Thursday, June 28, 2007

On Hillary

If there’s a single woman capable of generating more debate than anyone else (except perhaps Paris Hilton), it’s gotta be Hillary Rodham Clinton. The former First Lady, current Senator, and perhaps future President is famous for sparking controversy.

Here at New Moon, we get our share of Hillary love letters. We’ve also heard from girls who are frustrated that Hillary gets so much attention just because, they claim, she’s a woman. Here’s what we want to know from YOU:

1. If you support Hillary, is it because she’s a woman, or do you support her regardless of her gender? What role does gender play in your political decisions?

2. When New Moon surveyed girls on politics last year, we found that 73% said you’d definitely vote for a woman for president. Would you vote for Hillary?

3. If you could vote for ANY woman for President (not necessarily a politician), who would you choose?

Email and share your thoughts. You can write just a few words, or an entire op-ed article, explaining your views on women, politics, and the 2008 Presidential race. Reply by July 6, and we’ll post your thoughts in a special article on the New Moon News blog!

17-year-old Girl Shoots Flames 30 Feet Into Air from 7,000 Horsepower Tractor

No joke. As The New York Times reported today in its article Not Yet Legal for the Street, but a Whiz on a Tractor, 17-year-old Nicole Snyder, the youngest of just 8 women competing in Wisconsin's Dairyland Super National Truck and Tractor Pull last weekend, can do all that--and more--on her tractor armed with two jet engines and 7,000 horsepower (as much as an industrial helicopter!).

Reported The New York Times' Christopher Maag:

What really impressed the crowd were her flames. Tapping a button at the top of her throttle stick, which resembles the yoke on a fighter plane, Ms. Snyder shot yellow-white flames 30 feet into the air.

“Whoo-hoo!” yelled Chris Jelle, 54, a spectator from Belleville. “That’s a 17-year-old girl? Holy cow. That is awesome.”

A few seconds later, Ms. Snyder threw the throttle forward, sending the front tires of her tractor, the Legend, leaping off the dirt as she raced down the track in one long wheelie.

“It’s pretty fun, I guess,” she said after the run. “I haven’t had any big wrecks yet, so that’s good.”

Ironically, Nicole doesn't have her driver's license yet. But she has already taken third place at three different competitions. Go, girl!

Nicole during competition (on the blue tractor)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Introducing...the anti-chocolate

If all of big business' antics aren't enough to get Americans riled, this should: The New York Times reported earlier this week that the big companies that make America's prized chocolate are out to pull the wool over consumers' eyes:

"Real chocolate is made from crushed cacao beans, which provide not only solid cocoa mass but also cocoa butter that is vital to texture because, quite literally, it melts in your mouth. Industrial confectioners [i.e. big businesses] have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to be able to replace cocoa butter with cheaper fats and still call the resulting product “chocolate.” The reason: the substitution would allow them to use fewer beans and to sell off the butter for cosmetics and such."

Of course, it's all about making a profit. But it will be interesting to see what it takes to get Americans up in arms over the fact that too many big businesses would rather make a buck than sell an honest product.

Perhaps not surprisingly, The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized today on behalf of this cause. Their editorial, "A Cry for Chocolate" (pardon the inner cynic, but aren't there better things to cry over?), makes the interesting point that the real-vs.-fake privileges that this change could bring would only become a new difference between the haves and the have-nots.
Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Will the Madness Ever Cease?

The Chicago Tribune reported today that a first edition Harry Potter book fetched $18,000 at an auction yesterday.

The paper noted, "First editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone — published in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone — are valuable because of their rarity, the auction house said. The publishers produced between 500 and 1,000 copies in the book's first run. "

Amazing what people will spend on one little (okay, maybe Harry Potter isn't so little) book.

Your thoughts, readers?

Lisa Ling Asks, "Who Cares About Girls?"

A note to girls and adults: This post deals with serious issues, like human trafficking, sexual slavery, and child labor, that may be inappropriate for younger girls. Please read with discretion. Girls--if anything you read makes you upset, talk to an adult!

Earlier this week, I wrote on global girls’ access to education. Today, I’ll explore what life is like for the millions of girls around the world out of school each year—specifically, those in India, where over 30 million girls go to work each day instead of to school.

I commented yesterday on the mainstream media’s embarrassingly pathetic fixations on celeb gossip—and it’s frequent failures to address major issues facing girls and women around the world. Fortunately, Oxygen, Oprah’s television network, is one of a handful of dedicated media outlets out to change that.

On Sunday, Oxygen’s Lisa Ling premiered a collaboration with The Global Fund for Women on India’s working girls. If you watched it, you’ll understand my enthusiasm for their mind-blowing coverage. If not, read on for some incredible stories.

Nineteen-year-old Rinku is a warrior for teen girls’ lives. Rinku works as a counselor and advocate for STOP, an incredible organization working on the front lines to rescue girls from trafficking.

