Cosmo, it ain't

True Girl magazine for Catholic teens to launch in January.

By Lynn Harris

Published December 15, 2005 12:07AM (EST)

We've got Realiteen, the magazine for girls "who know faith is a lifestyle" (and whose Web site message-board users have handles such as "jesusfreak5" and "crazy4christ"). Likewise, we've got Brio, which is published by Focus on the Family and is happy to promote "Narnia." We've got Revolve, which tarts up the New Testament to read like a teen mag. ("Are you dating a godly guy?") We've got Bitch magazine, which is really totally different. And now we'll have True Girl, the magazine for Catholic teens, which will debut in January with cover girl Therese Hullinger, an eighth grader at St. Stanislaus in Michigan City, Ind.

On the one hand, I can get behind any teen mag that does not exhort girls to be as skinny or boy crazy as possible. (And to be fair, most teen mags have quit doing that.) On the other hand, eeek! According to the Catholic News Service, True Girl endeavors to present "a realistic view of young femininity, based on church teachings, not sexy trends or horoscopes." "Church teachings" may or may not include Proverbs 31:15: "[The virtuous and capable wife] gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household." I could go on.

To be sure, it's not as if these magazines are telling these gals anything they haven't been raised with, nor are they a "corrupting" influence they're not getting elsewhere. But I like to think of magazines as -- for better or for worse -- a source of stuff we're not supposed to know about (at least not yet). How many of us read Seventeen when we were actually 17? Hah. By then, we were waaaay on to the Cosmo quiz, none of which ever actually applied to our 17-year-old lives, but whatever. I just hope these True Girls also find a way to read Elle Girl under the covers.

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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