Being a young girl in the digital age is tough – it means you are seeing perfection when there is no such thing. It means seeing illusions of sizes that are nearly unattainable in a healthy manner and it means the chipping away at self-esteem magazine cover by magazine cover.
Each advertisement and article that receives that special airbrushing treatment that we’ve all become accustomed too seems to be getting more and more touched up and it’s concerning.
As an adult who is very aware that these images are doctored, it has become difficult for even me to keep it all in perspective and not judge myself harshly at times, so I can’t imagine what it will do to my young daughters who are growing up with this being the norm. When I was a kid, we didn’t have the digital airbrushing of waistlines or the illusion of no blemishes through puberty – it was a bit more realistic than that.
I’m sure there were still the same body image issues, but I’m guessing they were less pronounced than they are now, so when I saw the articles that have come out recently about Seventeen Magazine‘s response to a teen’s petition to run at least one un-doctored photo spread per month – I was pleasantly surprised at their very public response by their Editor in Chief Ann Shocket who wrote up a Body Peace TreatyÂ which states things like:
We vow to…
- Â Always feature real girls and models that are healthy. Regardless of clothing sizes, being healthy is about honoring your natural shape.
- Celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages. Without a ranges of body types, skin tones, heights, and hair textures, the magazine – and the world – would be boring!
- Help you make the best choices for your body – food that fuels you, exercise that energizes you – so you can feel your absolute best each day.
These were three of eight total vows that the Editor committed to along with her entire staff at Seventeen Magazine. In the article, it states that each and every person on staff signed off on these commitments – and I must say…I dig that.
As a mother to three young girls, I am encouraged that a magazine one of my impressionable gals may turn to as an example, is working to promote healthy beauty versus something else.
Additionally, I think there is merit in having healthy living discussed in a teen magazine. In a country where obesity is an epidemic, I think it’s important that they talk about a healthy diet and exercise – but I believe it is equally as important to approach it in a very careful and thoughtful way and hopefully that coupled with open and careful communication with parents will ensure we have more healthy young girls instead of those who struggle with things like low self esteem, eating disorders and other issues linked to body image.
What do you think about this move by Seventeen Magazine? Do you think other magazines will follow suit? How do you communicate with your girls about body image?