Raising Strong Girls? ‘Kazoo’ Is the Worry-Free Magazine Your Kids Need

Raising kids is hard. However, raising confident young girls comes with it’s own set of challenges. Making sure they feel accepted, encouraged, and unique can be a wearying task, especially when pressure from the outside world wants to tell them otherwise. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, dear reader, that our children are faced with a barrage of images and messages telling them who society expects them to be, what it means to be “pretty,” and what is or isn’t “cool.” Often, I find myself looking at just the covers of magazines in the checkout line and shake my head in disbelief. While some girl-focused outlets like Teen Vogue are certainly stepping up to provide more substantive content for a slightly older audience, the magazine options for young females can be disappointing. Thankfully, there’s Kazoo magazine.

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I’m going to warn you, this article is going to sound like the biggest shill for Kazoo, but they’re not paying me. True, I did receive a free review copy that I requested, but I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hand a magazine to my daughters without worrying what they’ll read or see within its pages. This magazine is all about empowering young ladies, and it does so without shame…and without ads. Kazoo was first launched in 2016 after the most successful journalism project in Kickstarter history, raising over $170,000 from over 3,000 backers. Did I mention it is an actual physically printed magazine?

The content contained within the magazine is as varied as the population of kids reading it, but it is geared toward girls ages 5-10 (but I still had to pry it out of my 12-year old’s hands to write this review). In a single issue, readers can find sections on tech, nature, art, sports, emotions, cooking, tinkering, science, citizenship, critical thinking, and more. In the particular issue I reviewed (the summer music issue), there were interviews with female dancers and musicians, crafting instructables to make your own disco ball or tonoscope, quick facts, stories, comics, coloring pages, mazes, and even a recipe for raspberry jam.

Illustrations instead of photos let the reader picture themselves in positions of power in ‘Kazoo.’

5 Reasons Why I Love ‘Kazoo’ Magazine

  1. I love that Kazoo magazine contains ZERO photoshopped photographs of people. Yep, that’s right, there’s no photographs of people anywhere. All experts and interview subjects are illustrated as girls so the girls reading the magazine can imagine themselves in those roles.
  2. I’ve already mentioned this, but there’s no ads. We cut the cord long ago, and don’t miss ads on television, but I didn’t realize how much I would appreciate not having ads in a magazine until Kazoo.
  3. It doesn’t speak down to its younger audience. Sure, the text may be on an accessible reading level, but it recognizes that its audience is interested in more than just “cute” things. Interviews are from experts in their fields (an astrophysicist, a senator, Newberry Honor winning writers, Olympic medalists, and chefs to name a few).
  4. It’s over 50 pages full of content, and since none of those pages are ads, that equals some quality reading time. My two daughters each able to enjoy it over a long car ride, but have since been able to return and re-read it. This isn’t a magazine you’ll want to throw away after consuming, but rather start a collection.
  5. According to the editors, Kazoo is “unapologetically feminist, progressive, diverse, encouraging all of our readers to ‘make some noise.'” In this particular issue, one of the pages is nearly completely taken up by the text “Start a Girl Revolution” and goes on to say that “popularity is overrated.” Heck, even the cover tells us what shouldn’t have to be stated, simply: “Girls Rock!”

The only downside I feel Kazoo magazine has is that it is only currently offered as a quarterly publication. I’m not complaining about it, because I certainly think it is worth the cost, but a 4-issue subscription (1-year) does cost $50, which can seem high compared to other newsstand ‘zines. Despite the wait between issues and the higher price tag, I have no reservations wholeheartedly recommending this to everyone raising girls. It may be just a magazine, but if it makes my daughters realize the difference they can make in the world, isn’t that worth it?

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Preston Burt

Preston is a writer and graphic designer. He lives outside Atlanta, GA with his awesome wife and two amazing daughters (8 and 12). The host of the Gameroom Junkies Podcast, he has an affinity for VHS tapes and an obsession with arcade games and pinball machines. He has written for Paste and RETRO Magazines and is a founder of the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo.

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