Over 500,000 Indian girls have been enslaved in forced prostitution by the country’s lucrative trafficking industry. Some 10,000 girls join the industry each year (usually unwillingly), and their average age is a mere 14. Some are stolen from their homes or kidnapped while traveling, others are country girls duped into believing they’re entering domestic jobs in the cities, and still others are sold by family members who must chose between the girl’s freedom and their children starving. [India is such a poor country that many live off of $1 or $2 a day.]

Rinku, who became a victim of trafficking at an early age herself, is working to save Indian girls from trafficking one by one. She patrols travelers’ rest-stops, a common location for trafficking, to rescuer girls before they fall in the hands of the most notorious traffickers. She visits slums where trafficking rings are disappearing more girls each day. She goes to brothels undercover to try to convince girls to leave with her. [Enslaved girls are often brainwashed by their captors.] And she stages brothel raids, which easily turn dangerous when corrupt police officers and armed brothel owners arrive.

Rinku wages her battles in a dangerous underworld ruled by greed and power. At age 19, she’s risked her life too many times to count. But she says she doesn’t fear death. Instead, she says, if she dies after rescuing 30 or 60 girls, she believes her fight was worth it.

While working in brothels may be the scariest kind of labor girls face, millions of other Indian girls work in other areas: on farms and in the fields, in the crowded streets of big cities, in markets, and in private homes. Girls as young as six or seven work in indentured servitude. Like sisters Shweta and Shilpi profiled by Lisa Ling, these girls work 12- to 14-hour-days filled with backbreaking work—cooking, cleaning, and caring for children not much younger than themselves—and sometimes physical abuse as well.

Many employees of young girls actually believe they’re helping the girls by providing them with food and shelter—something they might not otherwise have. But many employees simply prefer providing girls, as they’re the cheapest source of labor available. No other group is so easily mentally and physically abused than young girls.

It’s a bleak picture, I know. Fortunately, groups like STOP and the South Asian Coalition Against Child Servitude, which runs a shelter an school for girls rescued from domestic work, are leading a courageous battle against the institutions that enslave girls.

And there are so many solutions to this problem. Obviously, education is the best way to protect girls from exploitation, ensure them a brighter future, and help them bring them families out of poverty. Getting girls in school, though, is an uphill battle against poverty in itself. As the mother of one young girl, who earns her family $2 a day by working as a merchant on a busy and polluted street, said, “If she is in school, what will she eat?”

It’s true that freeing girls form child labor is a tough battle to fight. But freedom and education are girls’ rights. In India, over ten laws ban or limit child labor; they need to be enforced. Moreover, the international community has a responsibility to meet the promises they’ve made to provide every child with an education.

At the end of the day, though, it comes down to the value we place on girls’ lives. What does it say about our world when thousands, even millions, of girls are sold into slavery for just $1? Aren’t girls’ lives worth more than that?
A note to readers: This is a difficult issue, but there are many great ways to help. Check out to learn how you can support The Global Fund for Women and other organizations fighting for Indian girls. Most of all, make your voice heard (by, for example, writing a letter to Congress to tell them you support ALL girls' rights to freedom and education!).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Yay! It's another day of witnessing the media get wrapped up in the inconsequential trivialities of an airhead celeb (if you guessed I was referring to Paris Hilton, you're right).

A Google News search today returned some 19,000 stories on Paris Hilton's release from an LA jail. Yes, folks, while millions of people around the world are starving to death, women's rights are under attack, global warming-induced climate change is taking the world by storm (no pun intended), and bloody wars keep killing more people, the media can't stop flipping out over a blond waif's little escapades!

As fellow New Moonie Crystal put it, "It's so annoying that [Paris] gets so much attention, and the real, valid, important things girls are doing in the world get overshadowed by her!" Thanks, Crystal--couldn't have said it better.

The media reports that Paris has now disappeared to "an undisclosed location" (hmmm...maybe she's picked up some tips from Cheney). Perhaps that's good for the rest of us, although we all know it's going to take a lot more than a few Paris Hiltons falling off the face of the planet for the mainstream media to start consistently paying attention to the REAL issues girls face. After all, when was the last time you saw real coverage of a topic like body image (not the fake celebrity stuff), racism against women of color, women's rights in places like Africa and Afghanistan, global issues like HIV/AIDS or female genital mutilation, or women in politics (not counting Hillary)?
Drop us a line at and tell us what you want the media to be covering--and what you think of the Parisian shenanigans of late.

Toyna Chin on Growing Up

Chances are, you've heard your share of the usual set of horror stories on growing up (embarassing periods! untimely acne! killer mood swings!) Toyna Chin has heard them, too--and she's out to make them a thing of the past. Toyna, now 38, is on a mission she began at age 19, when she first decided she had to do something about the way that companies sold women feminine hygiene products (no choices! bulky boxes! uncomfortable pads!) Best of all, she wants to make sure girls enter puberty armed--with knowledge, that is.

