Youth Group Fills Void in Women’s Magazines

Members of W.O.M.E.N. and a women's advocacy group at a screen printing workshop at The Point. (Photo by FORCE via Hunts Point Express)

Members of W.O.M.E.N. and a women’s advocacy group at a screen printing workshop at The Point. (Photo by FORCE via Hunts Point Express)

Women’s magazines are no strangers to criticism for their preference for models with looks that fit a certain mold – usually thin and white. Members of The Point CDC’s W.O.M.E.N.’s group in the Bronx decided to act on their critiques, reports Simone Sylvester for Hunts Point Express.

Teresa Rivera had herself and her fellow members of the Hunts Point youth nonprofit in mind when she started POP Magazine, which stands for Power of the People – the antidote/alternative to the pages of glossy magazines with, as Sylvester writes, “No brown skin, no thick hair and definitely no voluptuous bodies.”

W.O.M.E.N. produces the content of the magazine, drawing from their own experiences and hoping their readers will find something they can finally relate to on a personal level.

Among the stories, poems, essays and art on topics like beauty standards, race, health and social justice, POP provides information on taking care of oneself.

The Point’s young women are getting information about everything from self-love and healthy eating habits to style, skin care and breast self-exams. Additionally, POP lists local and affordable women’s health service centers like Planned Parenthood, offers intimate testimonials of struggles about family, love and relationships and publishes photos that reinforce a positive body image.

The group behind POP tell Hunts Point Express that the magazine combats the frequent stereotypes of women of color – such as the “Loud Black Woman” or “Spicy Hot Latina” – by providing an outlet for their own voices.

Says Gabriel Burvis, who frequents the youth center:

“Women of color need to see their voices in media,” he said, and to hear role models speak “about the truth that they live.”

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