Brains over beauty

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Alison Northcott

It was an evening of Shameless promotion.

At the El Mocambo last Thursday, Nicole Cohen and Melinda Mattos hosted Springtime Fresh, an all ages fundraiser for their soon-to-be-launched magazine, Shameless.

Shameless is an alternative magazine for teenage girls. It aims to defy the stereotypes put forth by many mainstream teen magazines.

“One thing you won’t be getting a lot of is hair and make-up tips,” says Mattos, the magazine’s executive editor. She and Cohen, both recent graduates of Ryerson’s journalism program, came up with the concept for Shameless during their final year at Ryerson. Mattos said they wanted to offer teenage girls an alternative to publications like YM and Seventeen.

“I honestly believe that teenage girls deserve a magazine that treats them with respect,” Mattos said. As a teen, Mattos, 24, loved to read magazines but always felt her choices were limited.

“I read Seventeen and YM, and they made me feel really terrible about myself,” she said. “I think they did that for a lot of girls.”

Mattos is hoping Shameless will fill a gap in the teen magazine market, by offering content that is in line with their readers’ interests. To realize this goal, Mattos and Cohen have assembled an editorial collective made up of 12 teenage girls who act as advisors.

“We have them there to keep us in touch with the readers,” Mattos said. “Being in touch with what girls really want and what they’re thinking and doing and what they like and what they want to read about; it really gives us a window into the readership.”

With help from their teen collective, Mattos and Cohen have derived a full slate of topics that Shameless will cover in each issue.

“We want to offer news, politics, technology, sports, arts and literature,” Mattos said.

Shameless will be launched June 5. For more details, visit their Web site at

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