For those of you that are unaware, I'm involved in a magazine called REAL, which is aimed at promoting positive body image and self-respect in 14-18 year-old women. We all know the story, I mean, who here even remembers what a REAL female figure looks like? Every day we are bombarded with messages and signs that thin is beautiful, and that physical beauty and appearance is top priority. From the models you see in game shows like Deal or no Deal, to the hosts on television morning shows, we are brainwashed to feel unhappy with our own figures, and to strive to look more beautiful. And it's REAL's aim to show girls that being an individual is more important than conforming to what society says is right.
Anywho. Thanks to Twitter, the highly acclaimed Girl With a Satchel blogger Erica Bartle mentioned us in her Playlist section on Friday 3 July, much to my excitement, I might add. And while many people are still incredibly apprehensive of the benefits of Twitter, at least I can say that I understand why it's so great. GWAS confirmed they'd heard about us through Twitter, and the rest is history! Here's what GWAS had to say:
...Real magazine, published by Inspired (it's actually Real) Girl Productions and supported by The Butterfly Foundation, Libra and Edge, aims to "inspire creativity and positive thinking, promote self respect and encourage readers to embrace their individuality". Editor Erin Young writes, "Each day we are bombarded with messages implying that beauty and appearance should be the most important thing in our lives. Beauty is only skin deep...it is glamour that lasts forever and glamour comes from within!" Sounds like an unreal editorial philosophy to me. Subscribing immediately!The most exciting news about the mag is that as of next year it will be a quarterly publication. Two issues a year is just not enough to say what all the young women have been emailing us about.
I can't believe how lucky I was to come across REAL. If I'd not been reading the Saturday Age that day in January last year (and at the time I usually didn't read it on the w/e) then I would not have read about REAL in the paper, and been compelled to contact Erin Young (the Editor) and offer my help. It helps that I want to work in the publishing industry, and that working on a magazine is right up there in my dream-jobs-I-have-to-have list. But the magazine also fulfills the part of me that wants to help, and especially, help teenagers make it through the most turbulent years of their lives.
The great thing about the mag -probably the greatest thing- is that most of it is written by young women themselves, who have experienced the melancholy of teenage angst. It's so eye opening to read about other peoples' stories of adolescence.
Anyway, we are updating the website to be more interactive, but if you know of any young women who need encouragement to be creative, confident, independent and happy do send them our way, and maybe they can tell their story too.