In college, Toyna pitched her ideas to top companies, only to receive stacks of rejection letters. But she never gave up. Three years ago, she launched Hygeia, a new company offering girl's kits called Petite Amie. Five different Cycle Kits, designed with a chic sense of style (no more ugly plastic packages!), offer girls both tips on their period and the tools they need for it--a range of tampons, pads, pantyliners, and other products, depending on the kit.
Petite Amie is still new on the market, but it's already received great feedback--from girls relieved to find something that makes growing up a little more fun, from moms who wish they'd had Petite Amie kits when they were growing up, and from educators who care about girls' health. Gloria Feldt, the former President of Planned Parenthood, has called them "a blessing." And Sylvie Lemaire, the President of the leading Canadian feminine care brand, declared of Petite Amie, "It's brilliant!"
New Moon caught up with Toyna yesterday to chat about her life, work, and why it's important to make girls' experiences in puberty more positive.
New Moon: What's a typical day on the job like?
Toyna Chin: We're a small company, so each day is different. I usually go through emails, check orders, and work with interns and staff. Everything else really depends on what comes up--I work with retailers, manufacturers, marketers, distributors, and lots of other people.
NM: What would you tell girls interested in starting their own business?
TC: I would remind them to really look at what they're interested in, and to pursue that. I tell girls: Go into whatever you're doing with passion; don't go in it for the money. That way, if the money doesn't happen, you're still doing what you love.
NM: What is the biggest success you've had in your work?
TC: Definitely bringing Petite Amie on the market--I've been working on this since I was 19! It's been a long journey.
NM: How does Petite Amie empower girls (one of your company's goals)?
TC: Through giving them the knowledge they need to understand the issues they're facing (each kit includes a Q & A booklet), and by encouraging them to embrace different cultural beliefs, whether or not they believe in them. For example, we make different kits tailored to girls of different cultures. Asian and Hispanic girls are less likely to use tampons, so we make special kits for them that mainly include pads. However, we still encourage girls to use the products that are most practical.
NM: What do you think is most challenging for teen girls in puberty?
TC: The embarrassment about what they're going through--it's hard for them to be confident and see that what they're going through is normal.
NM: What's your advice for girls entering puberty?
TC: It's going to feel very confusing; at times, it might feel like you're the only one in the world experiencing the things you're experiencing, but it's something we all go through. Embrace the experience, and ask questions of whomever you can--parents, nurses, teachers, friends. We even offer an "Ask the Expert" section on our website, where you can submit a question about puberty to receive a private, emailed response within 24 hours.
Now here are a few question for our readers: Have you used Petite Amie's products? Or have you seen their website?
Do you think there's a need for a new approach to getting your period and going through puberty? If you could change an aspect of going through puberty, what would you change? What do you think the world needs to know about puberty and periods? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Are You a City Girl or a Country Girl?

Thousands of magazines flooded the New Moon office yesterday.

City Girl, Country Girl, our July/August issue, has arrived!

You'll receive your own issue sometime soon.

But to pique your curiosity, read on to sample some of the great things inside.

In "Girl's Got Game," discover one girl's passion for football--and learn what it's like to be the only girl on a team of 79 players!

  • Read about the influence of unrealistically skinny models in Ask a Girl
  • Get the inside scoop on MySIMS, straight from lead designer Robin Hunick (then check out an extended interview on our website!)
  • Read "Marilyn Monroe: Was this controversial actress really a feminist?" and decide for yourself
  • Hear what it's like to live on an Iowan farm...or an East Harlem project...or the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi... from the girls who live there
  • Immerse yourself in a sunny world of Roman ruins, buttery croissants, and Spanish-influenced festivals through 15-year-old Berangere Chabanel's article on her French hometown on Nimes

Finally, take our quiz to find out whether you're destined for the bustle of the city or the silence of the country!

P.S. Not a subscriber? Visit the New Moon Store to buy your copy of City Girl, Country Girl (or to purchase a subscription) today!

Girls Go Global

The New Moon team: intern Natalia and adult editors Lacey and Heather (back row, L-R);
GEB members Georgia, Ari, and Libby
Greetings! A team of New Moon editors and GEB members just returned from presenting at the 2007 Global Girls' Day, an event sponsored by the non-profit Girls International Forum and held at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. New Moon sent girl editors Georgia, Ari, and Libby to present a two-hour workshop called "TAKE ACTION! Using Letter-Writing to Fight for Girls' Education Worldwide." The girls presented the workshop to a diverse group of participants who were at Global Girls' Day to learn about issues facing girls' access to education around the world.

