The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Society Is Growing Kids Faster Than Battery Hens …

One of the things that is a beautiful nightmare for parents is watching the speed of their children grow up.

At each stage of their development, you think they have reached ‘peak perfect’ and you want them to stay that way forever … but you can deal with their growth because they bring an even more delightful element into their behaviour and, as a byproduct, your relationship.

It’s utterly, utterly magical.

That said, it still doesn’t stop the fact it all happens in the blink of an eye, so while you want to always encourage their development, you just wish it would slow down a little.

The reason I say this is that I recently read about a graphic designer was so appalled at the cover of a young girls magazine, that they decided to release what they thought it should be.

Now I must admit, my first impression to this story was that the graphic designer was probably a self-righteous individual who wanted kids to grow up in the same conditions as they did.

That was until I saw this …

The original cover of the magazine is on the left, their version is on the right.

I’m going to ignore their cover – because you can read how it came about and the story behind their idea, here – however the magazine they redesigned is a real magazine and, according to their own website, supposedly stands for:

Girls’ Life (GL) magazine was founded in August 1994 (yes, we’re ancient, we know) by Karen Bokram. Since then, GL has grown from a 23-year-old’s pipe dream project to a best-selling and award-winning platform for tween and teen girls.

Tweens and teens.

An incredibly impressionable age.

Now look at that cover.

Look at those story headlines.

Now I appreciate I am an old, white male … but they seem to place huge subliminal pressure and expectations on young women.

Wake Up Pretty.

Dream Hair.

Fashion you need to own.

Boyfriends.

If young women want to explore any of those things, then that is wonderful, but I wonder how much of it is because they are being made to feel that way rather than being something they are naturally interested in. Of course, there is something wonderful about learning to develop and grow … but this seems less about personal growth and more about playing to stereotypes – and advertising dollars – so that they can then be judged by broader society.

Of course parents have a big role to play in managing the environment their children play in, but at a time where the World is finally waking up to fighting the prejudice, oppression and stereotypes women have had to face for centuries, it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve this when the World they are surrounded by continues to push an agenda of compliance … especially when they’re titles supposedly designed for the betterment of young women.

Of course this is not limited to content for young women, young boys also have stereotypes of behaviour and aspiration shoved down their throats that are unrealistic and add incredible pressure to their development.

I get children will always grow up too fast for parents, but it is scary how even that isn’t fast enough for media outlets.

What makes it worse is so many of them say their ‘purpose‘ is to inspire brilliance in their readership.

Girls Life specifically say their role is ‘dedicated to informing, inspiring and entertaining girls around the globe—and that includes everything from starting your business (we LOVE spotlighting smart, successful teens) to putting up with periods to styling a personal look you’ll love’.

Which is why I look at the Graphic Designer who screwed with their cover and say ‘well done’ … because I now realise what they did was not act like a judgmental parent, but simply show Girls Life how their cover should look if they are serious about what they claim they represent.


14 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Yes Robert. This is so much more than just protecting your child, but protecting their childhood and the possibilities of who they wish to become.

Comment by Mary Bryant

My wife would make an amazing strategist.

Comment by George

Better than all of us.

In fact all our wives would.

Damnit.

Comment by Rob

Found a new tee for you. https://tinyurl.com/y4moqqr4

Comment by Billy Whizz

You’re an asshole but I laughed.

Comment by Bazza

Oh you idiot Billy.

Comment by Rob

well fucking done billy boy.

Comment by andy@cynic

My best work.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Not a vast array of examples to choose from.

Comment by DH

Good post. Obviously I don’t have kids but I get why having them grow up too fast scares you. I don’t know if you can ever stop that but making sure the information and entertainment that drives their growth inspires rather than pressures their actions would be good. I’m available for all parenting tips.

Comment by Bazza

The problem is our children’s lives have been so successfully infiltrated by the peddlars of conformity that unless we lock our children away, the only 2 options available to parents are to try and slow down theIr children’s hunger for growing older and educate them on how to deal with societal pressure.

Schools are powerless to help because they are so underfunded they have to turn to commercial enterprise to simply stay open, even if these “partners” are driving the problem. It is a crime.

Comment by George

Well said George. And the government doesn’t care because their voters send their kids to overly-priced private schools to ensure that when they grow up, they are even more fortunate and given an unfair advantage than all the kids left to progress through normal schooling channels.

It’s absolutely a crime. Makes me sick

Comment by Rob

they only do it because the people behind the mag have had such a shit life their only way of achieving something is to destroy the fucking lives of everyone else. theyre fucking modern nazi pricks. or agency planners.

Comment by andy@cynic

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