About this project
"Kazoo is the magazine every brilliant, fierce young girl deserves."—Medium
"Kazoo magazine [is] required reading for all Smart Girls."—Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
"This new girls’ magazine is unlike anything you've ever seen before. Kazoo is different from everything else on the newsstand.”—Real Simple
"Today, I found this f**king amazing magazine called Kazoo. It’s like Rookie but for younger readers. It’s for ages five to 10. It’s a really great group of people.”—The New York Observer, "Jobs Report: Kickstarter’s Publishing Ambassador Maris Kreizman Details Her Day"
"If you believe young girls deserve to be raised in a different landscape, one that helps them feel like the amazing women that they are and will one day become, consider donating to this campaign. It’s time we cultivate a new generation of women who value themselves not for what they look like, but for who they are on the inside.”—Elite Daily
"A new print magazine called Kazoo is uniting top female artists, chefs, writers, and scientists for a single purpose: to inspire young girls to be true to themselves.”—Mental_Floss
“What would happen if we could show our girls a different world? One where they are not limited. Where they don’t have to be sexy. Where they get to be themselves and have people treasure them for it? That concept is what makes the Kazoo video so incredibly moving for moms. We want better for our girls than we had. We want them to believe with all of their might that they can do anything … and not have society come in and tell them they can’t.”—Babble
"What every mom needs to make sure her daughter knows before she grows up” —Cosmopolitan
"Get ready for this cool new magazine for our littlest feminists...The idea that a magazine can be completely written by top professional women shouldn’t be revolutionary, but it still kind of is, and it sub-textually gives girls a great message that there are no fields off-limits to them.”—Hello Giggles
“Kazoo magazine brings feminism to girls ages 5 to 10, because you’re never too young to be empowered”—Bustle
“Why girls need this new magazine.”—Refinery29
“In this ever-changing world, the possibilities for [our daughters] are endless if we keep it that way.”—Pop Sugar
"Gender stereotypes have no place in this empowering magazine for girls...Because girls can love princesses, pirates and everything in between."—Huffington Post
"Kazoo [is] a magazine for girls who wanna run the world, featuring some women who already do."—Cool Mom Picks
“Kazoo magazine is changing the way we talk to young girls...it isn’t about what girls look like, but what they can do.” —Naturally Curly
"In a world full of Kardashians, reality television and social media, it’s great to see a publication that offers something different and inspiring.”—Hot Moms Club
In a world where girls are constantly being fed information on how to look and act, KAZOO offers them something radically different. Rather than give them rules to live by, KAZOO gives girls, ages 5 to 10, tools to create, build, explore, dream, play and ask questions.
KAZOO will be published quarterly and 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.
Every story in each issue will be either developed or inspired by top female artists, explorers, scientists, chefs, athletes, activists, writers and others. Here are just a few of the inspiring women, who have already confirmed their participation in the first issue:
•MacArthur Genius Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home is creating a full-page tutorial called, “How to Draw a Cat.” (It’s the first original, full-length comic she’s published in a year.)
•New York Times best-seller Lucy Knisley, author of Relish, is creating an original 4-page comic on Elizabeth Robinson, the first American woman to win an Olympic gold in track.
•Artist Mickalene Thomas, who has shown her work at The Guggenheim, The Whitney, The National Portrait Gallery and MOMA, is adapting one of her portraits into a color-and-glitter-by-number project.
•James Beard nominated chef Fany Gerson, owner of La Newyorkina and author of My Sweet Mexico is developing recipes for paletas, or Mexican ice pops.
•Caldecott Honor winner Doreen Cronin, author of Click, Clack, Moo and Bloom, is debuting an original, 4-page short story, featuring a strong girl protagonist.
•National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming is rounding up her must-read books for girls.
•Cosmochemist, Fulbright Scholar and Guggenheim fellow Meenakshi Wadhwa, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University is contributing to a story on the Perseid Meteor Shower.
The video above was created by Courtney and Peter Hutchens, the amazing filmmaking duo behind Back East Media.
When girls are young, they not afraid to ask for what they want. They’re not shy about taking up space or making noise. They own their bodies and are proud of what they can do, how fast they can run and high they can climb. They ask questions (and, as any parent knows, sometimes endlessly). And yet, by adolescence, too many begin to question their own voice. The fallout is real. Take a look:
•Young girls earn higher grades than boys in science, yet feel less confident in their abilities.
•By adolescence, girls are less likely than boys to act, and feel, like a leader.
•Adolescent girls are nearly three times as likely to have suffered from depression in the past year, compared to boys.
By celebrating girls for all that they are—smart, inquisitive, creative, brave, strong and, yes, loud—KAZOO will help shore up their foundation, so that by the time they enter adolescence, they’ll be more likely to question anyone who makes them feel small than they’ll be to question themselves.
One more point, here: Girls and women are completely underrepresented in our culture. Look at Congress (80% men); the modern art section of the MET (95% men); the engineering profession (89% men); Oscar-nominated cinematographers (100% men); even children’s books, where boy characters are 3 times more likely than girl characters to appear.