New Moon and Girls International Forum have a long history. Girls International Forum (GIF) was first started in 1994 by the Minnesota girls and women who attended the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women. In 2006, GIF hosted an international summit for girls from around the world to take action on global issues. Teams of girl activists from India, South Africa, Kenya, Indonesia, Israel, and the U.S. met to address issues like education, HIV/AIDS, and violence against women. New Moon presented at the Summit--click here to read a report from former GEB member and over-the-moon Carly.
This year, Girl Summit Leaders from across North America--including teens from Minneapolis, Chicago, Canada, and California--organized Global Girls' Day with the help of six talented young women mentors, including founding members of GIF. Almost 100 girls ages 10 to 18 from around the Midwest attended Global Girls' Day to learn about and take action on Girls' Education, HIV/AIDS, Gender-Based Violence (domestic abuse and sexual assault and harassment) and Human Trafficking.

In the morning, GIF Summit Leaders facilitated workshops for girls to learn more about these issues. Several exciting organizations, including Civil Socity, TVByGirls, the Minnesota AIDS Project, and Asian Media Access put together afternoon sessions on taking action on these issues.

The New Moon team got to listen in on the morning session on girls' education, where Summit Leaders showed a fascinating woman-directed movie on education in Egypt, presented facts on girls' education, and led discussions on the obstacles girls face to accessing education and some of the solutions that can improve thos problems. Check out some of the things we learned:

  • Of the 100 million children who won't go to school this year, 60 million are girls

  • Educating girls is important for so many reasons: girls' education fights poverty better than anything else, increases girls' health and safety, helps peacebuilding, attacks gender discrimination, and promotes gender equality

  • Many barriers keep girls out of school, from transportation (in some areas of the world, the nearest schools are an hour away), sanitation (and a widespread lack of separate, safe bathrooms for girls), cost, child labor (many parents can't afford to send girls to school because they need them to work to support their family), and a lack of girls' schools. We also learned that early marriage sometimes keeps girls from getting to school. In Egypt, for example, it isn't uncommon for girls as young as 11 or 12 to be forced into marriage, and some 40% of girls get hitched (often without their consent) by their 16th birthday!

  • Sub-Saharan Africa, the world region with the largest number of girls out of school, is home to a whopping 23 million girls who are missing out on an education

  • Of the 1 billion illiterate adults in the world, almost two-thirds--65%--are women

  • The U.S. spends less than 1% of its Gross National Income on international aid, including efforts to improve girls' education

  • There are so many solutions to make sure girls can get the education they deserve, including building girls' bathrooms, providing schools with more female teachers, enforcing the UN's regulations on ensuring education for all children, elimination tuition and school fees, and buying textbooks and other supplies.

Some girls participating in the workshop commented that they were amazed to learn about so many girls who dream of going to school more than anything else. As one teen girl who had just begun school in Egypt for the first time in her life put it, "I feel enlightened." Think of THAT next time you're bored in school!

At lunch, we heard from a wonderful speaker from the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. A Hmong refugee herself, as well as a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Columbia's School of Public Administration, and the University of Pennsylvania's Law School, ThaoMee Xiong told us she was drawn to speak at Global Girls' Day because of her strong belief in girls' potential. It was chilling to hear her tell the audience that she thought the future CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, world leaders, and even President of the United States were in the room. ThaoMee told girls, "No matter what kind of a background you come from, if you take advantage of the opportunities offered to you, you can be anything or do anything you want." She was speaking from experience. At age 28, when she heard about a crisis for Hmong refugees in Thailand, she boarded a plane for Bangkok without having a job or knowing a word of Thai. Yet her work paid off: she created a powerful documentary of a young Hmong refugee woman's life, and helped bring 8,000 refugees to live in the Twin Cities.

ThaoMee ended her speech with a charge to participants: "Take it upon yourself to improve others' lives using the opportunities you have. People like Susan B. Anthony worked way too hard for us to stop [fighting for girls and women]. In honor of all the women that fought before us, I challenge you to fight for what's right...We have to work against institutions that oppress the poor, people of color, and women. The only thing stopping us is our internal fear."
Inspired by the speech, we began our TAKE ACTION presentation on how girls can use the power of their voices to write letters on girls education (or any other issue) to decision-makers like newspaper editors, U.S. Congresspeople, and other leaders. We gave girls a roadmap for a successful letter, and shared moving stories from girls around the world to include as anecdotes. Are you interested in writing your own letter? Try these tips:

  • Include your own stories and passionate opinions

  • Avoid making unsupported generalizations--support your statements with specific facts

  • Grab your reader's attention with a compelling story, statistic, or opinion

  • Make your letter timely. If you're writing to a congressperson, email them using the form on their website instead of writing snail mail (by the time they receive it, a vote may have already passed). Likewise, a letter to the editor of a news outlet should follow up on a current news story.

  • Be direct; make your writing clear and concise (but be sure it's respectful)

  • Write often! The more letters, the better.

