Reasons Not To Clean Your Room: A Cover Girl Story

I entered a contest in 10th grade with Brio Magazine to attempt to have the messiest bedroom. I did nothing to make it worse- I just took pictures of the situation. Mainly, it looked like my closet threw up everywhere. And my dresser. And my bookshelf. You just haven’t seen a place like Annie’s Teenaged Bedroom.

I cleaned the room, took the “after” shots, and mailed them all to Brio. [It was 1995, people. The internet didn’t do crazy things like SEND PICTURES.] And a few months later, I received a box from Brio saying I had won a slot for honorary mention and a jewelry case. AND MY NAME WOULD BE IN THE MAGAZINE.

At the time, Brio Magazine was the absolute coolest teen Christian girl magazine and I devoured every copy that came to my home, so the idea that MY NAME WOULD BE IN THE MAGAZINE just about made me pass out.

And so it was. Right there, on the far bottom left corner of the left page. “Annie Downs, Marietta, GA” I can still see it just as clear in my mind’s eye.

Eighteen years later…


Um. Yeah. On the cover.


[Tiny explanation : Brio Magazine existed from 1990 until 2009 and I don’t know the science behind it all, I just know that Susie Shellenberger, who started Brio, now runs Sisterhood and it is a lot like Brio and amen.]

I know. It’s crazy. But the 10th grade Annie that lives in me is pretty much in a constant state of freak out about the whole thing. And so is my family, as evidenced by my father ordering 50 copies of this issue.

Yes. Yes he did.

The people at Sisterhood are the best and have put my piece online. You can read my article here.

If you have a teen daughter, this magazine really is the top teen Christian girl magazine in existence. And that is just one more reason that this whole cover girl thing kinda blows my mind. It is SUCH an honor and you better believe that I’m gonna frame this puppy in my house because WOWIE ZOWIE.

Sisterhood Magazine is doing a special offer for ONE WEEK [and if you are thinking ahead at all for Christmas for a teen you love, this is a duh moment] : you can subscribe to the magazine and use the coupon code ANNIE to get $3 off a yearly subscription. 

You can also get a copy of my issue- just call the number on the bottom of this page and they’ll help you out. I think it’s like $3 or something? I dunno. Ask my Dad.

The moral of today’s story, kids? Don’t clean your room. It will really pay off in two decades.

You’re welcome.

Let's be friends!

Stay up to date with our weekly newsletter. It’s all things fun with Annie.
No spam we promise