MN woman's makeover of 'Girl's Life' magazine gets global attention


The idea was sparked by side-by-side comparisons of Girls' Life magazine and Boys' Life.

Where one gender was advised to "Explore Your Future," the other was offered pointers about fall fashion and "dream hair."

When graphic artist Katherine Young of St. Paul saw the discrepancy, she decided to put together a mock cover of what she would prefer to see in the girls' magazine.

Headlines like "Your Dream Hair: Next Level Tips and Trends" became "Your Dream Career: Next Level Planning and Goals." The "Are You Ready for a BF?" quiz was turned into "Are You Ready for AP Class?"

Young posted both the real and imaginary covers to her blog and Twitter.

Young's changes included taking the photo of actress/singer Olivia Holt off the cover and substituting one of Olivia Hallisey, the 17-year-old who won the Google Science Fair for the portable, low-cost Ebola test kit she invented.

"Wake Up Pretty" hit a nerve

Young told it was the "Wake Up Pretty" headline on Girls' Life that she had the strongest reaction to.

"I always felt like I wasn't good enough in my teens and early twenties because my jean size was too big and boys I liked never liked me," she said. "It didn't matter that I was accomplished, had integrity, and achieved my goals one after another. I thought something was wrong with me because I didn't 'wake up pretty.'"

A representative of Girls' Life emailed a statement to that read in part: "We are so proud of every page in every single issue. Girls' Life serves a dynamic audience of 2.16 million tween and teen girls who have a variety of passions."

The response

Since it was posted last week, Young's reinvention of Girls' Life has drawn comments including "This would never meet consumer demand" and "What's this feminist bull****?"

But more commenters have been supportive, with remarks like "Brilliant. This is what teens need, not superficial nonsense" and "Even though I'm a boy, definitely wanna see your version."

Young, a native of Jamestown, North Dakota, who now works for the Roseville Area Schools, tells the Fargo Forum she's heard from Girl Scout troops, women in the military, and a United Nations official.

Some have wondered if anything similar to Young's imaginary Girls' Life exists.

One recommendation that's been offered is the magazine New Moon Girls, which was started in Duluth in 1992 by Nancy Gruver and her twin daughters, Mavis Gruver and Nia Kelly.

Next Up


State Patrol investigating fatal crash near Duluth

The crash was reported around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

eden prairie police squad car

Carjacking reported outside shopping center in Eden Prairie

One of the suspects reportedly displayed a weapon.

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.


Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.


Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.


Police: 3 teens died in crash after trying to get girl's attention

The teenagers were returning to New Richmond, Wis., from Woodbury and authorities say they were trying to get the attention of a girl in another car that had passed them. The driver was searching a center console in the vehicle, authorities said. A fourth teen in the car survived the crash.

Growing global starts with a global people strategy

Are you a company executive going through change and growth this year? Bill Scrimgeour, President and COO of Zinpro, shares his insight...

MSP Magazine: Illume gets gooped

Gwyneth Paltrow’s 'Goop' digital lifestyle publication curated October’s box of beauty samples for Birchbox, and among the picks is a Red Cedar scented candle from Minneapolis-based Illume Candles.