Kazoo magazine

Kazoo magazine

About this project

Some great press as of April 15th.
Some great press as of April 15th.

Kazoo is the magazine every brilliant, fierce young girl deserves.”—Medium

“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 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.

Knisley's Elizabeth Robinson and Thomas's Din, Une Trés Belle Négresse 1, 2012
Knisley’s Elizabeth Robinson and Thomas’s Din, Une Trés Belle Négresse 1, 2012

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.

Gerson's La Newyorkina and Cronin's Bloom
Gerson’s La Newyorkina and Cronin’s Bloom

•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.

Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming and Dr. Wadwha with a meteorite
Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming and Dr. Wadwha with a meteorite

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:

•Six in ten girls stop doing what they love, because they feel bad about their looks. And by age 11, 30 percent of them have already put themselves on a diet.

•Seventy five percent of girls are interested in engineering and related fields, and yet only 11 percent of practicing engineers are women.

•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:

The sticker, hoodie, T-shirt, onesie and tote.
The sticker, hoodie, T-shirt, onesie and tote.
On Twitter and Facebook, lots of great people are getting behind KAZOO. Some highlights as of April 2nd.
On Twitter and Facebook, lots of great people are getting behind KAZOO. Some highlights as of April 2nd.

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.

Back Erin Bried project on Kickstarter