Stereotypically, girls are expected to be clean and quiet, care about their looks, aspire to marriage, and be subordinate to men.
As feminism has become more widespread through the power of social media, many have called out the unfair stereotypes that are directed toward girls.
People have protested ads, commercials, and clothing, along with anything that suggests that boys are all about being strong and career-driven while girls are all about fashion and looking cute.
Though society has made advances to undo some of these implications, there is still much to be done.
An example of this comes from the August/September 2016 cover of Girls’ Life magazine.
Started in 1994, Girls’ Life claims to be “packed with the stuff girls crave — real information and advice — from academic success to peer pressure. Plus GL profiles real girls facing real challenges.”
Unfortunately, it is not really packed with the stuff “girls crave.”
A few weeks ago, Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll, a mother of two girls and three boys, posted a side-by-side picture on Facebook of Girls’ Life magazine and Boys’ Life magazine.
The Girls’ Life cover features actress Olivia Holt with the caption “steal her style secrets”, and has topics including, “fall fashion you’ll love,” “100+ ways to SLAY on the first day," “wake up pretty!," and “your dream hair," among others.
The Boys’ Life cover, however, features images of brains, flasks, microscopes, laptops, encouragement to "explore your future”, and many other career-focused images.
Keats-Jaskoll pointed out that the two covers send very different messages.
She said, “Whatever will they do with all those A’s since it is the boy who will be the Astronaut, Artist, Firefighter, Chef? You to girls: Be like this girl. Wake up gorgeous, steal a girl’s secrets, slay on your first day, have fun, make friends…and kiss…and get all A’s. Boys’ Life to boys: Be what YOU want to be. Here are some of your awesome choices! We’ll show you how!”
She then went on to criticize those listed as the masthead of the publication, questioning how they — professional, working women — could publish such a magazine proudly.
Keats-Jaskoll finished her post by stating that Girls’ Life is part of the problem and that they can make a change. Until they change, she says that she will be purchasing Boys’ Life, because she wants her daughters to take the “What Do I Want To Be” quiz instead of the “Am I Ready For A BF” one.
Her post has garnered many comments in support of her message and called for a protest against purchasing Girls’ Life magazines, while others have said that if someone doesn’t like their message, they should not purchase the magazine, which is beside the point.
Of course, anyone can choose what messages they decide to bring home to their children, but the fact that such a statement is out there is already an issue.
All statements to girls should be like those to boys. They should express to both genders how to be the best they can be and how to be whatever it is that they want to be.
Keats-Jaskoll’s post has called for change, and in some way, a little has been offered.
Katherine Young, a graphic designer, made an altered cover of Girls’ Life magazine to reflect what she thinks the cover should be.
Young’s altered version features a photo of Olivia Hallisey, the 2015 Google Science Fair Grand Prize Winner, with the caption “You could be NEXT!!!”
The cover also includes, "Girls Doing Good," "Best. You. Ever.," as well as other topics that promote a strong, healthy message of female empowerment.
This incident just highlights one small part of a very large problem, but the outrage that has come from this shows that many people recognize the issue and are willing to fight for a change.
Banner Credit: Facebook, Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll