Looking Good

Fed up with the media-created images of beauty that surround girls every day, a small magazine is making a big statement with its second annual Turn Beauty Inside Out Day.

New Moon, a bimonthly written by and for girls, is promoting May 16 as a day to “expand the definition of what makes people beautiful.” It encourages everyone to celebrate by sending cards to friends telling them why they have inner beauty–sort of like valentines. The magazine is also urging readers to organize marches, create public exhibits, and screen the documentary Killing Us Softly, a film exploring media images of girls. Readers (up to age 16) can also enter the magazine’s advertising contest by creating a print or video ad that portrays a person’s inner beauty. The ads will be judged by a panel of advertising executives.

In May, members of the New Moon Girls Editorial Board, which produces the Duluth, Minnesota-based magazine, will travel to New York to host roundtable discussions with advertising professionals. They’re also hoping to film several public service announcements that could air on television stations nationwide.

“We are challenging people who work in advertising to portray inner beauty in a way that is healthy for both girls and boys–not to mention women and men,” says Nancy Gruver, founder and publisher of New Moon. “The girls are really excited about all the response this idea has attracted so far, and they’re hoping to capitalize on that, to let more and more people know what it means to turn beauty inside out.”

As it did last year, the magazine will publish a special issue featuring profiles of 25 girls ages 8 to 14 who were selected based on standards other than traditional beauty. The idea was inspired in part by People magazine’s annual “50 Most Beautiful People” issue, says editorial board member Ana Grossman, 13: “I’m not an avid People reader or anything, but when I first started looking at that issue, I got pretty annoyed, because everybody they feature is ‘pretty’ on the outside, but we don’t know anything about who they really are. We wanted the girls we picked to be more than just pretty. We wanted to show that every girl can be beautiful, just by being true to herself and doing what makes her happy.”

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