I’ve recently been talking to Jess Barlow, the creator of The Brainwash Project. Disgusted by the state of the media that young girls often inhale in their adolescence, Jess is on a crusade to create something realistic, helping to encourage strong and confident young women. As part of The Brainwash Project, Barlow recently launched a boycott of Cleo magazine for their unrealistic depictions of women through the use of photoshopped images. The response was huge.
I asked Jess about her reasons behind creating The Brainwash Project. Here’s what she said:
“My high school years were negatively affected by the beauty ideals perpetuated by magazines like Cleo and I want to try to ensure that it doesn’t keep happening.
I’ve never been interested in reading about boys, sex, and makeup but in popular magazines like Cleo and Cosmo that’s essentially all there is. Just because I’m female, it doesn’t mean I like those things.
I want to work with women and girls to create a magazine that truly reflects what we want. I want to help young people have their voices heard and I want to show the mag to the editors of Cosmo and Cleo.“
Creating a media outlet that encourages intelligent women, talks about real women’s issues, and addresses the huge amount of negative body-talk there is in mainstream magazines – that sounds brilliant to me!