Hello Giggles

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Hello Giggles Website Poster Image
Light news fare with pro-girl-empowerment messages, content.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about select news topics, ranging from workplace studies to controversial PSAs and feel-good stories about young entrepreneurs. Time spent on the site will provide reading experience, and teens will practice communication skills and expressing their opinion, if they post comments. Users can also submit illustrations and personal narrative pieces, providing potential writing and artistic experience. Adding items to help adults ensure kids understand the topics and/or more interactive elements to drive posts' points home would help increase the learning factor. Happy Giggles provides kids with content that's interesting and, in many cases, informative.

Positive Messages

Many posts highlight women's achievements, issues.

Violence
Sex

Sexual issues are a frequent topic, but articles mostly take a factual approach to the subject; readers encouraged to make choices for themselves.

Language

Words such as "s--t" pop up occasionally, but often used in reference to a quote, Twitter feed, other item name.

Consumerism

Features banner ads but doesn't push products heavily. Space marked for an online store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Posts mention drinking as a fairly frequent occurrence, but most drug-related posts are educational.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hello Giggles is a news site targeted toward young girls. Kids don't need to register or enter any personal information to read the site's content. But if they want to post comments, they'll need to sign up for a Disqus account by entering their name and password -- or log in using Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Links to a user's social media profiles are included, so it's possible kids could be contacted by strangers through their accounts away from Hello Giggles. Some swearing pops up occasionally, but it's usually in reference to a quote or a Twitter mention. Similarly, alcohol is mentioned frequently; drug references are usually educational. The site has ad banners but doesn't push items heavily, and there's space allocated for a store on the website. For details on the kinds of information collected and shared, read the website's privacy policy.

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What's it about?

HELLO GIGGLES is a news-based online community for women with content on love, fashion, work, friends, culture, being a teen, and other topics. The site, founded by actress/musician Zooey Deschanel (who's featured as a contributor but is not the site's focus), producer Sophia Rossi, and writer Molly McAleer, features thought-provoking pieces on feminist issues, mixed with animal videos and other zany fare. Writers contribute to the site, as do readers who submit personal-essay-type pieces about a wide variety of topics.

Is it any good?

Despite its humor-centric name, this news-focused site features some seriously empowerment-based content, combined with just-for-fun cute-animal clips and posts about celebrities. Posts, for example, can range from topics such as eating disorders and body image to a Rihanna video compilation and a baby bat eating a banana -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The site tackles some tough topics in an approachable way, and the lighter fare helps keep Hello Giggles from feeling too intense. As an added bonus, girls can express their opinions in posts or, if they're budding writers or artists, submit original content for the site's teen or other sections. The site won't serve as a substitute for CNN; girls will need to look elsewhere for a comprehensive roundup of the latest breaking U.S. and world news. But Hello Giggles provides a supportive source for issues that affect women, dished out with a decidedly pro-girl-power vibe -- and it's fun to read. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about body image and how the media helps shape it. Is it a good thing that this site frequently touches on topics such as eating disorders and body-shape standards in the fashion industry? How does your daughter feel about her body? Does she feel as if magazines, TV, or other elements have helped influence her perception?

  • Ask your daughter about how she feels the media portrays women, in general. Can you together think of two to three examples of empowered women on TV shows or in movies?

  • Use some of the site's essay-type pieces as a jumping-off point to discuss topics that might be difficult to bring up with your child, such as self-esteem. Does your child see any parallels between certain posts and her life?

Website details

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