Children’s magazine forced to apologise after article body shaming young girls
A girls relationship with her body can be a tenuous one.
Issues with body confidence have long been documented. The media has been thoroughly criticised for presenting unrealistic expectations and every day we see stories about body shaming.
We’ve come to expect it from high fashion magazines but we didn’t think we’d be privy to it from a children’s publication.
Discovery Girls magazine is a publication for 8 – 12-year-olds. A recent feature on “What Swimsuit Best Suits You” is gaining massive backlash after writer Taffy Akner Tweeted about it.
Spotted by attn: Akner tweeted:
"Hey @DiscoveryGirls, why not include diet tips/surgical options with this?" she wrote. "Your readers are 9, after all. Tick tock."
— Rhiannon L Cosslett (@rhiannonlucyc) May 10, 2016
The article advised curvy girls to “cover up” and said that ties on the side would “draw the eyes down”.
The backlash to the article was so bad that Discovery Girls founder Catherine Lee was forced to respond in an open letter.
“I am in total agreement with all of you regarding this article, so much so that I wanted to make this letter as public as possible. We want to make sure that our girls know that any article that makes you feel bad about your body is not a good article, and should be questioned.”
She continues to apologize sincerely and shed light on the efforts the magazine has made to ensure body confidence in its young readers.
She further stated that the article was an error that will not be repeated.
“As much we like to think that something like this would never happen to us, it did. We’re not immune to making mistakes, but we are always willing to get better and learn from our mistakes. We’d like to thank the readers who contacted us to let us know they couldn’t believe we could make such a mistake. It means a lot to us, because it means you hold us to a higher standard, which we hope you will continue to demand from us. And for those of you who don’t know us as well as our regular readers, our reader’s comments are what keeps us improving. This is what makes Discovery Girls the magazine that we’re all so proud to be a part of. I know with certainty, if you hang in there, you’ll find that no magazine works harder to ensure the well-being of your daughters than Discovery Girls.”
Lee writes that the article was intended to be a piece “about finding cute, fun swimsuits that make girls feel confident.”
Even the original intention is something that has angered mothers.
One commenter writes:
“Thank you for your letter but again, would there be a similar article in a boys magazine about "cute fun swimsuits that make you feel confident?" There is no need for any article that highlights how focusing on your appearance at this age (8-12) will make you more confident. Not developmentally appropriate material. Period.”
Let us know what you think in the comments.