Though I’ve adopted the identity of a New Yorker, I will be the first person to proudly point out that a certain celebrity is a Jersey girl (Queen Latifah, Kelly Ripa, Calista Flockhart, Kirsten Dunst…the list goes on), or that a successful magazine editor went to my school, The College of New Jersey. Exhibit A: Annemarie Conte, a former JANE editor. When I interned at JANE, I must have mentioned around the office that she went to my college about 100 times. It gave my otherwise unrecognized school major cool points.

This month, when I was reading Seventeen, an article called “End AIDS in Africa” caught my eye, because of my trip and because of Alicia Keyes’ photo on the page. And then I noticed the byline — Annemarie Conte!! TCNJ strikes again! But really, school pride aside, I want you to check out the article because it supports what I really believe in — that glamour can drive global change.

Bono once told The New York Times, “Africa is sexy and people need to know that.” I know from taking a Gender & Democracy class that scholars often disapprove of glamorizing Africa and the Third World, but Bono has a practical point. “What is more interesting to me,” he said, dismissing the criticism, “is that we are losing the fight against AIDS in Africa. There are still 5,000 Africans dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, dying for lack of drugs that are available at any corner drugstore.” And if a red T-shirt from the Gap helps raise money for the medicines that save lives, who can argue?

Way to go, Seventeen and Annemarie, for giving this matter of substance appeal to the stylish teen girls out there who can make a difference!

Advertisements