Appalled Graphic Designer Shows Girls' Life Magazine What Their Cover Should Look Like

Appalled Graphic Designer Shows Girls' Life Magazine What Their Cover Should Look Like
Appalled Graphic Designer Shows Girls' Life Magazine What Their Cover Should Look Like

Looking back, when I was a teenager, I likely wouldn't have bought the magazine on the right because the titles sound too overly preachy, like something you'd see in one of those cheesy after school specials or a pamphlet your guidance counselor would give you. For me, personally, I used magazines as sort of a fun escape to read about fashion and hair tips.

That is not to say that we don't have issue with how we portray romance, body image, and relationships (platonic or otherwise) in media, but this design feels like an overcorrection. There needs to be balance. There's nothing wrong with girls wanting to reading about makeup, fashion, or hair -- those are all fun -- but it shouldn't be solely that. And, honestly, I feel like if the magazine was solely like the articles on the right, it would add more anxiety to many of our overworked and overstressed teens.

I grew up reading American Girl Magazine (and playing with the dolls, back when the company was still about history). It had so many great sections, including writing competitions, advice columns, fun things to maintain friendships (which friends I wrote letters to still remember) and my favorite: a paper doll of a real life girl who had done genealogy research on her family, with outfits for 4-5 generations.

I have no idea if this is still a magazine, but I would read these cover to cover, and as I remember it it catered to all of a young girl's interests without focusing explicitly on looks and fashion but without excluding aspects of it, either.

Actually I miss all things late 90's American Girl. It was an essential element of my growing up and gave me a lot of self-confidence.

Yeah, I'm a teenager and the one on the right, while carrying a nice message, looks cringy as fuck. That's something my mom would buy for me- I wouldn't be caught dead buying it myself XD


Teen confirmed.

It is such an uphill battle - clearly, the redone cover is the better cover and I think a lot of women and parents would rather see younger women aspiring towards desiring the redone cover ... sadly, I really think that most girls would choose the original cover and the content inside. It's a deep issue.

One of those books actually saved me in a bad situation. I was caught in a rip current and remember reading in an American Girl doll book my mom gave me about just life stuff in general to swim parallel to the shore. I was halfway back before the lifeguard was even in the water.

appalling graphic designer


I would love to see publications for girls that features content from both sides. Growing up I loved fashion because it was pretty and artistic and I craved beauty tips for my hair and makeup because I was desperate to be pretty and fit in. I could always find what I wanted in those magazines but what I needed was lifestyle advice. It would have been awesome if those magazines had sandwiched career articles and tips on how not to be a terrible friend in between the stuff that sells. And perhaps they did and I wasn't paying attention. I just bristle against the holier-than-thou attitude that girls should be taught never to be feminine and care about beauty, because they naturally just do.

Yeah, I feel like I can't really blame them. They're just putting out what they know will sell better.

But it doesn't look as good when you see the magazine next to Boy's Life. I'm sure boys would be more likely to buy a magazine with photos of women in bikinis and articles about sports cars, guns and video games but they get a magazine about how to plan for their future.

I came here to say the AG magazine still hits all of these points. My daughter loves it.

Ultimately that's all that matters, people can say what they want but we vote with our wallets. They don't make magazines like the ones on the left as some giant conspiracy to oppress women. They do it because that makes money.

When I was a teenager I completely ignored all the girly magazines and skipped right to all the Teen Beat types so I could have all the cute guys all over my walls 😍

This one simple trick makes this overweight 32 year old redditor appear 17 and cool. Fashionistas hate him! XD

this design feels like an overcorrection

Ding ding ding, we have a winner! It's actually pretty condescending to tell girls what they SHOULD be reading/interested in. I read Girl's Life when I was the target audience and I liked the relationship articles and such. Who's to say that that was wrong?

I have a problem with this actually. What's wrong with women having hobbies that include fashion, makeup, etc?

I'm a woman working in a STEM field. I've always been very driven career-wise, and I've always had lots of support from my parents and teachers to pursue that. But when I was relaxing and picked up a magazine to read, I wanted to read about new makeup techniques, what my favorite celebrities were up to, what shoes are in fashion, silly personality quizzes, etc. I wasn't interested in reading a magazine about being academically successful.