At the end of the day, all of the Global Girls' Day participants regrouped to hear about what other groups had done. It was inspiring to hear stories from sexual assault survivors, learn about what local women do to fight human trafficking, and hear the passion in girls' voices as they described their issues. We also enjoyed an amazing performance from Edna Stevens Talton (left) and Universal Dance Destiny, whose combination of hip-hop and African dance was incredible. It was a great way to end an exciting day!

P.S. Want to learn more about girls' education? Check out these wonderful sites: the United Nations Girls Education Initiative, the Global Fund for Women, CARE, and Women's eNews. Then make your voice heard!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Read It: 'A Triumphant, Addictive Novel'

Thanks to 15-year-old Emma, who reviewed Dancing Naked, by Shelley Hrdlitschka, for our blog. Enjoy her eloquent review--then read the book!

Jan. 5


The blue of tropical water, the surf pounding the shore.

The blue of the sky on a brilliant spring day.

The blue of a speckled robin’s egg.

The ice-blue of Derek’s eyes.

The blue ring in the water.

It’s confirmed.

I am.


-from Dancing Naked

Dancing Naked is the story of Kia Hazelwood, an average girl who was once-upon-a-time seduced by popularity and a pair of cool blue eyes. She is a girl who has always been the perfect oldest child: deadly smart, deadly sweet, and deadly beautiful, sixteen years old. And her period has come on time, every time, since she was eleven. Until now. Now, she’s three weeks late, and the million dollar question is…what’s next?

Shelley Hrdlitschka (that's her-dah-LITCH-kah) writes from her home in North Vancouver, BC, where she lives with her husband and three daughters. Shelley is the author of Sun Signs, as well as several other books for teens. I recommend Dancing Naked to girls ages 12-17 with open minds and soft hearts.

Dancing Naked is a beautiful modern novel which shows easily-stereotyped members of society in a different light and addresses controversial topics with natural grace. Kia, at the center of the story, is revealed trait by trait through the diary entries, e-mails, and text that make up the novel.

She is a stunning, thoughtful, and winning character, a real and realistic person, who finds the strength to make unapproved friends, choices, and discoveries, to give, to love, and to cope. Dancing Naked is a triumphant, addictive novel. A definite Read It.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Introducing...the Fabulous Interns!

New Moon's newest interns have arrived for the summer! They're working in the Editorial Department, helping editors Lacey and Heather review submissions, work with contributors and the Girls Editorial Board, edit and develop stories, and so much more. We asked each of them to introduce themselves.

Above: Natalia and Marisa
From Marisa McKie:
Hello, everyone! My name is Marisa, I am 22 years old and live and go to school here in Duluth. I attend the University of Minnesota Duluth, where I am majoring in Communication. I have two minors; one in Journalism and one in Arts in Media. I’ve always loved to write, and worked for my high school newspaper, but now I work as an editor for The Statesman (which is the newspaper at UMD). I love the summers here in Duluth, and when I have some free time I love to spend it at the beach or on my bike! I am so excited to be working here this summer, and really look forward to getting to know everyone! If you ever have any questions or want to shoot me an email, email

From Kelly Nys:
I was on the Girls Editorial Board for one year before I had to “retire.” (I feel so old!) Now I’ve come back to haunt the cubicles and fetch coffee. Really, though, I help clear the Luna Bins [where we store letters and submissions from girls before reviewing them], write rejection letters, and play tidily-winks. It’s great being back (and my friend Ted and Tina the talking tennis balls agree). You probably think I’m weird, don’t you? Ah, well, it happens. Should you ever need anything (coffee, tips on tidily-winks, etc.) email me at

Above: Ted and Tina (Tina's the talkative one!)

From Natalia Thompson:
Hi! My name is Natalia, and I’m New Moon’s newest intern. I’ve been working with New Moon as a member of the Computer Advisory Board and as a contributor (of poetry, features, blog posts, and fiction) for three years. I’m a high school sophomore-going-on-junior from Madison, Wisconsin and an aficionado of running, gelato, travel, feminist politics, and The New York Times, among other things. I am not an aficionado of writing bios. Back in Madison, I'm organizing a program for high school teen girls to learn about leadership and activism, called Madison SOS (Speak Out, Sister!): The Young Women's Leadership Forum. While at New Moon, I’m managing the New Moon® News blog, so feel free to email me at with ideas, news articles, poetry, book reviews and pretty much anything else under the blogabble sun!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Get Outside and Celebrate (Something) Tomorrow!

Do you know what tomorrow is?

June 21, of course!

Which means it's...

