I recently heard about this new Australian magazine for teenage girls which aims to provide an alternative to "the sexed-up modern magazines like Cosmo and Dolly".
Bella - beautiful girl - is the latest girls’ magazine for 13 to 19 year olds and was launched earlier this year.
I haven't seen a copy yet, but I hear that it's good. A high-quality glossy mag similar to its mainstream counterparts. But since it's not-for-profit the content isn't driven by advertisers, which means it can maintain its editorial integrity.
The magazine, independently published in Queensland, covers music, fashion, relationships and other issues interesting to young women.
It wants to be a catalyst to help "reverse the tide of self-damaging attitudes and trends imposed upon our young women". And it wants to inspire young women to make a difference in their communities and in the world.
That means you won't find headlines like this in Bella Magazine:
Like hot guys more than hot dinners?
10 steps to getting a boyfriend
Taking the morning after pill
The bikini bootcamp
Take our sealed section survey
The emphasis on sex, image, and celebrities in these mainstream magazines aimed at teens and young women is really full-on. I challenge anyone who tries to kid themselves that 12 year old girls, or younger, are reading and absorbing this stuff.
I'm not against the Cosmos and Girlfriends per se. I'm just so sick of there not being alternatives, especially for girls and young women who are well past the Barbie magazine stage.
I'll be subscribing to Bella and testing it out on a few teenager girls to see if it actually engages their interest, because I think to be effective it can't be boring.
Then if it's as good as it seems I'll be helping it out as much as I can.