Why is it okay for boys to have non-academic hobbies, like cars, video games, sports, music, or anything else they're into, but whenever women are into traditionally feminine hobbies, it's seen as unintelligent or wrong? I think this is actually pretty antifeminist.

I don't like this. The Girls' Life Magazine cover makes me crazy, but honestly, so does the "fixed version." They're different sides of the same coin, one says that women can only focus on being pretty, and one that says women can only focus on being smart, when really, girls shouldn't have to pick one. The magazine is directed towards teenagers, right? Well let's be honest, here, teenagers (boys, girls, nonbinary, ect) tend to care about their first kiss and relationships and their appearence. They just do. They also tend to care about making good grades and getting into a good college, because the idea that a woman can either be pretty or smart is flawed. If this graphic designer wanted to fix the magazine, she would have included parts of both sides. I'm a teenage girl, sixteen years old, and it upsets me to see how adults are still trying to push us into one or the other categories. Before I moved to a school that didn't offer them I was in AP and Honours classes, but I still wore makeup and did my hair and wondered if I'd get my first kiss in highschool. Yes, magazines need to make a push towards telling girls that they are strong and smart and talented, but dropping everything that relates to teenage romance and fashion isn't going to help anything, it is just going to push us into a whole new realm of shit, and I don't want to have to choose between horseshit and bullshit. I know what it is like to be judged for not being feminine enough, and I know what it is like to judged for being too feminine. If you really want to empower and inspire girls, tell them, us, that we can be anything we want to be. We can walk to our first college class, first trade school class, first job, in heels or in sneakers, with a boyfriend/girlfriend/nongender conforming beau on our arm, or not, wearing lipstick or chapstick. Telling girls that being dressing to make themself feel pretty and wanting whatever high school "love" boils down to is wrong, is, in my opinion as a teenage girl, who wears pink high heels and dresses just as frequently as sneakers and Daredevil t-shirts, just as poisonous as telling girls that they must always keep themselves looking perfect. Girls can be both, if they want. Neither is they'd prefer. Or just one of the two, if they so choose. But do not, for the love of god and human kind, do not only expose us to one of the two, and treat the other like it is a crime.

I'm sure this is a wall of text, and for that I apologize. Now, before any one person tells me how would I know what is best, I'm on the ground. I see and experience how the idea of being pretty or smart impacts us. And I know that all others in this thread have seen it, too, but in this thread, we are discussing a magazine marketed to girls my age, so for once, my experiences, my age, and my ideas, aren't just relevant, they're important.

Not as extreme as what you experienced, but I found a small section of American Girl books at my library as a 3rd/4th grader that taught me about my periods. Came in really handy because I started menstruating a couple years early before my school taught us any sex ed, and my parents never thought to talk to me about what happens in puberty. AG was the only reason I didn't think I was dying when I went to the bathroom and discovered blood in my underwear that fateful day!

Another ten minutes choosing fonts for the version on the right would have gone a long way

Yeah and a boys life subscription is given to you automatically if you are a Boy Scout so I'm sure that boosts their numbers.

What we don't get to see is how many people are buying each magazine, which is an important statistic imo. The magazines aren't made by the same company, it's just that the company that hold's the Girls' Life trademark decided to go for a more mainstream market, and the company that holds the Boys' Life trademark went for a more aspirational approach. There are girl's magazines that promote ambition too, Girls' Life isn't one of them. I think this is less of an issue than we make out.

Context. It matters.

I also wouldn't mind seeing presence of women in all kinds of careers rather than solely focusing on women in tech and science which seems to be the trend lately. Don't get me wrong either, women in the tech/science industry should get exposure and I wold love to see more in the headlines. On the other hand I don't see much exposure to women working behind the scenes in broadcasting, directing films, publishing great papers in the humanities, becoming professors, starting up a successful business/restaurant, being a makeup artist, and whatnot.

And even then lifestyle advice would be great to get in there. Reasonable advice that can relate to young girls that get them to have deeper connections with their friends and really communicate their feelings in a positive way.

This isn't a fair comparison. Boys Life is the official BSA magazine, while Girls Life isn't associated with the GSA.

