This entry has nothing to do with food and much to do with websites that teenage girls would be into. I wrote this annotated bibliography for my Young Adult lit class, and I thought I’d share it here, where maybe someone would read it, rather than keep it in a folder on my desktop. So read! Have fun!
When I was a teenager, the Internet held precious few little gems for me to hang on to. I remember that at some point, after my search for “underground music” yielded nothing but a photograph of a Teenage Fanclub album, I pretty much gave up looking for cool stuff other than chat rooms. But today! Oh, there are so many pretty little gems! I’m totally jealous. Well, teenage me is totally jealous (of teenagers today? sure!).
Below, you’ll find a list of links to websites that are geared towards girls who want to participate in a life that’s bigger than Seventeen Magazine. Don’t get me wrong: I read many an issue of Seventeen in my younger days, but these websites will give you information about health issues, cool careers, pop culture, getting published, and communicating with other girls who are interesting and confident. My favorites on this list are Rookie Mag and Teen Ink. The other ones are pretty good, too. Here’s the list:
Amplify Your Voice is a website for girls of color and for girls wanting to get good, sound information about sexuality and their roles as women. The site gives young people links that can get them connected to activism and information about sexual health issues, and it very strongly lets young women (and men) know that they have a right to be heard in debates over reproductive and sexual health issues as well as a right to be taught about sexual issues. This is a great site for anyone with questions or with the desire to do something about sex education and women’s rights in America.
The Channel One News show is a staple of classrooms across the country. The website for this news group gives up-to-date news and current events, along with quizzes, polls, horoscopes, and a plethora of news and culture stories. It’s got lots of videos, and it also features stories about cool new stuff, like flying cars. This website has tons of information, and though it isn’t just for girls, it has important stories that interested girls will want to read.
On Dear Teen Me, grown-ups write letters to their teen selves. These letters are funny, sad, sweet, and nostalgic. Also, most of the authors post funny pictures of themselves as teens, and the hair and clothes they wear in those pictures are hilarious. It’s fun to read these letters because the grown-ups are basically telling their younger selves that things turn out okay and that the huge problems and mistakes we have as young people end up making us who we are. And that’s cool. And seriously, you’ve got to check out the pictures.
Educating Jane is a website that gives girls resources to help with school, education, and preparation for becoming successful adults. While the graphics aren’t great on this site, it has good links to important books for teen girls, and it could help girls who want some career direction. What makes this site special is that it gives links to programs, organizations, and educational opportunities that you can be a part of. Especially interesting is the education link that gives all kinds of facts and information about different fields that you may want to go into. I wish I had had something like this when I was in high school!
Girlshealth.gov might be for a younger audience of girls, but it has answers to all kinds of mental and physical health issues, including relationships, illness, fitness, bullying, drug and alcohol use, and safety. This website also has quizzes. The site is maintained by the Office of Women’s Health at the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, so readers can rest assured that they are getting accurate and up-to-date health information.
This website has cool graphics and videos. It’s on online forum that allows girls to become members and create avatars and then to write about their goals and watch videos and read articles from people who are in business today. Membership is free but comes with perks but does not include chatting and messaging. The website is all about getting girls to make goals for their futures and also getting them to be confident in who they are right now, rather than reinforcing orthodox gender roles and stereotypes. The avatar option is cute and cool and allows girls to promote themselves as well as encourage other girls on the site.
Gurl.com is a cute website with good art and lots of videos. While this website is a little heavier on the boy/girl stuff than the other websites on this list, it also has interesting articles about girls who are successful (for example, teen Sara Ganim, who won a Pulitzer Prize), health and beauty issues, love and sex issues, belief systems, several different question-and-answer forums, and quizzes and surveys. This website is linkable to Twitter, Facebook, and Stumbleupon.
New Moon Girls is a members-only website that users must pay to use; however, along with the yearly fee for the site, users receive six bi-monthly print magazines along with full access to the site. New Moon Girls has a secure chatting platform along with forums where girls can post their own poetry, fiction, art, music, and videos. There are also forums for asking questions to other girls on the site or to the site’s administrator, and there is also a discussion board where girls can go to air their thoughts about any issue they want to post about. Finally, the site has contests and calls for submissions on different topics. The graphics on this site are pretty good. This one is also geared towards a younger audience.
Rookie Mag is probably the hippest online magazine for girls that I’ve ever come across. The graphics are great, and the articles are all about becoming a cool and strong person. The magazine hosts great interviews with cool celebrities (such as author David Sedaris and Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sally Draper on Mad Men), and it also has a video question-and-answer forum called “Ask a Grown-up” that has actors like BJ Novak and Paul Rudd answering questions about boy/girl relationships, among other things. The writers are smart and confident, and the magazine has 3 posts a day, five times a week, so the content never gets old. You should definitely check this one out.
Teen Ink is an online and print magazine displaying work written by teens. This website/magazine isn’t girl-specific, but it has so many opportunities for girls to get stuff published. The site has poetry, fiction, nonfiction, reviews, art, and video categories, as well as discussion forums and a list of Editor’s Choice favorites. Teen Ink also has polls and surveys, information about colleges, internships, and career topics, and boards that show what student readers are looking at today. The site hosts contests and writing courses, and it links to Facebook and Twitter.