GIRL POWER- KOOKIE magazine giving pre-teen girls a bigger, brighter view of their place in the world
In today’s world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women’s movement, however, we’re troubled by a different kind of social control, which may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of the homemaker and wife- the beauty myth. The beauty myth is an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfil society’s impossible definition of “flawless beauty.”
Most vulnerable to the beauty myth are young girls who are seeing an increasing amount of adverts and content across multiple media platforms that portray a common and similar view of what ‘beautiful’ looks like.
In December 2017, set about making a change, KOOKIE Magazine was launched- an inspiring new magazine for tween-age girls. KOOKIE is, in part, a response to increasing evidence that the confidence and resilience of girls is under threat, especially as they move from their pre-teen years into adolescence.
While most girls (90%) aged 7–10 in the UK feel they will have the same chance as boys at succeeding in their chosen jobs, the proportion drops sharply among those aged 11–16 (54%) and 17–21 (35%). The majority (74%) of girls aged 7–10 agree that they could ‘do anything’ if they tried, but among girls aged 17–21 the proportion is less than half (40%). 
In an industry that often drums just one (very pink) message about being a girl, KOOKIE stands apart. Enraged by the celebrity focus of children’s magazines, Founders and Co-editors Vivien Jones and Nicky Shortridge (both mums) call their publishing start-up a fun, feminist magazine for tweens. It’s a magazine that refreshingly celebrates all a girl can be. By featuring female role models, encouraging readers to try new things, learn new skills and connect with girls in other cultures, KOOKIE shows girls that their value lies in who they are and what they can do.
Looking at magazines shelves today, it’s scarily apparent the majority of messages communicated to young girls are simplistic and stereotyped: being a girl is about make-up and shopping and gossip. I’m pleased to see KOOKIE challenge this as they focus not on being pretty, but instead celebrate being curious, engaged and inspired. If girls have to see it to be it (and they do), creating a magazine that champions inspirational role models and shows girls all the things they could do and be has to be worthwhile!
Learn more at: kookiemagazine.com ‘Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2016’, Girlguiding (UK)