As a 17 year old, I've gotta say I like the original cover. I already spend so much time worrying about college visits, AP classes, and working hard in school that sometimes I just want to relax and be girly for a bit. I like makeup, hair, fashion, etc. but I rarely have time for it unless I'm reading these magazines in the line at Meijer.

Thank you. A person who uses Arial for everything is clearly not a graphic designer.

I used to read one of those magazines as a guy. There was a section called "Why me?" About embarrassing situations. Great funny stuff.

The only thing they have the same is the Name. Its not the same company or the same writers. Dont know if you really should compare them.

The books are fantastic too. "The Care and Keeping of You" taught me pretty much everything I needed to know about puberty. That book was my bible from the age of 9 or so well into my teens. I recommended it to a family I babysit for with a 10yo daughter, and was very pleased to see another client with an 11yo daughter already owned it.

"graphic designer".

If one of my designers built this and sent it to me for review I'd be second-guessing why we hired them.

Girls Life has a circulation of 2.4 million annual

Boys Life has a circulation of 1.09 million as of 2013

Not sales per say but all I could find.

How sad, and scary for you. My mom told me about periods when I was 7. I decided I'd be a boy right then. It didn't help. Damn I was pissed until I discovered the random erection issue young boys get.

I am a graphic designer, and... yeah, I'd never send this out with my name on it. Embarrassing!

This right here is why things are the way they are. Teens have opinions and just like with adults, most find PG rated entertainment boring and fake.

People want struggle, competition, and glory. That can be talking about sports, adventure, makeup, fashion, whatever.

If you are not separating the winners from the losers it's worthless.

That's not how demand, marketing, or markets work.

First, demand can be directly influenced. People don't come into existence with pre-set desires; there are lots of things that cause people's desires to change. With enough resources and time, those desires can be pushed in a particular direction. A given alternative might not make as much money now because of such pressure over time. This is what marketing does. Advertisment isn't just "buy my specific product".

Second, of course a lot of things are about money. But it's not just about the magazine. It's entirely possible that magazines on the right could, by themselves, be more popular and sell more issues (adjusting for the marketing effect mentioned above). But magazines are not just about selling themselves; they sell other products. A bunch of articles about the importance of beauty - even if it's implicit - will drive sales of beauty products. A bunch of articles about a clean house will sell cleaning products. A bunch of articles about great cooking will sell cooking products.

Third, no, it's not about giant conspiracies. But things that aren't a conspiracy can still be harmful. The people designing Girls' Life aren't rubbing their hands together gloating over how they've objectified young women; but that doesn't matter. It's not about their intent, it's about the effect.

Reinforcing "you are judged by your beauty and/or sex life" in young women is not the intent of the magazine on the left. It's a side-effect of the primary intent, which is certainly to make money. And whoever is responsible for those magazines either didn't notice, doesn't care, or judges it to be an acceptable side-effect. But we can notice it and call it out.

But it's not condescending to tell girls they should have nice hair? Or wake up pretty? I don't think a woman, or any person really, shouldn't care about vanity, but again, the statement this article is making is that the media is saturated with this kind of stuff for girls.

The actual argument should be why one message is "condescending" while the other is perfectly fine and accepted. Again, where do we draw the line between natural tendencies and environmental norms?

I think that's part of it, but I also think you underestimate how much of an influence advertising has on children. Obviously not talking about babies here, but if we're talking 5-8 year olds, they definitely start to pick up on what are "girl" things and what are "boy" things and that is partly through the way things are advertised. Even things like color schemes on packaging sell these messages, and it's not like it's a natural thing. They pick up on it because kids pay attention to everything, so even the parent saying "no, that's the girl aisle" to their little boy can have a big impact because it is implicitly telling him that those toys are not an option for him regardless of if he wants them. And you take that into school settings, where despite all the efforts of teachers, children are arguably the biggest influence on other children, where, even if a child is somehow prevented from picking up these implicit ideas, they still could very likely end up being bullied by other students for liking "girl" things. As a woman who has effectively given up buying many products directed at women because they are often times just shitty quality, I definitely agree with the overarching sentiment of vote with your wallet. However, voting with your wallet is not enough because these representations do matter.

That's really cool that you remembered to do that. I guess I should start reading this American Girl magazine. I'm a 36 year man though, is that cool?

