This magazine aimed at 8-YEAR-OLDS tells them how to use bikinis to ‘draw eyes’ and ‘add curves’
A disturbing magazine article aimed at girls as young as eight advises them how to “draw eyes” away from their curves.
The article from Discovery Girls aims to tell young girls how to “add curves” or flatten their “rounder-in-the-middle” body types.
The publishers of the magazine, which has a median age of 10.8 and which apparently has a circulation of 900,000, are now facing a backlash from angry parents and caregivers.
The magazine, founded in 2000, says it aims to ‘give girls ages eight and up the advice, encouragement, and inspiration they need to get through those difficult preteen years.’
“If you’re curvy on top, coverage is key!” the article reads. “A bra-like top offers extra support. Side ties and cut-outs draw the eyes down.”
It goes on to give “advice” for girls who are “straight up and down”, saying they should “add curves with asymmetrical straps”.
Eight-year-olds who are “rounder in the middle” should wear “high-waisted bottoms”, if they choose a bikini.
Many have pointed out how impressionable kids are at the young age, and some have labelled the article “dangerous”.
Taking to Twitter, many parents suggested the article is harmful to girls who are already under immense pressure, and could add to the problem of eating disorders or body dysmorphia.
Others asked whose eyes are going to be “drawn down”, and from where?
The language used to tell girls how to deflect or draw attention to their bodies, and how they are viewed is the problem, say critics.
“The spread claims girls who are ‘curvy up top’ should go for a one-piece with ‘side ties and cutouts that draw the eyes down,’” says Gabrielle Noone, writing for NYMag’s The Cut.
“Who exactly is the owner of these ‘eyes’ that are being ‘drawn’ toward tweens in bathing suits and how can we get Chris Hansen on their case?”
The publisher and founder of the magazine, Catherine Lee, on Tuesday took to Facebook to address the controversy.
She wrote: “As the founder of Discovery Girls magazine, and even more importantly, the mother of the first Discovery Girl in 2000, I am in total agreement with all of you regarding this article… 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.… We’re not immune to making mistakes, but we are always willing to get better and learn from our mistakes.”