Posted by: sallygrace1993 | October 9, 2012

Cosmo-Gandhi

I have been in a Marie Wilson’s Closing The Leadership Gap state of mind – believing, “Don’t wait for the culture to change.  Change it yourself”  (Page 71).  This is basically just another term for being in a Gandhi state of mind – “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  I want to work in the magazine/newspaper industry in the future.  I believe I want to work for Backpacker, Outside, or National Geographic, mainly because outdoors and exploring is my passion.  I don’t dislike fashion, though.  I will tramp around in a swamp with a bow in my hair, thank you very much.  However, it’s hard to flip through a fashion or beauty magazine and not feel worse about yourself by the end.  Even when my confidence isn’t compromised, I will often feel yucky realizing how much time I spent filling my mind with materialistic concerns.

            I keep thinking about this one article I read.  It was in Allure, or Glamour, or one of those.  It spoke about how most men prefer women with curves, and gave all kinds of percentages backing up the fact.  I realize the article was trying to promote self-esteem, but as a scrawny, awkwardly skinny fifteen year old, my heart sunk.  I tried to tell myself it didn’t matter, brains and personality was more important, all the usual.  But it was too late; the words had plummeted to a deep, subconscious level and never left. 

            My first reaction is to never let my someday daughter read such publications.  But I don’t want to keep my children in a bubble – facing the realities of society head on and dealing from there is the only way they will become strong and independent – I know that.  So perhaps I will just have to change this material that is brutally haunting girls, disguised as the path to beauty.  My initial inclination would be to eliminate any article implying that what boys think of girl’s bodies is important.  However, the business part of me knows this is what girls want to read.  Not providing such information would not stop the demand for it.  As teens, girls are interested in boys. They might be embarrassed to talk to their parents about it all, or feel un-cool doing so, thus they seek out the colorful and popular magazines.

            I believe one solution would be changing the angle taken on an article like the one mentioned.  Why can’t it emphasize that men like healthy women best, and the appearances of healthy vary?  On a positive note, I think the idea of CosmoGirl’s “Project 2024” encouraging girls to run for president was excellent.  On a negative note, the fact this magazine shut down publishing is concerning and demonstrates the work still needed. 

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