There are some things that little girls just don’t need to be exposed to. Like, the terrifying clown movie It (yes, we’re speaking from experience), or magazine pages that are supposed to be fun and lighthearted, but end up dictating what to wear for your body type.
That’s why we’re filing this story, which has the Internet up in arms, under, “Stop Messing With Our Kids, Media!”
Discovery Girls, a magazine for girls age 8 to 13, included a swimwear guide in their latest issue. Had this been a lighthearted story with pretty pictures of bathing suits, no one would’ve batted an eye. But instead, the publication, which has a young, impressionable readership of over 900,000 in the United States, titled the story “What Swimsuit Best Suits You.”
— mama bird diaries (@mamabirddiaries) May 11, 2016
The piece broke down three different body types, offering tips to consider when buying for a new bathing suit, for girls whose bodies are “curvy up top,” “straight up and down,” or “rounder in the middle.”
If you feel your blood boiling, rest assured, you’re not alone. The Internet is outraged, too:
— Madeline Metzger (@MadelineJane6) May 11, 2016
Like, really outraged:
— Taffy Akner (@taffyakner) May 10, 2016
After the backlash, Discovery Girls founder and publisher Catherine Lee posted an open letter on the magazine’s Facebook page apologizing and taking responsibility for the lapse in editorial judgement. “The article was supposed to be about finding cute, fun swimsuits that make girls feel confident, but instead it focused on girls’ body image and had a negative impact,” wrote Lee.
But according to many, the damage was done the second the ink hit the paper:
Very irresponsible of Discovery Girls Magazine. The damage has been done. Well done for letting these young girls and their parents down
— Camilla Kerslake (@CamillaKerslake) May 11, 2016
Let’s let kids be kids, and pick out a new swimsuit based on things that really matter, like does it come in their favourite colour? Or polka dots. Polka dots are good, too.