STRONG. The Magazine for Girls.
"STRONG aims to empower girls to be the best version of themselves they can possibly be by presenting them with strong female role models and encouraging their interests and passions, wherever they may lie."
Hi, my name is Sarah Beach and I'm the founder of "STRONG. The Magazine for Girls". Since I started this endeavor I have received an overwhelming amount of support. So many people believe in this project and have offered their time, services and expertise free of charge to help bring the first issue to life. I'm now looking to the Kickstarter community to give us the push we need to really get this magazine off the ground! You can click on a link and read the first issue of STRONG at the bottom of the page.
What is STRONG?
STRONG is a new magazine aimed at tween and teenaged girls that seeks to break the mold. While many other publications on offer for this age group focus on celebrities, STRONG focuses on real girls with diverse interests. While other publications focus on body image and fashion, STRONG focuses on keeping a healthy body and mind. STRONG also presents great role models - girls who have overcome adversity and thrived, and women who are breaking glass ceilings in areas previously dominated by men.
To us, STRONG girls are girls who are confident to be themselves.
Why is STRONG necessary?
Women make up 50% of the workforce but hold just 26% of tech industry jobs. Only 11% of executives at Forbes 500 companies are female. We have never had a female President, Vice President, Head of the FBI, UN Secretary General or world chess champion. Things may be slowly improving, but the list of careers in which women are underrepresented is very, very long.
As our girls reach adolescence and start to really think about where they fit into the world, they are confronted by a lack of female role models. In the adventure books they read and the movies they watch, the protagonists are usually male. When they turn on the news they will see men both in the news and presenting the news (I once saw a split screen with a female anchor interviewing three other women and was so surprised to see no men on the screen that I actually snapped a picture on my phone and posted it to Facebook!). A picture of the G2O - the leaders and bank governors from 20 of the world's richest and most powerful nations - features just four women and 32 men.
In school their teachers are still predominately female, and they are far more likely to see a male doctor than a female one if they get sick because only 37% of physicians and surgeons are women.
Young girls I know are interested in all kind of different things; they love math and science, digging in the dirt, dressing up and dancing to music equally. But around the time they start to look to society for reassurance that they're OK, society instead sends them the message that all girls should be interested in romance and appearance; that wearing the latest fashion is crucial to their likability and that they should be concerned about what boys think of them. There is very little mention of women in industry, women in engineering, women firefighters or women in space. Society is still trying to put girls in a box.
What are STRONG's goals?
- We want STRONG to be a magazine that genuinely reflects girls today with their diverse lives and interests.
- We want girls to be inspired by reading about other girls like them who are pursuing their dreams.
- We want to help girls realize that there are women out there all over the world breaking glass ceilings and taking their place alongside men.
- We want to encourage girls to take responsibility for looking after their own bodies and minds.
- We want to teach girls fundamental life skills that every young adult should learn: from managing their money and their time, to doing their laundry, basic first aid and everything in between.
- We want to help girls understand the world they are growing up in by talking about current and historical events and by showing them other countries and cultures.
- We want to promote tolerance and kindness.
My inspiration to create STRONG came from within my own family. I have three kids, 2 girls and a boy. It was a conversation I had with my daughters, Lucy and Daisy, that really convinced me that I had to take action. Despite being talented kids who are interested in math, science, and engineering, it transpired that they were getting the message that these weren't really things they could do long term, because "Girls don't really do that sort of thing.". I looked at the world through their eyes and saw school photo companies offer "magazine cover" photo options featuring video games and sports for boys and fashion for girls. I looked on their bookshelves and saw that all the action and adventure books they read had male protagonists. I thought about the movies we've watched and realized that that was mainly true for them too. I looked at the news and the messages that my kids had been getting there and I looked at our own family, where I gave up a successful career to raise our kids whilst my husband works in a male dominated field (he's a software engineer). I had to do something. I had to show my girls and girls like them that they can truly be whoever they want to be.
Issue 1 of STRONG.
We were fortunate to receive backing to print the first issue of STRONG and we are now making it available, in print and online, free of charge! We want as many people as possible to read STRONG so they can see for themselves how great this magazine is. We are going to place copies in libraries, schools and waiting rooms in order to further spread the word. Please click on the link at the bottom of the page to read STRONG. We hope you like what you see. It's not perfect, it's been a project that has evolved and I have been on a steep learning curve, but I feel we've made a good start!
What We Hope to Achieve from this Kickstarter
There are two main reasons for launching this Kickstarter. The first is to spread the word about STRONG. We want as many people as possible to read the first issue of STRONG so they can see what we are trying to achieve. In order to truly represent all girls, we need to hear from them! So we are encouraging our readers to click on the links within the magazine or to visit the "Just for Girls" part of our website to take part in polls, and submit reviews, photos and stories. If you are a STRONG girl with a story to tell, we want to hear from you!
The Just for Girls section of the website will grow over time to incorporate more articles and interactive content.
The second reason is that we need funding! STRONG is my baby. I am writing, editing, arranging the layout, marketing, constructing websites, writing business plans and more (like I said, I'm on a steep learning curve!). Having said that, many wonderful people have stepped in and volunteered their time to help me out because they truly believe that STRONG is an important project. I have had friends (and strangers!) offer to write, copy edit, help with graphic design, offer advice marketing, and take photographs. I am so confident that people want to see STRONG succeed that I have opened up online subscriptions and committed to producing the next 4 issues. However, in order for STRONG to grow and to be sustainable, we need a boost. Funding from this Kickstarter will help to pay for the printing and distribution of the second issue. It will also provide seed money for other fundraising events and for things such as print runs to look at different paper qualities as well as for professional help to take the magazine to the next level. I also plan to use the money to continue to market STRONG to build more subscriptions with the aid of a subscription agency.
I would really love your backing to help my dream become a reality and, in doing so, to help all of our daughters to do the same.
Thank you - and happy reading!
Founder, STRONG. The Magazine for Girls
Risks and challenges
Many of you visiting this page will know that this is actually a relaunch of the campaign for STRONG. The first time around we gained a LOT of supporters. Not only did 195 people pledge $11,500, but I also had countless people approach me offering to help and get involved, or simply offering encouragement. Unfortunately, our goal was $15,000, and as Kickstarters are all or nothing, not reaching our goal meant not getting funded. This time around I am reducing the goal amount to what is hopefully a more manageable $10,000 and encouraging all our previous backers to pledge early in the campaign to boost its visibility. I'm able to reduce the goal amount by cutting down on the number of issues we'll print, and offering online subscriptions which will offset some of the printing costs.
Putting STRONG out there again is a big risk! I'm hearing that lots of you think it's a great project, so I just hope we can get enough traction this time to achieve our goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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