I think the power of details in graphic design is really clearly demonstrated here. The redo looks like a school project and the initial one looks professional. Even just cutting the girl out from the background and placing her on a white would go a long way in making the right image look more thought out.

And all of her replacement headlines are somehow even more vapid than the original. I agree with this woman in principle, and have spent a lot of time thinking about the ways I would go about raising a daughter in today's terms, but she just replaced fashion terms with other nebulous terms. It seems like she only has a two dimensional idea of what media for young girls should be. If I ever have a daughter, I don't want her to be "a dreamer", whatever that even means. I would want her to be a creator, a scientist, a problem solver--things that are concrete, not vague, dimensionless Disneyisms.

I agree. It's the same thing when people complain about baby clothes and toys being marketed to each gender. There are problems with them, but moaning on social media isn't what the companies respond to.

Just start buying boy shorts for your little girl if you don't like how the girl versions are so short that they show her diaper. Buy your little boy My Little Pony if he doesn't like Avengers.

Why does it matter who it was marketed to? If they start selling way more boy shorts than girl, for example, they'll look into the reasons why and we'll see a change.

To be fair the article does say she knocked this up in a few minutes, but if it were something to be sent on to prove a point, as in this case, any decent graphic designer I know (lots) would make sure it was more polished than this abomination.

If people are so bothered by these publications, why don't they go out and create one that fits their desires?

Wtf is up with wanting everyone to conform to one point of view?

I am in no way drawn to this kind of publication (or the male equivalent), but who cares if others are?

Who made this "graphic designer" the magazine-cover-police?

And cocaine dealers should sell apples. But, for the same reasons they don't: consumer demand and absence of ethics.

But, as a father of a daughter I'd only buy the second one for her, so maybe there could be a market.

I take random erections anyday of my life over what I've heard periods are like

I was going to say, the one on the right looks like American Girl. My daughter still loves the magazine and the dolls.

But isn't it possible that girls would get interested in more substantive issues if they saw it more in magazines targeted to them?

Can confirm. Was a boy scout all through my childhood and I received that damn Boys Life magazine every month. My brother was also in the scouts, so we got two copies for our household. We rarely read them.

the media is saturated with this kind of stuff for girls.

That's the issue. Media have crossed the line. Sure, I grew up in a home where my sisters wanted to look nice, but there wasn't any stressing over it. Today? It's a lot of work to make sure my daughters keep things in perspective. I sure don't remember my sisters discussing "thigh gaps"

Glad someone brought some context to a freakout party. I love how these VERY crucial facts are ignored in the original story.

The bottom left kills it for me.

I wouldn't call someone who used some ms paint text to make a generic "empowering" cover in about 20 minutes a graphic designer.


How do you realize when you're no longer in the rip current & can start swimming back to shore?

For everyone else, here's a nice video of what they look like:

I agree with you and it reminds me of a recent discussion I had with my gf. Were expecting and she mentioned that if it's a girl we won't buy her girls toys or anything girly colored like pink. She wanted our potential future daughter to play with traditionally boys toys like Lego and wear blue or green. I'm 100% ok with her playing with Lego, trucks, or any toy really. Colors don't really matter to me either as I believe that they will just pick their favorite colors on their own. However, after expressing that to her I asked, "So whats wrong with the "girls" stuff?" It took me back because she expressed it like girly things are bad. Why do we treat anything feminine like it's somehow inferior to the masculine? What makes pink worse then blue? They're just colors after all. If her imagination is more girly oriented and involves Barbies is there anything wrong with that? She's learning important communication skills when she makes up story lines in her head. So what if she wants a easy bake oven or beauty toys? In my opinion we should expose her to a variety of toys and let her pick what she really likes. Legos, Barbies, cars, pink, blue, whatever. We don't need to treat traditional feminine interest as inferior because that's kinda sexist and makes women feel wrong for liking things they are most likely going to enjoy. People blame it all on media but really men and women have dressed differently and taken interest in different things for our entire existence. As long as were free to peruse which ever career we like regardless of gender then whats the issue? Masculinity is in no way better then femininity. My girlfriend immediately agreed with me. She realized how anti feminine that previous way of thinking is.

