“5 Things We Wish Someone Told Us Before Starting A Global Online Magazine While Still In High School”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Charlotte Kramon and Eunice Park, co-editors-in-chief of the GIRLTALK Magazine. Keep Charlotte and Eunice on your radar, because they are both still in high school and launched an online global magazine, the sky is really the limit for these two up-and-comers! Through GIRLTALK Magazine, they hope to provide a forum for people to discuss and be informed about gender related issues across the globe, from political sexism, to body issues, female monuments, reproductive justice, and more. Articles in @TheGirlTalkMagazine cover a wide range of topics and perspectives, hearing from all genders and all sides is essential to them as editors.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Charlotte and Eunice! What is your “backstory”?
Eunice: Charlotte and I have always been passionate feminists. Before the birth of GIRLTALK Magazine, I had been working on gender equality initiatives with girls in orphanages in different countries, and was seeking a way to continue my global engagement. One day, Charlotte and I were sitting in a Starbucks, venting our frustrations about the sexism we experienced in our daily lives and the increasingly polarizing rhetoric of feminism in the media. During our conversation, we both realized the important need for a teenage outlet for an open minded discussion of gender, and the crazy idea of GIRLTALK Magazine was born. Working with high school girls we knew across America and in different countries, Charlotte and I created the GIRLTALK Magazine- a international feminist magazine welcoming different perspectives and critical discussions about gender and sex.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you launched GIRLTALK Magazine?
Eunice: Over the summer, Charlotte was in Boston for a journalism camp, I was in New York for an internship, and Alex (our layout editor) was in Los Angeles. Even though we were in completely different locations and time zones from each other, we were determined to produce another issue of GIRLTALK Magazine. The summer produced so many funny memories when we were forced to get creative with our limited options for communication. Sometimes, the only time that worked for all of us to communicate was dead in the middle of the night, and there was even a time when I had to hide out in a restroom (which was the only available quiet place at the time) in the middle of my internship lunch break to interview a Hollywood inside source!
Can you describe what GIRLTALK Magazine is all about?
Charlotte: Our magazine was created to be an accessible platform for conversation regarding how gender expectations affect people in so many ways. We want to empower young women and girls to be active, fearless members of society. As Eunice explained, we came up with this whole idea sitting in a Starbucks. We decided to approach our frustrations regarding gender inequality with a hopeful attitude by creating a forum for dialogue. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by so many intelligent, outspoken, and passionate women, and our goal is share their ideas with as many people as possible. We also value including a diverse range of perspectives. Bipartisan articles by people who disagree with the way modern feminism has approached their cause can be found in multiple issues. We believe that it is essential for any activist movement to avoid polarizing rhetoric.
You two are only in high school, how do you manage to run an online magazine and balance being a teenager at the same time?
Eunice: It’s definitely difficult to maintain a healthy balance between academic, social, and extracurricular responsibilities. However, GIRLTALK has never felt like a burden to either of us, as we both cherish the impact GIRLTALK has brought to people who are empowered by our magazine. Working on each issue, which brings together such an incredibly diverse and uniquely talented group of writers and editors, continually inspires Charlotte and I to develop GIRLTALK Magazine to reach more voices and readers. The new perspectives, information, and inspiration we’ve gained from GIRLTALK Magazine has granted us more confidence and knowledge to better approach daily obstacles in our lives — even if it may be for typical teenager problems like a high school crush or homework overload.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are and why?
Charlotte: My mom inspires me every single day. As a female TV producer, she is one of the few women who have reached a position as high as she has. I watch her remain strong but kind at the same and refuses to let anyone be treated unfairly. She works hard not only as a producer, but as an amazing mother who is devoted to raising my sister and me. Her devotion to the family she has built is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. As Eunice said, we have a lot to manage and a lot on our plate, so seeing my mom balance motherhood with work in a field that is historically difficult for women to succeed in motivates me. I want to see a world where women like my mom don’t face nearly as much injustice as they do in the status quo, and creating GIRLTALK allows me to pursue this goal.
Eunice: Although I have distinct female role models such as my mother, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Maya Angelou that inspire me, I am grateful for my everyday interactions with women who embody power, strength, and fearless courage. I am inspired by the woman I talked to at the bus stop, who was on her way to her third job of the day to support her family as a single mother. I am inspired by my LGBTQ+ friends who speak out against harmful gender stereotypes and inappropriate gendered pronouns. I am inspired by “everyday” women working hard, speaking out, and advocating to make everyday better.
How do you hope GIRLTALK and the voices of the younger generation can bring goodness to the world?
Charlotte: The younger generation is growing up in a world where sharing ideas is the easiest it’s ever been because of so many new forms of media. This, of course, has both upsides and downsides. But, by being able to witness mistakes and success in dialogue through media, we will be equipped to participate in conversation in a world that is changing so quickly. As the editors of GIRLTALK Magazine, we believe that being outspoken is so important. Doing so in an articulate and educated manner will lead to the most successful change.
What are your “5 Things We Wish Someone Told Us Before Starting A Global Online Magazine While Still In High School” and why?
1. Prioritization. Everytime we brainstorm for a new issue, we have a million ideas on what we want to write about. One important thing we’ve learned is to organize each issue by theme, and not be afraid to re prioritize and save some ideas for later!
2. Reach Out. Don’t be scared to reach out! It’s amazing how open and helpful many female professionals, non-profit organizations, and advocacy groups were when we reached out to them for GIRLTALK
3. Mistakes Are Okay. We have learned so much throughout the process of building our magazine, website, and readership. We’ve run into a lot of issues (especially technology based!), but mistakes are key to growth.
4. Communication Is Key. There are so many people involved in creating each issue behind-the-scenes. It’s important to make sure the whole team working on the issue knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and when to avoid confusion and complication.
5. Have Fun and Remember Your Purpose. Creating a magazine about a topic you care so much about should be fun! Not only are we co-editors, but we are also close friends, who laugh together and are passionate about empowering girls around the world.
Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S. whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.
Eunice: We would love to have a private lunch with President Trump. Charlotte and I disagree on many of his policies, especially certain policies regarding access to reproductive justice and LGBTQ+ rights. Our private lunch with President Trump would be an opportunity to respectfully engage with Trump’s different perspectives on these issues, and hear from opinions across the aisle in an attempt to understand Trump instead of polarizing him. Our advocacy for gender issues that we are so passionate about will only be more effective if we engage with different perspectives.