Teen Breathe Special - Inspiring Women || Magazine Review
I was in Tesco (Tescos? Tesco? You'd think with the amount of time I spend in the shop I'd be able to remember) Saturday morning, picking up the essentials for Brighton Pride - pringles, suncream, spare pants, iced coffee - when I spotted this little magazine hanging about on the rack, and was instantly intrigued. I love the adult version of the Breathe magazine. It's fantastic to have hanging about the house for those spare five minutes (chance would be a fine thing), or when you're spending a lengthy amount of time on the loo and need some reading material. Not to say that it's crap, mind you. It's a brilliant little resource with loads of hints and tips for mindfulness etc, and it has some of the most gorgey illustrations.
But this edition is slightly different. It's a special version of the Teen Breathe, dedicated to some of the inspiring women who have cropped up through the ages. Katharine Hepburn, Mae Jemison, Rosa Parks, Emma Watson, this little tome has them all. The cover was what initially drew me in, honestly. It's a collage of all these incredible women, both portraits and photos,. and it was one of the single best magazine covers I have ever seen.
The tagline - INSPIRING YOUNG WOMEN TO CHANGE THE WORLD -is absolutely brilliant. More of our media should be dedicated to showing the incredible things both men and women are doing to make the world a better place, rather than exposing all the awful, awful things that happen. Yes, both sides of the coin are valuable and have their place in our society, but very often the media we consume can feel extremely one sided. And what kind of message is that sending to the kids/kidz. Is using a 'z' at the end of 'kidz' cool? Almost definitely not, which is why I will never be one of the youth.
The best/worst thing about this magazine is that I didn't even know who some of these women are, because when I was at school there was absolutely no emphasis on showing us the cool things women have done throughout history. I was never even taught about the suffragette movement, flawed as it was. Our history was white, and our history was male, and history is neither white or male. It's multidimensional, and all those people doing all those amazing things deserve to have their stories told to inspire a new generation to get out there and do the cool things.
Once I've perused the magazine, I'll be passing it down to my younger sister. She's 13, and sometimes I do worry about the world she's growing up in. I could never tell her that, of course. I'm undeniably the most embarrassing person she knows, which is a skill I have cultivated through the years. But all I want for her is to her to grow up knowing she can be and do whatever she bloody well pleases. I don't doubt she will, she knows her own mind. But it can't hurt to read the stories of all the women who have trod this path before us, smoothing the way so we can push that little bit further.
What I really love about this magazine isn't that it just highlights the incredible stories of some incredible women (take a shot every time I've said the word incredible), but that with each story comes a related activity for you to do. For example, once you've read the tale of Violette Szabo (a secret agent in occupied France during WWII), you're asked some questions including 'what does bravery mean to you?', and 'what are your worries and fears?', and 'when was the last time you did something brave?'. On a page dedicated to Lyndsey Scott, it gets readers to focus on tech and coding, asking you to invent an app to solve a problem.
These kinds of activities are dotted throughout the book, all relating back to one of the inspiring women, and a million miles away from the activities in the Sugar and Shout magazines of my youth. Quizzes that were designed to tell you what kind of girlfriend you were, or what eyeshadow to wear this month. All valuable, all have their place, but isn't it cool that now young women (and men, and all who fall outside the gender binary) have access to activities that get them thinking about finding their voice in relation to a time when they were treated unfairly? These are the women of the new generation, and they are going to have to be loud to change the world.
I am a big, big fan of this edition of Teen Breathe. The artwork of all the women is stunning, and the layout with their story, and little extra facts makes for entertaining reading. Lists are peppered throughout, including the 'top five fearless female adventurers', and there's the activities that I mentioned before. If you have a teenage girl in your life, do society a favour and gift her this magazine. She's going to do incredible things.
Teen Breathe - Inspiring Women is £4.99. I picked my copy up in Tesco, but I know Waitrose, WH Smith, and other book type places also stock it.
Have you read Breathe magazine before? Have you seen the teen special?