Women's mags come in pretty much two flavors: Those for the high-school set and those pitching to the 35-and-over upper-middle-class demographic. The former offer little more than recycled tips on ridding your epidermis of pimples, avoiding bad hair days, or snagging that boy in the second row of English class. The latter has decorating ideas that you'll never have the time or money to undertake, or instructions on achieving a movie-star bod without having to pay for it. Thank god, then, for gURL, a sassy, sarcastic and dead-on Web zine for real women that addresses everything from the awkward teenage years to the common dilemmas of the modern '90s woman.
Created by students at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, gURL has just launched its third issue, which continues its ongoing mission to examine our love/hate relationship with beauty culture (look for the completely wacked-out "makeovers" of Web surfers daring enough to submit their photos). There are also excerpts from one contributor's 10th grade journal, a reminder that we all were nerdy and queer at one point in our lives; various comics; and an interview with 15-year-old chess champ Jen Shahad. The site's "Contraceptive Capers" is hilarious, but gURL also offers usable information on things like vaginal discharge (complete with links to medical sites). The "Boob Files" relate various women's experiences with their breasts (small, large, and bouncy have all submitted tales) and there's a directive on how to "Break the Rules"--a response to the man-snagging directives of the best-selling The Rules. It can take hours to surf this whole huge site, but gURL is a great Web hangout for any and all girls--and guys might even learn a few things here, too.