Site by Princeton Teens Gains Renown for Speaking Up and Out.
By Tahirah Khan
Founders of Multi Magazine tout their product as one for voiceless teens.
Their goal is to change the industry not only by influencing, but by informing teens on topics they don’t learn in a textbook or at home.
As an example, the editorial teams’ provocative articles include: The Price of Sex, Back of the Bus, “Pre-Existing” Condition and Varsity Virgin. Launched on March 5, 2017, this online magazine was founded and written by Jamaica Ponder, along with a group of current and former Princeton (N.J.) High School students.
The Multi Mag team agreed that it was difficult to write for other blogs or magazines since they were not able to express their authentic selves due to content limitations, which prohibited them from writing freely on racy topics that impact teens.
“There are kids my age who also have things they have to say that are equally important, they just don’t have the same platform,” Ponder said. “I decided that I wanted to create a place in which other people can express them.”
The magazine covers art, food, people, health, beauty, fashion and current events with topics ranging from a woman’s menstrual cycle to gay rights.
“We will do the stuff that other people are afraid to do,” said Health and Beauty Writer Sabine Weldek. “This group of students took no time to expand beyond the ‘usual magazines.
The Multi Magazine articles go beyond offering usual health tips by informing teens on such topics as how to protect themselves regarding sex. They also encourage their readers to share their opinions and even offer platform for them to submit their own articles.
Each month, the team works with a new theme. For example, during Pride Month the article Closets are for Coat Hangers by Weldek was published. Another article, Just Trans Things written by River. M, who is transgendered, was also published to highlight the struggles associated with the transgender experience.
While not many magazines openly speak about teen sex, Ponder used her article, Varsity Virgin, which depicted her peers’ journey to losing their virginity before graduating high school.
The Price of Sex, another article written by Waldek, focused on different types of birth control and the stigma associated with them.
Website founders say it is important for today’s society of teen girls to embrace birth control and use it if they are sexually active.
“I want my daughters (when I’m ready for them) to be able to affordably purchase birth control and not have to feel as though it is taboo while they bring it up to the checkout desk.” Weldek stated in the article.
Multi Magazine has many goals for this year.
“I’d like to see our contribute writers grow,” said Ponder, adding that the team is working to improve the site, expand its brand and look for new contributing writers.