B is for Beauty

| April 12, 2014

I found the discussion in Driscoll’s chapter, “Girls’ Magazines,” to be extremely pertinent to modern culture and dialogue surrounding female sexuality. Obviously, girls’ magazines aim towards their young female audience; however, the way in which they address their audience is surprising. It becomes rare to see a girl magazine that does not project an idealized and sexualized female body. In choosing to promote an unrealistic image of the female body, girls’ magazines are subsequently damaging the psyches of those who see these images. Young girls are lead to think that these rail-thin models are ‘beautiful’ and that they should strive to become just like them. These images of bony models, which are often photoshopped, are ubiquitous in the media. Why are girls’ magazines promoting unhealthy, skinny body types instead of including the more realistic size 16? As Driscoll writes, “The body produced, consumed, and recorded in girls’ magazines refers to what might be called her sexualized gender identity – the girl – delineating a simultaneous and equated development of gender identity and sexual identity” (75). Every part of a girl magazine seems to cater to criticizing and evaluating the female body. Not only are the images representative of that fact, but the articles within the magazine also concern makeup and clothing. I hardly ever see girl magazines that contain articles discussing females in the workforce. When young girls read magazines whose sole focus is fashion, it becomes a rarity to see women striving in occupations such as business or law.