Ok, now I'm just mad. In researching the bikini story from earlier today, I came across several Girl's Life covers from the past few years. This "best body" madness is a common theme, it seems.

December/January 2008: "New Year, New Body: We'll Have You Feeling Fabulous."


April/May 2008: "Get A Bikini Bod Just In Time For Summer!"

August/September 2008: "Get Fit Fast! Our Insta-Workout!"


December 2008/January 2009: "Get Your Best Body: The Plan That Will Get You Fit Fast!"

February/March 2009: "Get A Better Body Now!", "I Gained Weight And Lost Jobs: A Supermodel Speaks Out."


April/May 2009: "6 Easy Moves To A Bikini Body"


June/July 2009:: "Get Your Best Body: 6 Moves That Totally Work!

And please do not even get me started on the ridiculousness going on in the forums on the Girl's Life website, specifically in the "Healthy You Program" area, wherein girls ask a moderator a body related question, and the moderator responds. Here's an example:

MOD ok my body is outta proportion. I'm skinny on top but my butt thighs and hips r huge. how do I even it out (aka: make my butt thighs and hips smaller)? Thanks<3 MOD


Here we have a young woman who is upset that her body is "outta proportion." She wants to make her butt, thighs, and hips smaller. What would be an appropriate response? Perhaps starting by explaining that her body isn't "outta proportion" but that she has a skewed view of what a "proportionate" body is due to the bs she's been fed by the media? Perhaps telling her to consider her overall health, to embrace her body, to work out to feel good, not just for her hips or thighs? Here's what the moderator offered as advice:

Make sure to work out everyday to tone those areas. -lauren

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE, LAUREN. THIS IS NOT OKAY, GIRL'S LIFE MAGAZINE. How dare you give this girl such shitty information? "Work out more" is your only advice? Your only means of reaching this girl and providing healthy insight in to working out, being fit, and being comfortable in her own skin? This is supposed to be a magazine that encourages self-esteem?!


The bad advice in the forums is reflected on the covers: the common theme seems to be that girls don't just have to get a "better" body—they have to get it FAST. They have to get it NOW. It's one thing to run one pretty poorly thought out article, but to have 7 covers between January of 2008 and July of 2009 feature lines that promise to help girls get a "better" body fast is horrifying and really disappointing. It's hard enough being 12 years old. The world is already filled with misleading messages about body image and healthy eating and exercise habits. It's just sad that even 12 year old girls have to open their magazines (and, apparently, their computer screens) to see a bunch of unrealistic, unfair, unhealthy attitudes staring back at them.

Healthy You Program [Girl's Life Magazine]

Earlier: Girl's Life: Because It's Never Too Early To Hate Your Body