Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Professor Melissa Chessher
Professor William Glavin
Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
English Language and Literature | Modern Literature | Nonfiction
True You Magazine was created because of the turmoil and conflict that today’s media creates for young girls between the ages of 10 years old and 14 years old. Girls of this age are highly susceptible to influences of any media form, including magazines, television shows, and movies. In the magazine industry, there are many women’s and teen fashion and health magazines. Unfortunately, the majority of these publications lack healthy representation of female bodies. Some of these magazines also discuss and advise on topics, like sex or dieting, that girls in this young age range should not be reading.
Knowing the personal effects of some of these pressures, and the damage that these pressures can ultimately cause, specifically eating disorders, a magazine needed to be created that gave young girls a different perspective on what a fun and interesting magazine could be. According to MediaFamily.org, “over 45 percent [of girls] indicated that those images [in magazines] motivated them to lose weight.” A study done by the Social Research Centre showed that “81 percent of ten-year-old girls had already dieted at least once.” These pressures combined with the normal stages of going through puberty can create an environment that does not help girls to grow in a secure and comfortable perspective.
Every magazine possesses a mission statement. True You Magazine takes its reader to a place where smart meets fun and informative. True You wants readers to successfully navigate the pressures of outside media and to learn something new, but still have fun. This magazine is a place where we won’t alter photographs. True You believes that the best way to live, to read, and to learn is through being honest with yourself, and only allowing positive outside forces to lead you to be the best that you can be.
With this idea in mind, True You Magazine serves as a medium to allow easily influenced girls at this age to read a magazine that their mothers would purchase or subscribe to. True You serves as a fun and informative place where girls can read and learn without feeling as though they are bogged down in academic or boring writing. By keeping the balance in the magazine with both text and large images, readers should not feel as though they are forced into reading lengthy pieces about topics that have little or no interest in their lives.
Being able to produce a magazine that caters to young girls will help to break the cycle that media creates with insecurity among young easily influenced girls. When girls are already intelligent it only forwards the mission of many who want to end this problem that the media creates. As much as some would want to believe that the media does not have such a great influence, there are many people who do not have the self-esteem and security to know that some content in magazines is doctored to make women look thinner, and more “perfect.”
Romaniello, Amanda, "True You Magazine" (2010). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 343.
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