  • The Summer Solstice -- the longest day of the year -- an event celebrated by millions of people around the world, especially those who take part in pagan religions. Perhaps you can catch a summer festival in your area; they're sprouting up all over the world, from the Summer Solstice Parade in Seattle and NYC Midsummer in New York to Saint Jonas' Festival in parts of Europe

Officially Go Skateboarding Day, as proclaimed by the U.S. Congress -- there'll be events from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to London, England to Vancouver, Canada. You can find a complete list of events all over the world at

  • Lots of great summer music festivals -- most notably in Paris, where the Fête de la Musique brings hundreds of musicians (playing everything from jazz to hip-hop) to streets, cafes, auditoriums, and lots of other stages to perform in free concerts beginning at sundown

HAPPY SOLSTICE/SKATEBOARDING DAY/MUSIC FESTIVALS! We'd love to hear about how you celebrate--and what your favorite holidays are!

Make Every Day Turn Beauty Inside Out Day!

Thanks to Marissa, age 11, of New York for her [beautiful] poem "A Beautiful Person."

A Beautiful Person

A beautiful person uses others as her secret weapon
'Be nice to feel nice', she'd say

A beautiful person stands up for what she believes
But doesn't down others' beliefs

A beautiful person cares about appearances
The kind where you stand up straight and celebrate who you are
Not the kind who discriminates because of clothes and other trivialities

A beautiful person does what she can
To help others
And herself

A beautiful person thinks she's beautiful
And isn't scared to say so
But she's also not scared
To tell others
They're beautiful too

Mind on the Media's Turn Beauty Inside Out Day 2007 was a month ago, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate inner beauty every day! Be sure to request their TBIO Action Kit--they've got a great idea list! Some samples:
  • Stay healthy! Don't let the media and advertisers tell you how you should look or how you should dress.
  • Send a card to a friend telling them why they have Inner Beauty - you can use the great e-cards at
  • Talk to your adults about your opinions and ideas on the impact of the media's messages on your life
  • Do a letter-writing campaign to get your governor to declare an official Turn Beauty Inside Out Day in your state
  • Host a girls' summit, rally, or other special event to raise awareness of inner beauty!
The Girls, Women + Media Project also offers some great tips on Media Activism 101--what you can do to make your voice heard:
  • Check out their links of great blogs and webpages where you can learn more about lots of cool media projects, like Geena Davis' See Jane, New Moon Expert Advisory Board member Audrey Brashich's All Made Up blog, and the About-Face ad project. Then tell your friends and family members about what you've learned!
  • Read (and submit your writing to) New Moon (shameless self-promotion, I know)
  • Tell the media what you think -- you can find an email address on most companies' websites, or you can write to the editors of TV stations, newspapers, magazines and radio stations -- be sure to explain why you love or hate what they've done clearly and respectfully!
  • Try a media "diet": For a few days, avoid (if you can!) TV, magazines, movies, videogames, non-essential websites and email. Avert your eyes, if you can, from advertising signage. Get one or more friends, or a class, to do it with you so you can talk about it. Discuss how hard or easy your "fast" was, what you missed or didn’t miss, and why, and if you notice a change in attitude towards yourself, others…anything.
  • Drop us a line at and tell us how YOU celebrate inner beauty and make your voice heard!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Check it Out! New Magazine for Muslim Girls' Voices

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article yesterday on Muslim Girl, a six-month-old magazine for American Muslim girls. Muslim Girl features everything from fashion to cheerleading to how readers can help women in countries like Afghanistan. Yes, it's a glossy teen magazine like Seventeen, but The San Francisco Chronicle notes that Muslim Girl doesn't shy away from intense topics--it "addresses the issues and questions that Seventeen magazine won't tackle."

We're excited to hear about another magazine that doesn't mind tackling issues beyond, say, boys and makeup.

Check out The San Francisco Chronicle's article, "Teen magazine addresses challenges of being Muslim girl in United States," here. Then tell us:
  • Have you read Muslim Girl? Share your opinions with us!
  • Do you read a magazine or blog that addresses issues related to your race, ethnicity, or some part of your culture?

Also, check out Muslim Girl's awesome tips on how you can get involved to help women living in Muslim countries. Here's a sample of two really cool groups that work to make a difference in Muslim women's lives:

P.S. Attention, Harry Potter fans! We've had great discussions on Harry Potter. Now, for some Harry Potter trivia courtesy of Muslim Girl: Name one Muslim character who appears anywhere in the Harry Potter books. If you know this Harry Potter trivia, email for your chance to win an iPOD shuffle!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dove Campaigns for "Real Beauty"

Hi, girls! This is Natalia Thompson here, New Moon's newest editorial intern. You might recognize my name from some blogging I did last winter (you can read my posts on sweatshop labor and women's health worldwide in our older posts). I'll be managing posts on New Moon® News for the next month, so stay tuned for lots of exciting news and discussion!

For today, check out 13-year-old Madeline's comments on "real beauty":

"There are so many ads today that can make young girls feel bad about themselves. There are next to none that help us ALL feel beautiful. However, Dove's recent commercials for hair and skin products are celebating age, size, and self-love. Check out their website at I think it's great to see SOMEONE step up to the plate and take action in making the world of advertising more viewer-friendly."