When you’re excluded from the political process, museums, professions, awards, even your own bedtime stories, there is a consequence. The less girls see themselves in positions of power, the less likely they’ll be to believe they can achieve such power. KAZOO is the antidote to this invisibility. It will feature some of the most powerful and inspirational women in their fields, thus giving girls a more well-rounded sense of the world and the possibilities within it.
My dream is to get KAZOO into every little girl's hands, so she can not only read, laugh and learn, but also see the world from a new perspective, one where she is celebrated for being true to herself. Making that happen will take time and money. If you help fund this project, it means I could:
•Pay for printing and postage, the biggest expense
•Hire an ace designer to help make every page spectacular
•Hire illustrators and photographers to help bring the stories to life
•Hire a copyeditor to save me from mortal embarrassment
•Dedicate more of my time to create a truly awesome magazine (and less to freelancing full-time for other magazines)
Of course, with every dollar you donate, you'll earn some serious feel-good vibes from knowing you could potentially be changing a girl's life. And if that doesn't convince you to back this project, here are a few other perks:
Risks and challenges
Given the increased competition from digital media (and the rise in postage fees), the landscape for print magazines may seem a little bleak right now. But there's one area of exception: kids' print media. Children’s book sales, for instance, increased 13 percent last year. That’s because kids still enjoy, and indeed crave, turning real pages, and they still get a thrill to see personally addressed mail waiting for them in their mailboxes.
As parents, too, we want our children to spend less time staring at screens and more time reading, thinking and tapping into their imagination. A printed magazine, which your child can actually hold in her hands and leaf through at her own pace, is the perfect antidote to an otherwise frenzied media culture. What may seem like a weakness will, in fact, be one of KAZOO's greatest strengths.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The beauty of the kazoo is that everybody already has what it takes to play one. Just breathe, and its loud, happy sound comes automatically. I want girls to feel the same way about their own voice—that they already have everything it takes to use it. There is a tremendous amount of power—and joy—in making noise.
Bright (and silly, inquisitive, uninhibited) girls, ages 5 to 10.
Nothing like it exists, and it needs to.
I recently went to the bookstore with my 5-year-old daughter to look for a magazine for us to read together. But because she is more interested in pirates than princesses, there was nothing for her. Instead, every single magazine, targeted toward girls, featured a princess, a doll or a girl wearing makeup on the cover. Stories included a quiz on manners, pretty hairstyles and profiles of pop stars. At first, I was angry. Is this really the best message we have to offer our daughters? Be quiet, look pretty and maybe one day you too can become famous. Then, I felt sad. This messaging is inescapable. It’s everywhere! Finally, I landed in a hopeful place, and here's why: As a magazine editor and writer, who has spent 16 years working at Condé Nast, I have the skills to do something about it. And as the mother of two young girls, I have the passion, too. I’m creating KAZOO, because it’s the magazine I want my own daughters to read. I want all girls to know that they can be, and do, anything they want.
Of course! We’d love it, and they’d probably love it, too. After all, there’s no such thing as say, girls’ science and boys’ science, or girls’ art and boys’ art. Science is science and art is art, of course. But here’s the thing: Most children’s media that cover similar topics use boys as the default target audience, while girls are left with the burden of just “putting themselves in the story.” Or, if they do feature an active girl—one who practices science, runs fast, rides horses, etc—she’s hailed as the exception to the rule, as in, “See? Girls don’t have to be ‘so girly.’ They can be powerful, too.” While I think these stories are well-intentioned, they often have the opposite effect of reinforcing stereotypes, rather than breaking them. Little girls don’t think that, by being their already powerful selves, they’re breaking any stereotypes. They’re just being who they are without self-consciousness. That’s what I want to preserve in girls specifically, which is why I call KAZOO a magazine for girls. It’s the only place where they can see themselves on every page.
Nope. By the time your kid is finished reading KAZOO, she will have drawn on, colored in, glued and even cut a few of the pages. You wouldn’t want her to do that to your iPad, would you?
Until we take over the world (mwah-ha-ha!), we’re only printing a few thousand issues at a time, which means our per-issue printing costs are significantly higher than what a major publisher would pay. Plus, KAZOO will be printed on FSC-certified recycled paper, because we’re interested in making the world a better place for our kids. Finally, it’s important to us to do our best pay our contributors—our designers, photographers and illustrators, most of whom are women—fair wages. Asking artists to work for free, or “for exposure,” is not how we play.
In order to create a sustainable business and continue to create, print and deliver a high-quality magazine, we believe that it’s necessary to partner with a few select advertisers. Not only will ads always be clearly marked, but we’ll approve the content of each to ensure it fits with KAZOO's mission. If you're interested in advertising in KAZOO, please email me for a media kit.
Within the next three years, I'd like to increase our publishing frequency from four times a year to ten, and I'd like to get KAZOO on every newsstand in America. After that, world domination.
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