What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this somewhat dated Web zine for girls offers articles on health, beauty, fitness, fashion, money, life, and more. There's a strong emphasis on developing a positive body image, and there's nothing on the site you wouldn't want your kid to see. The site is part of the SheKnows.com family of Web sites, for which moms are a primary target. Advertisers on the site are targeting moms, too, with ads for cosmetics, family restaurants, grocery stores, and snack foods. The ads are the same ones you'll see on other sites on the network, such as PregnancyandBaby.com and FamilyCorner.com.
What's it about?
The content on GIRLZONE.COM is organized into four main areas: "Bodyopolis" is for fashion, beauty, and body-image articles, including many on being yourself and learning to like your body the way it is; "Inner City" is for poetry, advice, quizzes, and articles about common teenage problems; "Around Town" directs the focus outward, from volunteer work and college to careers and money; and "Downtown" is for shopping -- but only for books and music by way of Amazon.com.
Is it any good?
The idea behind GirlZone.com is good. The articles have substance, and even the fluffier topics are approached with a lot of common sense. But its format will take you straight back to Web zines from online days of yore, when the Web was strange and new. For the site to have any real appeal to teen girls who've grown up online, it's got some updating to do. There's a distinct air of abandonment: The graphics look like clip art, photographs are dated, links direct you to sites that no longer exist, and many articles and reviews give themselves away with 2002 dates.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the fact that the site isn't very current. Why does that matter? Plus, many of the article topics are similar to those on the sites of other popular magazines for teenage girls. How does this site compare? Are the articles, reviews, and advice still relevant even if they're not current? Do you prefer to read teen magazines in print, online, or both?