that it's appropriate to give yourself Cleopatera eyes for school... if I didn't, who did? The problem (well, one of many) with our society is there is never a proper outlet for girls to express themselves or learn. Instead teenagers are constantly reading Seventeen, Cosmo, Teen Vogue.....I want to make it perfectly clear, I am not ripping on these magazines. In fact, someone like myself who works for Hearst (the company that publishes two out of the three mentioned works) my job kind of depends on reading them. I do believe, though, that girls should have options. Just like we have options on what brands to by, who to vote for and who are friends are, we should have options of where we could be getting our information.
Teen Voices' mission statement is as follows: "The mission of Teen Voices is to support and educate teen girls to amplify their voices and create social change through media." Okay, many important things were said. The first is that Teen Voices serves as both a support system and a teacher for young girls, a place where girls can learn values not taught in Seventeen (and out of all the articles I looked through, not one was about giving the perfect blow job...THANK GOD). They also mention the amplification of girl's voices. YES! Us women need to be heard. And even though sometimes the things that come out of my cousin's mouth are lewd, astonishingly bitchy or just plain fucked up, she should be heard. We all should be heard. No matter what race, religion, socio-economic background...we all have a hell of a lot to say. Why should our voices be suffocated by that of a man? 1950's is over, people!
Sorry...let me give you some more info on Teen Voices and why it's alternative. The print/online publication has been around for almost 20 years (originated in Boston, Ma) Founded by women, duh, T.V. is filled with teen editors. Girl on girl action, here. And not the kind spoken about in Cosmo. The articles featured in Teen Voices offer an alternative view for women. Unlike mainstream media, no females are sexualized, marginalized, stereotyped....instead, everyday issues (such as youth violence) are addressed in-depth. Teen Voices also believes in teaching skills to girls that will allow them to criticize the media, not themselves. THANK YOU. Look, all media needs to be criticized. We are lucky enough to live in a country where we don't get jailed for doing so; that should be taken advantage of.
I seriously recommend you check this out...I will be passing it on the my baby cousin....and you all should pass it on to your equally frightening teenage girl relative or friend. If only I took this class sooner.