About-Face equips teen girls* with knowledge and tools to question media messages and support their mental health. Then, they take action in their own ways to push back against messages that don’t serve them.

A teen girl with light skin and dark hair lays on her side while looking at phone screen. The screen illuminates her face in a dark room.

We have an official teen mental health crisis.

The U.S. Surgeon General, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association of Pediatrics have sounded the alarm on teens’ mental health, especially as it relates to social media, between 2021 and 2023.

This is especially affecting girls. Girls’ depressive symptoms increased by 50 percent from 2012 to 2015.

  • Three times as many 12-to- 14-year-old girls committed suicide in 2015 as in 2007.
  • Girls are more prone to overusing social media (and they use it at higher rates than boys).
  • Girls are bullied 22 percent more often than boys are — much of which happens via text message and social media.**

**Source: iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What What That Means for the Rest of Us, by Jean M. Twenge, Simon & Schuster, 2017.

Media can be toxic.

From unrealistic beauty ideals to narrow stereotypes, girls receive dangerous and limiting messages from social media, TV, movies, and real-life events every day.

Learning how to deconstruct those messages and take their own forms of action to create change helps girls see and achieve their full potential.

An audience of teen girls listen to a speaker. Some are wearing matching t-shirts. The image has a bright orange overlay.

We create change.

Our programs for teen girls range from our Education Into Action in-school programs to a weekend program, and our online resources for teens here on the site. We also support their adult advocates — parents, teachers, mentors, relatives, and group leaders — through adult-centered workshops as well as curriculum development and support.


Teaching girls to think critically so they understand how mainstream culture affects their self-worth.


Equipping teen girls with tools they need to question media messages every day.


Inspiring girls to take action against harmful messages, in their own ways.


By choosing issues that matter most to them, girls commit and reinforce the skills they learn.


Becoming activists and leaders who change the world around them.


Igniting inner, personal change that lasts a lifetime.

Girls benefit nationally.

  • Girls* ages 13-18
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • United States
  • All backgrounds, ethnicities/races, income levels

Boys/young men/male-identified youth are included in our point-of-entry Education Into Action Workshops in their classrooms or other spaces.

We are high-impact.

About-Face has reached over 8,000 youth with our workshops. We also reached thousands more via our website and social media, giving them the tools they need to understand and push back against media that harms them.

The results of these programs have been truly awesome. With the support of our PhD-level evaluator using rigorous statistical methods to analyze the results, we have demonstrated a positive impact on:

  • mental health
  • leadership skills
  • self-efficacy
A group of teen girls stand in front of a building with large white columns. They are holding up signs  and smiling at the photographer. The most visible signs say, "Make-up Free Day" and "Show Your Natural Beauty." The photo is dated 2012/11/19 in the bottom righthand corner.

Adults are teens’ key allies.

About-Face supports adult advocates in supporting their girls. We define adult advocates as any adult who supports girls’ mental health, leadership skill-building, and self-confidence/sense of agency — whether it be a parent, teacher, guardian, relative, mentor, or other community member. That’s why About-Face offers parent talks, teacher training, and online resources undergirding all the skill-building we do for girls.

Two women are bending over a table and pointing at materials on the table. One woman has short dark hair with a pink streak in it and is wearing a pink top and sunglasses. The other woman has light skin and long dark hair. She is wearing a red dress and is holding a black jacket.

* A note on the word “girls”: We define this word broadly. When we use this term, we mean “girls and those who identify as girls or who are non-binary”. We fully recognize and welcome trans* girls and teenagers who identify as girls or young women, or who are gender non-binary, gender fluid, or agender. We always treat all participants with respect and understanding, and will never exclude participants on the basis of their gender identity.