Compare these two covers. The one on the right is Boys’ Life, a magazine sent to members of the Boy Scouts. Headlines focus on careers and success. Science and making things.
The one on the left is Girls’ Life (not affiliated with the Girl Scouts), a magazine targeting girls age 10-15 years. Headlines focus on hair and fashion and dating. Hmmm…what’s wrong here?
Digging Deeper into GIRLS’ LIFE
Was this cover an aberration? Or more typical of their content targeting these impressionable young women?I did a little more digging into Girls’ Life.
On their About Us page, they claim:
“Each issue of GL is packed with the stuff girls crave—real information and advice—from academic success to peer pressure to time-management and stress-relieving tips; from growing up to boosting self-esteem.”
Sounds great. Except here’s the cover right alongside this description.
- 293 Ways to LOOK AMAZING
- We’re Giving You $18,543 in CLOTHES and gadgets
- OMG! Our fav 10-sec HAIR Trick
- 25 BEAUTY SECRETS Every Girl Needs
- The New Rules for LANDING A BOYFRIEND
- WAKE UP PRETTY
- Quiz: TREND SETTER OR STYLE STEALER?
And the girl on the cover is Bridgit Mendler, a Disney actress. Uh, yeah.
Where’s the stuff about academic success or time management or peer pressure? The only message I see about self-esteem is that your worth is based on your looks. Is this the lesson we want young women to take away from this?
And just in case your wondering, this magazine was founded and is run by women. Karen Bokram is the Publisher and Founding Editor. Kelsey Haywood is the Content & Branded Programs Director. Paulette Paxton is Consumer Marketing Manager.
What the ever-loving fuck? It’s that what they really think women should aspire to be? Pretty objects whose goal should be landing a boyfriend?
What a Girl’s Magazine Should Be
Artist and graphic designer Katherine Young says, no! And many women and men agree with her. When Young saw the cover at the top of this post, she decided to fix it. Here’s what she came up with:
- GIRLS DOING GOOD: 100+ ways to HELP OTHERS In Your Community
- Wake Up Hungry? HEALTHY FOODS to Power You Through Rough Days
- BEST. YOU. EVER. BE YOURSELF, WORK HARD, GET GOOD GRADES
- CONFIDENCE! MY FIRST MISS–Miss the Big Shot and Still Win
- YOUR DREAM CAREER: Next Level Planning and Goals
- THE NEW DREAMER CHECKLIST: Get Ready to Live Your Dreams
- QUIZ: Are You Ready for AP CLASS?
And the girl on the cover is Olivia Hallisey, the 2015 Google Science Fair Grand Prize Winner. You could be NEXT!
This is what a girl’s magazine should look like. A focus on academics and career success. Confidence and health. Be yourself. These are the messages we need to give to young women! Kudos to Katherine Young for this much improved cover. Let’s hope the editors at the real Girls’ Life take notice.
You can find more of Katherine Young’s work at http://www.katherineyoungcreative.com.