Madeline is referring to Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, which is advertising their products (including their 'firming lotion,' i.e. cellulite cream--ironic, no?) by featuring models of all sizes, as seen on the billboard at left. Madeline added:

"Also, I walked into Cold Stone Creamery and noticed that the models on the posters on the wall were plus-sized. I've always hated seeing super-skinny people advertise foods. It didn't make much sense. Anyway, I thought New Moon readers would appreciate what the advertising world was doing good for us."

Thanks, Madeline! Girls, you can click here to view Dove's "Evolution Film" on how we perceive beauty ("How did our idea of beauty become so distorted?" Dove asks).
Then tell us: Have you seen Dove's ads? What do you think of them? Does it bother you that they promote different kinds of beauty while selling a product that is supposed to help girls and women erase their physical "flaws" (cellulite)? Got any other ads you celebrate (or hate)?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mitali Perkins has published a new book!

This Friday, I'd like to give a shout-out to our good friend, Mitali Perkins. Her latest book, First Daughter, just went on sale yesterday. New Moon featured Mitali's book, Monsoon Summer, as our May 2006 book club selection. I haven't read this latest one yet, but I definitely recommend her work. Not only is she a great author, but she maintains a fantastic blog about "life between cultures." AND her character Sameera from First Daughter ALSO keeps a blog. How cool is that? Check out what Mitali has to say:

"Dear Friends,

Please smash a champagne bottle against your computer screen and rejoice with me (okay, skip the champagne and stick to the rejoicing). First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover (Dutton Books For Young Readers), a novel for teens, released yesterday. A sequel, First Daughter: White House Rules, will be published January 2008. My main character, Sameera “Sparrow” Righton, is tracking the real First Kid wannabes in the ‘08 campaign from now until November 2008 at her own blog: It’s campaign lite but fun to ghost-write, and I hope Sparrow’s posts will be entertaining for teens (and others). Thanks so much for your support and encouragement.

Mitali Perkins"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Speak Up in GirlSpeak

Hi, girls! I know that many of you are great writers and artists -- and I think it's great when girls can share their voices with as many people as possible. That's why I'm happy to present the following call for submissions from Ashley Slupski, Senior Editor of Girlspeak Webzine. Check out what she has to say -- and then start sending your work! - Lacey, Senior Editor, New Moon

"I'm Ashley Slupski, Senior Editor of Girlspeak, and I'd like to spread the word about our webzine and it‘s upcoming submissions deadline. GirlSpeak is a pro-women, web-based literary and visual art magazine seeking to build an accessible, inclusive community for young women artists and writers. We showcase original works by girls 12-22 to an international audience. We hope to enlighten our readers about self-love, healthy lifestyles, activism through art and awareness of the world around them. Recently I have came across the New Moon website and was stunned by how similar our missions are.

We are currently accepting submissions for our 2007 issue. We accept original paintings, drawings, scripts, screenplays, lyrics, prose, fiction, non-fiction, plays, spoken word recordings, graffiti art, collages, short stories, monologues, photographs, songs, short films, and journal entries. We want anything that can be displayed on the internet. Work should be emailed to and should include your full name, age, school, city, state, email, titles, MySpace or deviant art link (if you have an account with either), and brief bio. All submissions are due by July 5, 2007. Multiple submissions are accepted and submissions can be sent at different times if contact information is included with all submissions.

Our 2006 issue can be found on or you can look at our MySpace page at Please feel free to contact us at or
Sincerely, Ashley Slupski, Senior Editor GirlSpeak Webzine."

Friday, June 08, 2007

Some Moon-y Weekend Reading

Every time I see this book, That Girl Lucy Moon, I think, it seems like the perfect book for New Moon to review! Luckily, I got my wish and 11-year-old "M" sent the following review.

That Girl Lucy Moon by Amy Timberlake

Lucy Moon is a girl who stands up for what she believes. She supports animal rights in her town during hunting season by wearing a bandanna around her neck, and when anyone ever asks why she wears the bandanna everyday, she thoroughly explains the wrongs of hunting.

Lucy wears her hair in long braids every day with a handwoven yellow and green hemp hat on her head. All through elementary school, whenever a teacher asked Lucy to take this special hat off, she would make a speech about how she wears the hat in support of third world workers and refuse to take it off.

But now that she's in middleschool, things are different. Teachers are getting tired of Lucy's causes, and so are her friends. Zoe, Lucy's artsy best friend, is getting especially fed up with her. So when two of Lucy's classmates get arrested for sledding on Wiggins Hill and the local paper won't publish an article on it, she grasps the opportunity and investigates. Something is going on with Ms. Ilene Viola Wiggins. But is it too risky to get in the way of the richest woman in town and her plans to ban kids from sledding onWiggins Hill? Lucy crosses the line with protests and postcards. She is labeled a "bad influence" by (it seems) everyone at the middleschool. She must do what the principal thinks is community service, but isn't that what Lucy has been doing all along? Lucy can barely keep it together anymore. The world, which she is trying to help, turns on her, and Lucy is confused. It doesn't help much that Lucy's mom keeps postponing her return from a photography trip, and her father only makes matters worse than they already are, until he begins to see Lucy's need forhelp.