If that were the case, magazines like that would dominate shelf space at store checkouts

I think the important thing to realize is that the proposed magazine cover is not a real magazine, it's just an example of how mags targeted at young girls could be focused on more than just beauty. Yeah, it's sorta cringe - especially the AP quiz part - but the idea that there could be interesting engaging magazines targeted at young girls that don't reinforce and put pressure on beauty standards is an important one that could be accomplished. It's not the specifics of this cover that's important, it's just the ideas of what's being emphasized, and I think it's pretty telling that boys magazines for the same age group are often marketed that way.

I feel like what is sort of missing from a lot of this discussion is that this desire that girls have to want to read about things like fashion and make up is itself a socially manufactured one that is perpetuated by the onslaught of media like this one that tells girls from a very young age that the should be focused on it. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with being interested in fashion or beauty - that's totally alright! BUT the disproportionate emphasis that beauty standards for women are pushed on us at a young age mean that many (probably most in fact) women who would not otherwise have an interest in these things learn that they must because it is literally the most important thing bout them.

Yes and no. I think it's a little of both-- women didn't care about shaving their legs until culture told them to shave their legs. These products can create culture as much as they serve culture.

appear cool

it's not 2004 any more though

PS I am not old

If your daughter never touched the second magazine after 4 months of subscription, would you still pay for it?

So how is fashion and make-up misogynistic? Other than that the other changes seem pretty good, although girls in the market generally don't read magazines like this.

i agree with this - I'm a mental health social worker and I'm very proud to call myself a social worker. It's great that women are being encouraged into STEM careers and I am in a career which is vastly over-represented by women, but I think that younger people should be taught that there are many careers that you can be proud to call yourself a member of. It would also be cool to see more articles in mens magazines like this:

(I know it's sponsored)

I remember growing up and being completely disinterested in Barbie dolls (I preferred baby dolls and Legos), and I always felt very weird about it because everything and everyone around me was telling me I should be interested in Barbie dolls. I thought maybe I was the weird one who was missing something, so I pretended to be somewhat interested in them and got them for years as presents. This was pre-kindergarten. We may think we can completely shape children, or that they don't comprehend external stimuli like television commercials on a meaningful level, but that's just not true.

I feel like they shouldn't have even mentioned that it's a graphic designer then. It seems an irrelevant fact considering how design has nothing to do with the issue, and clearly was not used on the example on the right either.

I agree with this--but this magazine isn't targeted towards seventeen year olds. I remember reading it in third, fourth, fifth grade and remembering that many of the girls featured were my age. In my opinion, that's a bit young to indoctrinate girls with the pressures of beauty.

I think their whole company is based on empowerment for young girls. Im only 15 so when I still played with my AG dolls they still seemed to have good morals. They were all about inclusiveness, and I really looked up to them.

I mean they don't hurt, they turn you on, maybe they get noticed if you're wearing boxers or tracksuits but otherwise thats the summary. Don't listen to people comparing testicle pain to period pains because it hurts but for about 10 minutes unless you've got some serious damage done. Also its not compulsory monthly I haven't experienced any in like half a year

Might I plug Discovery Girls as an alternative? Those magazines exist!

I'm a guy but used to write guest articles and do some backend tech stuff for a teen/young adult women's fashion & lifestyle magazine. We would try to publish articles like on the right from time to time...and promoted them online. They just didn't get read. Its not like these girls are being deprived information they're desperately seeking. For the most part teen girls wanted to read about hair and fashion and Kylie Jenner's lip gloss. They don't want topics that don't interest them shoved down their throats just because somebody considers it better for their gender.

If a teen girl wants to seek out information on careers and community service opportunities, there are plenty of resources to do that. Not every piece of women targeted content needs to push a hardline feminist agenda.

Thanks for sharing this! I'll be looking into getting a subscription for the girls in my classroom!

Former scout here, I would like to further clarify that Boys' Life is the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, so in a sense represents the overall attitudes, goals, and mantra of the BSA. The BSA is a Title 36 federally chartered corporation since 1916 (see wiki) and a 501(c)(3) non-profiit. Their financial success does not necessarily depend on the revenues of this magazine.

