Canadian Teen Girl
A new Canadian magazine focuses on teen girls making a difference
By Terri Rieck
The average teen girl is bombarded every day with images of super-skinny models, celebrity culture and fashion fads. Rarely do they feel validated after reading a teen magazine on the newsstand, despite the fact that these magazines are supposed to represent them. A new magazine from MIR Communications is out to change that.
Canadian Teen Girl is set to launch this spring and is dedicated to real Canadian teen girls, not the idea of what a teen girl should be. The idea came when the publishing company noticed a missing element in the teen magazine scene.
Alexandra Kimball, editor in chief, said, “When we looked into this market, what really stood out was the real absence of smart, relevant writing targeted at young Canadian women. So we decided to give it a shot. Once we came up with the basics – we'd feature only real high school students, no models, focus on the environment and social responsibility, and avoid ’talking down’ to our readers – the details took care of themselves.”
The lack of models is only the beginning for this inspirational magazine which sets out to promote a healthy and positive body image for teen girls. The magazine will also focus on actual teen girls doing inspirational things and succeeding, whether through athletics, social activism, environmental responsibility or music. They want to showcase girls being themselves and making a difference.
The magazine is also very excited about featuring female athletes and musicians.
“I'd love to cover more young female athletes. Girls are so active now, but there's still a gap in the media coverage about girls' sports. You really see this with sports that are considered male, like hockey or boxing,” Kimball said. “I'd also like to cover more young female musicians – especially hip hop artists!”
Concerning the competition for Canadian Teen Girl, Kimball responds, “We like to think that we're not competing with the other teen magazines. We’re filling a gap.
“But the thing that makes Canadian Teen Girl stand out from the pack is that we're more interested in real high school life than in celebrity culture or the fantasies issued on TV and other media,” she said. “On a regular teen magazine, you're likely to see a celebrity, or worse, a celebutante, on the cover. On our cover, you might see your friend, or even yourself.”
Kimball added, “Of course, we know that style is still a fun part of teen life, so like other teen magazines, we feature lots of fashion and beauty content.”
On what she hopes readers will take away from the magazine, Kimball said, “I’d be happy if readers turned the last page feeling validated, not insecure. But most of all, I’d love it if they felt like reading Canadian Teen Girl was fun.”
In Every Issue
- RealGirl – Features street style
- Make a Difference – Focuses on social and environmental responsibility
- Best Job Ever – Career advice and information
- Sustainable Style – Features eco-chic fashion
- Personal Stylist – Covers fashion and beauty
- Canadian Teen Girl Hearts – Includes movies, books and music reviews
Making the Pitch
Kimball prefers to be pitched via e-mail. Her biggest pet peeve is when PR professionals don’t do their homework.
“Under-researched pitches always grate. We get pitches for products that are more appropriate for older women, for example, or for boys. You'll save everyone a lot of time and effort if you research the publication you're pitching to first.
“Another good idea is to come up with an angle,” Kimball added. “I'm sure your stuff is cool, but why will our readers think so? Think like a reader, and we're more likely to bite. Basically, the more work you do on your end, the more likely you are to see your pitch come to fruition.”
She would like to receive information on anything green as the social focus of the magazine is on environmental responsibility. She would also like to receive information on teen girl athletes. She stresses that she would never cover any fad diet or anything that promotes a negative body image.
As for advice for PR professionals, Kimball said, “If you have an interview opportunity, set up a date and time, and then pitch. We're much more likely to follow up if the scheduling has already been done.”
177 Danforth Ave, Ste. 301
Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
Alexandra Kimball, editor in chief