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The sublime and the ridiculous.

Indigo 4 Girls – an alternative voice.

2007-11-19-1444-31.jpgI first heard from Beverley Park and the group of “Power Gals” behind new independent teen girl magazine “Indigo 4 Girls” after Enlighten Education was featured on A Current Affair in May 2006. This group of dedicated mothers, and their passionate, clever daughters were keen to offer girls a magazine that explored issues that really mattered…without all the marketing and manipulated images! They had asked for my advice and they have shared their progress with me.

I am just delighted to report that after much hard work they are now launching Issue 2! Editor Bev sums up what they are hoping to achieve: “Indigo will fill hearts and minds with inspiration and encourage girls to be themselves by identifying the potential they have within. The majority of the articles are written by teen girls, with just a little help from a few amazing grown ups.” I am very pleased that I am able to volunteer to offer my voice to the other authentic voices that fill this joyful, and inspiring magazine; I will write a column for each edition. 

At $5.50 an issue I think this magazine is great value and will be a fabulous addition to all school libraries. I have attached a subscription form here indigo-subscription-form.pdf and a “sneak peek” PDF copy of my first column to give you a taste of the types of article Indigo 4 Girls offers: learning-to-fly-beginings.pdf

P.S I have no commercial involvement with this magazine – just want to help share the love. 🙂 Enjoy and pass it on!

What the?

Jane Higgins, Enlighten Program Director for South Australia, forwarded me this link late last week. It is a recent article about a mobile phone-based game entitled “The Coolest Girl In School.” Apparently teen girls, who are targeted as the market for this vile game, will be “encouraged to take drugs and fall pregnant in an online life-simulator game…players must choose whether to experiment with drugs, alcohol and smoking, skip school, spread rumours, bully and even fall pregnant in their effort to win the game.”

Jane was mortified and so was I! A 30 Year old Adelaide woman, Holly Owen, is behind this and claims there is nothing wrong with it…”It’s not about glorifying bad things, it’s about giving young girls the opportunity to play around with high school.”

Please.

So proud of Enlighten Program Director for Victoria, Sonia Lyne’s, reponse… “That would have to be one of the most infuriating articles I’ve read lately Jane- her comment ‘it’s about giving young girls the opportunity to play around with high school’ just tops it off – maybe Holly Owen needs a little enlightening! What must her own self image be like if she honestly thinks this is ok??? ACTUALLY – she has really #*#!!!! me off – I’ll google her and send an email! I’m talking back on this one!”  

You go girl!

Published inMagazinesMobile PhonesParentsSchools

8 Comments

  1. Sonia Lyne

    YES … that article has infuriated me so much that I am indeed in the process of finding out more details about the founder. I will then write to her and question her motives for producing such an irresponsible game for girls. We know the girls we work with every day are already struggling with their high school years; they are trying to develop a positive self image – this just adds to the confusion!!! I WILL BE BACK TO REPORT ON MY PROGRESS … I am completely outraged as this is just the antithesis of everything we do !! ARRRRGGGHHH!!

  2. storm greenhill-brown

    What makes me incredibly angry about this money- hungry game designer is that she is supposed to be a responsible adult. Her premise is that teens can explore these risk taking behaviors and learn that there will be consequences to their choices. Will this game be given any kind of censorship rating? Who will have access to it and how will pre-teens playing it on their sister’s phone know that this is just an “action/consequence ” simulated game? What 8 year old will get that? I recently read about the tragic suicide of 13 year old Megan Meier in the U.S. who was severely bullied on her “My Space” page by a mother impersonating a 16 year old boy who over a period of 6 weeks created a “trusting” relationship with her only to pull the rug out from under her and abuse, torment and humiliate her on line until she couldn’t take it any more. As adults we come with the tag of “responsible” and so when other adults such as Holly Owen and the mother in the story I have referred to severely let us down we do have a very grave responsibility to stand up and shout as loudly as we can ” Stop, I don’t like that!” We owe it to our children and the students we teach- so bring it on Sonia!! Let’s petition for a ban on this game. These are conversations we need to have with teenagers around us…..

  3. storm greenhill-brown

    Have to say…how gorgeous is the Indigo4Girls homepage! It is just so refreshing and delightful to see photos of real girls who aren’t washed out or covered in make-up. They are healthy and happy and in poses with friends. What a winner and how fabulous that Danni is a part of this magic stuff! What a great stocking filler for daughters, nieces and other special friends-girls will love this magazine!

  4. Lisa Porter

    This just makes me furious! I’m a Year 8 Adviser and the girls in my grade have enough to contend with without games promoting this kind of self-destructive behaviour as “cool”.

    I’ve printed an Indigo-4-girls subscription form and will none-too-subtly give it to our librarian and Welfare HT 🙂 I love that girls are starting to fight back!

  5. Sonia Lyne

    For everyone who has been waiting on a reply – YES I have received a prompt reply to my questions for “Coolest Girl” game creator Holly. Alas … her argument was as limited as I had expected it to be. She began by congratulating me on my direct approach …”I am glad you approached us directly (few others have) because the discussion you proposed below: ‘Why a game has been created that enhances skills in bitchiness, looking and acting cool and victimising other girls’ would have been a very limited approach to Coolest Girl In School.”

    Her reply then proceeded to justify the game with few answers just a list of rhetorical questions. Some of the questions she included are as follows;

    *** What does this kind of ‘moral outrage’ say about such group’s opinions of young women and their ability to think for themselves?
    *** Why is it that there are hundreds of shooting games on the market that don’t receive this kind of attention?
    *** If it is safe for boys to play violent games why is it unsafe for girls to play games about high school?

    mmmmmm … Does this not infuriate you more? Why is that so much of her argument seems to be founded on “what is good for one is good for the other??”

    We all belive girls can make smart choices and can think but we also know the importance of setting boundaries and encouraging girls to devlop the knowledge they need to make smart choices throughout our lives … we should NOT be handing over the reigns to any girl of any age and letting them form their own opinions without the guidance of role models.

    I AM EVEN MORE OUTRAGED NOW … YOU????

  6. I hate the old “it is just a game” argument too. I know from reading her original email to you Sonia that that idea also featured. What frightens me most is that Holly can’t understand our outrage and thinks it is because we are all ludites who just don’t “get” this modern technology. Nahhhh. We get it – we just don’t want it near our kids. Shame Holly.

  7. Lisa Porter

    …not that I’d condone violent shooting games either! How very high school… “well they’re doing something just as bad so it’s okay if I do it.” Take some responsibility!!

  8. Jane Higgins

    Weigh it up ….. Integrity vs earning money from creating such a revolting game – I know what I chose.
    Lets be part of the solution – not part of the problem!!

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