By contrast, Girls' Life is very much driven by a for profit organization, Monarch Services which does not have a wiki page. To further illuminate their motivations, see this quote from Wikipedia: "The magazine was once notable for the fact it did not feature celebrities on the cover, but eventually began featuring celebrity covers, the first being Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls. The editor said this was because 'celebrities sell more magazines'." In addition, Girls' Life is not in any way related to Girl Scouts of America; the Girl Scouts published a magazine from 1917 to 1979, but now does not publish a magazine (though has other publications about various topics).

More info about Monarch Services/Girls' Life:

Yes, because it's what people want.

Yeah, when I was a teenager, I read magazines FOR the makeup, fashion, gossipy stuff. It's just what I'd rather read.

One thing about that boys life cover though is that it is cherry picked. It is pretty much the most exemplary cover they have ever had. That cover isn't a representation of EVERY cover of boys life.

Im not saying the girls life cover isn't a problem though, it definitely is. Just saying that the boys life (and girls life cover to a certian very small extent) is cherry picked for the sake of making the differences look bigger than they already as are.( and they already are big)

Apparently, caring about your makeup and hair isn't feminist enough.

Not every girl has to be a STEM major. There is nothing wrong with being a "girly" girl.

Don't apologize for a wall of text. I was like you in high school-- I was a smart kid but I also wanted to look cute. And now I'm in my 30s with a career in an interesting field, and heck yes I get up early to do my makeup before I go to work. It's okay to like both. I'd prefer to see a balance of both on the cover of a girls' mag, the way I wish I could see those things on a women's mag.

Caring about being attractive isn't a girl thing, it's an everyone thing. But caring about culturally-generated fashion standards to the extent that women are expected to is absolutely cultural.

I appreciate what she's getting at, but that's a terrible cover - is this "graphic designer" actually on the new cover.

I don't understand why it has to be one or the other. Like, you can't wear make up and care about your career at the same time?

I've always heard of rip currents, but never actually knew what it was.

To think an AG magazine from the 90's would lead to saving me sometime in the future...

if you are talking about entertainment about conflict, its pretty important, but in everyday life not so much.

Capitalism chooses the left one.

Yes, the idea of taking care of your physical appearance is a positive one. I don't see how telling girls they can have a successful career as a business woman or learn about science topics would overstep the myriad of other sources that tell girls they should be good mothers and wake up pretty.

Once again, it isn't "don't tell women they can't look pretty", the argument is, "how about we don't tell women to just look pretty?"

To that end, I totally agree with you that a good magazine all around should have all that information. As a boy growing up, I had my science magazine (Discovery kids!) and my video game magazines (EGM!) but I never had a decent magazine that also taught me good interpersonal relationship skills. It would have been a welcome to my life, even if my mom would have had to make sure I read it.

Heck, the second cover does just that to a degree with the drama part. In a perfect world, it would be a blend of both, but in my own utopia, it would still lean a bit into the second cover.

edit: moved a word

I would've died for a magazine that had both.

When I went to the store and got my pick of the magazines, I was forced to pick between:

A preteen gossip rag, focused 100% on boys, teen "celebrities", and the hottest looks

Some scientific and nature magazines that were interesting, but not age appropriate

Partly because I was a kid who loved to learn, and partly because I was still in my "girly stuff is stupid, therefore girly girls are stupid" tomboy phase, I often went with the nature mags. They were nice and all, but I still struggled with them: they weren't even for my age group! And in the end, I missed out on a lot of helpful info on makeup and fashion because they were packaged in a format that simply didn't appeal to me.

My point is: If there had been a magazine that had combined useful fashion pointers with interesting, age appropriate stories, I (not to mention my mother) would've eaten it up.

Nobody buys the one on the right. It's no different than people liking superheroes. We all want to imagine being the strongest, fastest, best-looking. Nobody wants to read a magazine about how their life actually is...they live it everyday, they know

From a graphic design stand point the new cover has many flaws compared to original

Pedro picked some good shit.

But they did care about appearing attractive. Details like shaving legs are fashion and can be arbitrary. But caring about fashion? Not arbitrary or cultural.

I've not seen anything like Girl's Life here in Ireland. All the teen girl mags I've seen appear to be focused entirely (insofar as I can judge from the covers) on drooling over young male celebrities. Which is probably healthier than the women's mags, which (again insofar as I can judge from the covers) are mainly about looking good and/or knitting, depending on the type of mag.

