Posted Kenzie Kramer on 4/12/2016 |Remarkable! People
When former magazine editor Erin Bried searched newsstands for a publication that her young daughter could enjoy, she was disappointed in what she discovered. Bried was hoping to see stories that would grow her five-year-old's curiosity but instead she came across articles about growing her hair. Determined to provide girls with media that helps them develop their interests and talents, Bried is using her 16 years of editorial experirence at SELF, Glamour and Women's Sports & Fitness toward starting her own magazine, Kazoo.
I started Kazoo because, after browsing the newsstand with my 5-year-old daughter one day, I was upset—and honestly—kind of angry at what I saw. I don’t think there was a single title for young girls that didn’t include a story on pretty hair. What’s more, every cover I saw featured a princess, a doll or a little girl wearing makeup. Since my daughter happens to prefer pirates to princesses, we left the store that day empty-handed.
Then, while walking her home from school another day, she said to me, “Mom, did you know that space is for boys?” I was shocked, especially since her absolute favorite thing to do right now is to pretend that we’re part of a “super-fast species” that lives on Saturn. I told her that space is, of course, for anyone, and explained, as calmly as possible: “You can do anything you want to do, and be anything you want to be.” It infuriates me that she’s just five years old and is already being told, this time by a boy at school, what she can’t do, where she can’t go and what she’s not supposed to care about.
I know we can do better for our girls. In fact, we must, because this sort of messaging that we see in the media (and in the toy aisles)—that’s there’s only one right way for a girl to be—has real and negative consequences.
Kazoo will feature sections on art, nature, science, tinkering and tech, cooking, travel, sports, emotions, citizenship, and critical thinking. Regular features will include: science experiments; comics; art projects; recipes; interviews with inspiring women from athletes to astronauts; and fun activities, including secret codes, jokes, mazes, search-and-finds and more.
If we want our daughters to grow up to be confident, powerful women, we’ve got to work together to give them more as kids. Pink toys and princess movies are all fine (and can be totally fun), but not if that’s all they ever get to see. Kazoo will show them a world beyond.
Every story in it will be either developed by, or inspired by, top female artists, explorers, scientists, chefs, athletes, activists, writers and others. In the first issue, for example, MacArthur Genius Alison Bechdel is doing a full-page original comic called, “How to Draw a Cat.” Renowned artist Mickalene Thomas is adapting one of her famed portraits into a color-and-glitter by number project. Cosmochemist and Fulbright scholar Meenakshi Wadhwa, Ph.D. is contributing to a story on the Perseid meteor shower. Chef Fany Gerson is developing a story on Mexican ice pops. And New York Times bestseller Lucy Knisley is doing an original comic, about a really fast runner, Elizabeth Robinson, the first American woman to win a gold in track. You won’t find any other girls’ magazine doing stories quite like these.
Ellie is my daughter, and I want Kazoo to reinforce for her, and for all girls, what they already know. That they can be loud. They can be messy. They can be strong. They can be adventurous. They can be silly. They can be intellectually curious about science, art, engineering—anything. Everything! I want to create Kazoo to give girls the tools, and the space, to dream, build, explore, think and ask questions. I want them to know that the world is full of possibility.
Learn more about Kazoo.