With her best friend mad, her father subdued, her mom M.I.A. and all of the teachers (expect loyal Ms. Kortum) losing patience, Lucy begins to wonder if it's worth trying to make a difference. Lucy Moon is a strong, spunky girl and would be a perfect New Mooner. This fantastic book is a great early summer read. Amy Timberlake tells a great and original story. It's for ages 9-12, but basically anyone between the ages of 8-14 will love it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Happy New Moon Day

Here's a lovely note from New Moon's founder, Nancy Gruver.

This is the day in 1992 when the creative spark that became New Moon lit up my imagination. My husband, Joe & I were driving back to Duluth from Copper Harbor in our trusty old Datsun, talking about what we would like to be doing five years from then. The idea for a “Junior Ms. – a feminist magazine run by girls” popped out of my mouth. Within 5 minutes I knew: “That’s it! That’s what I want to do!”

Of course, there were a few details to work out – mainly that I didn’t know anything about publishing – as my daughters, Mavis & Nia logically pointed out when I excitedly told them about the idea a few days later. But I believe that what mattered is not my empirical knowledge at that point, but that I recognized my passion when it appeared and trusted it.

The spirit of that passion grew and blossomed as Joe, Nia & Mavis, and then many other girls and adults, gave their energy and expertise to what became New Moon. 15 years later, we’ve touched hundreds of thousands of girls and adults with the power of girls’ voices. Along the way, we’ve successfully challenged assumptions about what girls are capable of and interested in and helped to change society’s expectations of girls. Still, there’s so much more to be done.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your part in this magical process that has reached so many and is going to reach so many more as we grow.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Girl Climbs Mountains

Have you heard about Samantha Larson? On May 17th, 2007 she became the youngest American to reach the summit of Mount Everest. You can read about her adventure on her blog.

Not only has Samantha climbed Mount Everest, she’s climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mount Elbrus in Russia. In fact, she’s climbed all of the “Seven Summits,” the highest mountains on each continent.

Congratulations Samantha!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Are you a Harry Potter Fan?

With the 5th Harry Potter movie scheduled for release in 6 weeks and rumors buzzing about the 7th and final book in the series, I thought it would be a good time to post 10-year-old Sorcha's review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the book that started it all. She includes some fun & interesting facts at the end, too!

"Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that when I was little I hated the Harry Potter books because I thought Harry wore toe socks (he doesn’t, by the way). But a few months ago I became one of the annoying Harry Potter fans who jabbers on about their latest fictional conspiracy theory ('I think Voldemort is really an evil cat who has set out to blow up the world using a concoction of shoelaces and necromancy!')But on to the point. The Harry Potter books are a series about a wizard-in-training and his friends. Together they try to stop the evil wizard Voldemort, who is trying to gain eternal life – and coming pretty close. The main character is a boy, but there are some really strong female characters such as Hermione Granger. One of Harry’s best friends, she always pays more attention in classes than Harry or their other best friend Ronald Weasely. Thus, she retains in her mind more usefull spells than the other two, and therefore they couldn’t do without her – she saves their lives on several occasions. Also, Hermione can stay calm and think about things until they make sense. Most of the time she turns out right, but Harry hardly ever listens to her. In the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry first discovers that he’s a wizard, and that his mother and father didn’t die in a car crash – they were murdered by the evilist wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. Harry narrowly missed death himself, but for some reason Voldemort’s curse bounced right off him and the evil wizard disappeared. Harry starts lessons at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and meets two new best friends – Hermione Granger and Ron Weasely. Together they discover that something dangerous is being kept at Hogwarts, and Voldemort (and perhaps their least favorite teacher, Severus Snape the potions master, too?) wants to get his hands on it. Together they break through perilous obsticales to save the Philosopher’s Stone from Voldemort.
Interesting Facts:
1) The book is called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S, and words like ‘cellotape’ and ‘jumper’ are changed to ‘Scotch tape’ and ‘sweater’.
2) Nicolas Flamel was a real person, and may have actually created a Philosopher’s Stone.
3) Another author once tried to sue Rowling for copyright violation – she used the word ‘muggle’ (a non-magical person) in her books, but with a completely different Defenition!
4) ‘Muggle’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2003, with the defenition of ‘a person lacking in skill’.
5) There’s some dispute as to whether J.K. Rowling actually has a middle name or not."
What about you? Have you read all the books 10 times, or could you not care less? Does Harry Potter deserve the hype? Comment with your thoughts!