Women's mags have middle-aged women on the cover; lads' mags have young women on the cover; men's mags have men on the cover; girls' mags have young men on the cover; boys' mags don't exist.

I was more referring to "XD" having stopped being "cool" a decade ago.

"cool" is certainly still current terminology, although in some regions it's being outpaced by "dope".

Hell yeah, I once got a free year's subscription to YM (which turned into/was sold to (?) Teen Vogue about 3/4 of the way through the sub) and this was my favorite section!

Daaaang I got that sub from Neopets, back when they had "sign up with this and get NP" offers. Good times.

Because it doesn't sell. Its easy to criticize without stakes. Put your own money on the line, make that positive magazine and lets se how it goes. Maybe its not what girls like to read.. not every person cares for productivity, life goals and health. Some men/women want makeup, guns, cars, gossip, and its nothing wrong with that. Righteous people need to relax.

"Help community, careers advice, healthy eating". Its something about his i-know-better attitude that bugs me. Let girls enjoy the teenage years with superficial, reality shows, and boy stuff if they want. Its part of growing up. Being smart and responsible is not mutually exclusive with liking silly stuff. Have fun damn it.

You missed out on the best jokes man!

Mine was the same way. I have a collection of 20-some unopened Barbie dolls. I actually appreciate them now just because it's cool to see the evolution of them throughout my life, but at the same time, it was so much wasted money. People were just getting me what they thought I should like instead of trying to find out what I actually liked. I was lucky in that my parents weren't really like that. but so many other people in my family were. I remember one christmas where my aunt and uncle got my brother this geology science kit. I got a glitter barbie scrap book. That thing remained unopened but me and my brother played with that science kit plenty.

Haha yes, I saw the two covers and thought "Oh, she must have been appalled at the terrible design and boring subject matter on the right, decided to make it actually marketable to teenagers and changed it to the one on the left." Nope.

Boys mags have video game characters on the cover

Dope is making a comeback? That's neat.

If you are not separating the winners from the losers it's worthless.

Holy fuck. Thank god you are a lot less representative of the larger world than you think.

More like (alleged) "graphic designer pushes her agenda while not understanding companies need to make money" (or the software being used).

This is petty, I realize, but the moniker "graphic designer" doesn't seem to fit or add value to the equality issue, and isn't well supported by the "graphic" evidence.

The overwhelming majority of Boys Life covers are about a single outdoorsey subject, e.g. camping/fishing/hiking/etc.. Once in a long while there's an unusual one like OP has cited.

I don't believe for a second that was made by a graphic designer. If it was, not a very good one.

Seriously. That's like saying ABC is "appalling" for airing The Bachelor in a prime time slot instead of a science documentary. They choose the content that more people will tune in to watch. If you don't like that, go find your desired content somewhere else, don't blame the delivery source.

Omg forgot about this book!! I read this cover to cover. Majorly gave me a leg up on understanding stuff like puberty, menstruation, even interpersonal relationships. Years later I would wonder why girls were so confused by these topics haha

this is sad, I guess anyone with paint is now a "graphic designer"...

not to take away from the sentiment but... yeah...

You need to take this back and make it pop.

But we can notice it and call it out.

Agreed. But we should call it out as a crass business practice that can serve to harm society... not as sexism meant to target (or be indifferent toward) girls and women.

In fora like this, this is raised as a political issue. But it isn't, it's just soul-less corporate economics. The baldness-cure ads that basically say to men, "hey fugly guy nobody could ever love, why not choose to be attractive again with our product?" are just as manipulative and harmful... but nobody ever says it's a political issue.

Feminists: I support your choice to be how I tell you to be and not anything else.

A lot of the modern feminism, from my observations at least, seems to be more concerned with turning women into men, roughly speaking. STEM, a career and stuff like that (which is usually associated with men and masculinity) is seen as good and virtuous, while femininity is looked down upon. Couple this with that a lot of the same people beliave in equality of outcome (or in this case an outcame that someone decided is "good") rather than an equality of opportunity and you get this. Which is really quite unfortunate. I, as a man, firmly believe that femininity is as important and valuable to our society and to all of us as masculinity. That, if anything, is what we should teach girls, not that there's something wrong with them if they like the "wrong" things. And that's the kind of message this sends. At least from my point of view. :)