Blue Jean: What Young Women Are Thinking, Saying, and Doing

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"I am woman, hear me roar... or purr... or say nothing at all, if I so choose" is this collection's theme. Handel is the force behind Blue Jean Media, a company that produces blue jean magazine, a periodical for women aged 14 to 22. Dissatisfied with the selection of teen magazines filled with fluffy articles about getting the ideal boyfriend and buying the right prom dress, Handel sought to fill a void by providing a magazine written and edited by young women from around the world. The result was a magazine whose purpose is to empower girls and young women to define themselves through their own medium. The book is a compilation of articles already published in blue jean, including such topics as feminism, body image, volunteering/activism and ethnicity/race. The authors handle these heated topics with ease, displaying a surprising maturity. Twenty-one-year-old Dina Rabadi extols the virtue of single-sex education, treating both sides of the issue, beginning with her own initial reluctance to attend Smith College. Sixteen-year-old Erica Bryant separates herself from feminists by embracing the term "womanist," noting that black women have often been called upon to attack one issue at a time (either race or gender). According to Bryant, womanist philosophy states that racism, sexism and classism can be attacked all at once. Socially active women of all ages will find inspiration in this collection; as it reminds older readers of what it was like to be youthfully optimistic, it empowers younger readers to define their own images and issues for themselves. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
With a dream in her head and not much money to achieve it, this author sought to give young women the forum to express themselves with blue jean magazine and its companion, blue jean online (http:\\www.bluejeanonline.com). Despite a financial setback, Handel managed to cull aspiring young writers, editors, artists, photographers, and poets from her Rochester, New York, community to relaunch her ambitious endeavor. This book is a collection of some of the many inspiring and well-written pieces that were published in the defunct magazine. After a long-winded introduction, Handel offers eight chapters of essays and interviews on subjects including Volunteering and Activism, Speaking Out, Feminism, Mind and Body, Ethnicity and Race, and How to Publish Your Own 'Zine. The writing is elegant, clear, and honest. In one essay, a writer reflects on her single-sex education: "The underlying attitude seems to be that college life cannot exist without having boys around... why would you choose to attend a women's college?" Part of the book's appeal is its interactive, participatory format. Addresses and phone numbers of organizations follow certain articles, and the afterword lists submission guidelines for interested writers who wish to contribute to either blue jean magazine, scheduled to resume publication this year, or blue jean online. If promoted enthusiastically, teenage girls who value community service, self-improvement, and accepting oneself over makeup, boyfriends, and weekend parties will read this book. Illus. Appendix. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined asgrades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Blue Jean Press, 246p,
— Beth Gilbert
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-This collection of essays was originally published in the now-defunct blue jean magazine, the brainchild of Handel. The writings range in topic from volunteering and activism to fiction to mind and body issues to ethnicity and race. One chapter discusses creating one's own zine or film. Each essay is well thought out and well written. Of particular note is Victoria Nam's "Why We Love and Fear the F-Word" (feminism) and Lisa Haber-Thompson's "Attention Deficit Disorder." The young women's articulate use of language is particularly striking. These teens have tackled subjects that could have easily fallen into the realm of academic debate. Instead, they "talk" to their readers in obliging tones and offer opinions rather than gospel-a tone many readers will find refreshing. A great guide for those interested in women's issues.-Elaine Baran Black, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780970660916
  • Publisher: Blue Jean Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.57 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1
Introduction: blue jean: Creating and Realizing a Dream 9
Foreword 27
Chapter 1 Volunteering and Activism
Chix With Sticks 30
Join the Revolution to Free the Children 34
Insight into the Seeing Eye 39
Happy Helpers for the Homeless 42
An Excuse Brings me Back 45
Chapter 2 Speaking Out
Suffering in Silence: Sexual Harassment 52
Homeless Wanderers 57
Still Searching for a Fair Game Under Title IX 64
Trouble at Big Mountain 68
Big Mountain Update 74
Chapter 3 Feminism
What Does Feminism Mean to You? 78
Why We Love and Fear the F-Word 83
We are GRRRls, Hear us GRRRowl 89
Black Feminists Talkin' Back 93
No Boys Allowed 99
Chapter 4 Mind and Body
Dear Dr. Beth 106
Breaking the Silence 115
Attention Deficit Disorder 120
The Key to Confidence 125
Chapter 5 Wanna Hear a Story?
Short fiction
Peaches and Dreams 130
Lilacs Bloom Every Spring 137
Parting 144
Belated Goodbyes 149
Chapter 6 Body Image
Broken Up Over Gender Bias 160
Size and All 167
The Other Side of the Mirror 171
Reshaping Barbie: Is She a Doll in Distress? 173
The Miss America Pageant: Talent Show or Meat Market? 178
Chapter 7 Ethnicity and Race
China Doll and Other Derogatory Words 184
Mixed Heritage 188
Mirror Mirror on the Wall...Who's the Fairest of Them All? 193
Facing the Majority 196
Herstory Comes Alive: An Interview with Rosa Parks 200
Chapter 8 Create Your Own...
Publish Your Own Zines 208
Zine Reviews 218
Action Girl Sarah Dyer 225
Filmmaking: Reel Girls--Lights, Camera, Action 230
Afterword: We Want to Hear from You 238
Our Partners: blue jean magazine 242
blue jean online 243
New Moon Publishing 244
The Next Step Magazine 245
Teen Voices 246
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2001

    A Great Summer Lift

    They're coming. They began with chicken soup and have been invading our lives ever since. A new literary movement that brings tears to our eyes and smiles to our faces. Some people have considred them to be old news, but to me that can never happen. They've become a fresh new approach to teaching valuable life lessons, and this book is no exception. 'Blue Jean: What Young Women are Thinking, Saying and Doing' caters to numerous issues and offers various lessons on everyday life spanning from ethnicity to body image to speaking out. The talented staff of this magazine's publication teaches us what it means to be a girl. They show us that we don't have to be Barbie doll look-alikes or beauty pageant material to know what success tastes like. We are intelligent beings who find joy in creating a difference rather than retreating to a cloud of silence. 'Black Feminests Talkin' Back' tells the stories of Sojourner Truth, Alice Walker and Angela Davis: three role models who have changed the world with the height of their courage rather than their cheekbones. In 'Lilacs Bloom Every Spring,' we learn what true beauty reveals, the importance of celebrating other's lives even after they're gone and joy we can find in the simpler things in life. 'Join the Revolution to Free the Children' is the amazing account of Craig Kielburger, proving to us all that age isn't a factor when it comes to taking action. More than just a book, this collection is a friend, a teacher and a mentor. It provides guidance to girls from those who have been there, advice from those who have sought the truth and voices from those who no longer fear the rising tides of popular culture. It's the beginning of a movement that started out as a dream in Sherry Handel's mind and has now evolved into a reality. It's proof that shooting for the stars may be an uphill battle, but their flickering glimmers are always in sight.

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