Leaders and Parents: New Pledge from "Seventeen" Magazine You Should Discuss with Your Girls

Kara Powell | Jul 6, 2012

Yesterday Seventeen Magazine announced a new Body Peace Treaty, in response to 85,000 signatures connected in a petition drive led by an 8th grade girl, Julia Bluhm, from Maine (yes, I said 8th grade) that started in May.

Highlights of the treaty include:

-Seventeen will not change girls’ body or face shapes.

-Seventeen will be transparent about what’s involved in a photo shoot.

-Seventeen will feature real girls who are healthy.

This new pledge excites me for a number of reasons:

1. It shows the power of what one teenager can do.

2. I loved Seventeen as a teenager myself, and yet I remember feeling like I could never attain the beauty I saw in the magazine. I usually felt worse about myself as I flipped through its pages.

3. I once received a list of the Photoshop changes made by a photographer who was responsible for a cover photo of Michelle Pfeiffer. Everything from her shoulder to her earrrings to her jaw was changed. No wonder I felt like I couldn’t look like Michelle Pfeiffer. Michelle Pfeiffer doesn’t look like that in real life herself.

My oldest daughter is 9, and I don’t know that I’m going to talk to her about this new pledge from 17. I don’t think she’s quite aware yet of the beauty pressures inflicted by media, and I don’t want to expedite that.

But for any parents or leaders of girls who are older, PLEASE talk with them about this pledge.

Ask questions like:

1. How do you tend to feel when you see pictures of other girls in magazines?

2. How does it make you feel to know that those pictures are often altered?

3. Why do you think they are altered?

4. What do you think/how do you feel about how you look?

5. What do you think God thinks of how you look?

6. How can our family/small group/ministry remind each other of the reality that we are created by God, and each of us have our own special beauty?

I hope more magazines (and advertisers - they are really the worst offenders in my opinion) follow suit.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


More from this author

More From Us

Hello, WELCOME TO FYI
Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads sent straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.

Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.