Monday, October 15, 2007

Kitten Naps

When I was about fourteen years old, there was a magazine called Jump!. Until that point, my mom had refused to buy me any other type of magazine, though at that point, the only thing I'd wanted was to just get mail sent to me. From memory, one day my mom told me I'd be getting a magazine in the mail. When I asked what had changed her mind, she said that this was made for girls my age, talked about self-esteem and good role models. I think I gave her one of my looks.

However, the day came that I got the magazine and I was immediately stuck, reading the pages left and right about girls who have succeeded against all odds, once a month workouts that are healthy for girls my age and girls who ask questions that aren't about sex, but about world issue opinions and creative ways to make gifts or fix things around the house.

A particular issue had a list of 1000 things to make you more knowledgeable and a better person. Things like "smile no matter where you go" and "just because you can't vote doesn't mean you can't know what's going on!" and gave lists of websites to visit to learn more about our government and different foods to throw into our diet by ditching candy and pop.

I'd get these types of information every issue, and I remember thanking my mom. I had been wrong--I needed to know that there were other girls out there like me, wanting to learn more about the world that doesn't always involve a celebrity.

However, only half a year later or so, the magazine went out of business, and I suddenly started getting YM. I called to ask about what had happened, and they said that I could either get YM or Sports Illustrated for Teens. Considering my brother already got a type of Sports Illustrated, and I wasn't interested in learning how to put on nail polish or what type of eye shadow will guarantee me a boyfriend, I asked if I could just have the money back. I had half a subscription left and only those two options.

A new magazine and it lasted six months because it wasn't popular enough girls my age. Instead, girls my age were interested in pages of make up and new fads in clothing with only a side dish of possible worldly issues and book reading. Instead, they were interested in sex. I've seen Cosmo at this day and age, a magazine that's supposed to be for women over 18, and girls who are thirteen are asking questions about condoms and giving head to keep a guys interest. Thirteen.

I have never seen another magazine with the kind of information for girls between the ages of 13-17. I suppose the people figure that if a girl is that interested in politics or good role models, they should be watching the news or reading some journal that puts things in terms that is meant for people over twenty-eight.

Not every 13-year-old who is interested in politics or good mental health or world issues knows what to pick up. Not only did Jump! point out other good material, but it also talked about things that 13-year-old girls go through, and breast cancer prevention. A mixture of what girls that age need.

I used up my subscription in YM. I think I may have even kept it for another year. But I remember the day when my dad asked if I still wanted to keep up the subscription, since it cost him however-much money a year. And I realized that the only reason I was keeping the magazine was for the quick pointers on how to use natural ingredients to give facials or the random articles about real women who changed their lives for the better. But now I was older and knew how to use the internet to find exactly what I wanted.

I haven't had a magazine subscription since.

Random Fact: I have over thirty-two webcomics in my bookmarks... and I've somehow got the idea in my head to start one.

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