Growing up, Sharanya remembers not being allowed to read the women’s magazines her mother subscribed to (“not for kids”) and in later years, being denied the Rs.30 to buy the now out-of-print teen magazines off the rack during weekly trips to V-Mart(“too frivolous”). Moreover, the popular online magazines were all tailored to a Western demographic and were not something an Indian teen girl could relate to.
Fed up that 10 years later there was still no magazine in India pertaining exclusively to teen girls, and no platform for gaining peer perspectives on issues ranging from fashion to all things “growing-up”, she decided to start one. “With That’s So Gloss!, we hope to create a free, fun online magazine and community for Indian teen girls and young women to hang out at.” says Sharanya. “It will be especially easy to relate to, given that the content will be generated by the youngsters themselves!”
Women’s magazines may seem superficial but have historically played a central role in female empowerment- shaping perspectives, discourse and national culture. Gloss! aims to be super fun with national as well as city-wise content on fashion, beauty, love, school/college- anything a teen girl might be into. The digital format was a natural decision- see how user-friendly Kochivibe is!
It was studying Humanities in Choice (she was school topper) and dabbling in the excellent public speaking culture reigning in Kerala that sparked Sharanya’s early passion for these pertinent issues. She is currently in her fourth year at IIT Madras where she founded Young Folks Media. www.thatssogloss.com is its maiden venture and will be launching in March.