In 1992, I felt a lot of anxiety remembering my own difficult tween and teen years.  My twins Mavis Gruver and Nia Kelly were about to enter that turbulent time and I wasn’t looking forward to it! Unable to find practical, accessible resources to help, I was blessed with the vision of a magazine for all girls who want their voices heard and their dreams taken seriously. I brought this idea to Mavis & Nia and their close friend Sarah. Their first response was underwhelming to say the least, “What do you mean, Start A Magazine? We don’t know how to do that!”

But when I changed the question to, “Would you want to read a magazine run by girls where girls share about their real lives and problems, their dreams and their challenges?,” the ideas started flowing fast.  Then they recruited friends to join the first Girls Editorial Board. These twenty girls worked together in our living and attic in Duluth, MN to invent the departments, themes, and features for the award-winning, ad-free New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams. It set a new standard for high-quality media by and for tween and teen girls.

Strengthening Girls to Resist Popular Culture Saturation

In today’s media-saturated and still-sexist times, girls are torn between what they dream for themselves and what society expects of them. Bombarded by “perfect girl” stereotypes and hyper-sexualized images, girls try to cope by taking their authentic voices underground and setting aside their earlier ambitions. In order to survive these pressures, they lose touch with themselves.

But there is hope! Research shows that girls can use emotional support, self-expression and healthy resistance to stay deeply connected to their true interests, abilities, and hopes. Our members do this every day. They help each other express and value their unique talents in the special New Moon Girls community online and in the magazine. They empathize and problem solve with each other, learning how to connect meaningfully even when their lives, beliefs and opinions may be very different.

Media Changing Girls’ Lives for the Better

Our members grow into young women who pursue their dreams and ambitions, even against heavy odds. We hear this every week from NMG alumni in their late teens and twenties who thank us for the special community that was there for them when they needed help to stay true to themselves. This is why I’m still passionately committed to reaching girls everywhere who need this kind of inspiration, connection and support.

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