Discovery Girls Magazine Is Being Called Out For Body-Shaming Its Pre-Pubescent Readers


Gone are the days when an eight-year-old's biggest swimsuit concern was deciding between a pink or purple bikini. Because according to tween magazine Discovery Girls, girls now need to worry about how their body looks in a bathing suit.

In an article titled "What Swimsuit Best Fits You?" the magazine created a guide recommending the swimsuits a tween girl should wear dependent on her shape. According to the mag, girls who are "straight up and down" should try and add curves with bold prints, while "rounder" girls should wear a high waisted bikini.

The publication, which describes itself as "the only magazine that recognizes and celebrates the critical period when a girl moves from childhood to the teen years," is now being roasted on Twitter for suggesting that young girls should be concerned with how their bodies look in front of other people, versus say, homework.

Amid backlash, the magazine's publisher Catherine Lee, released a statement on Facebook agreeing that yes, the magazine did make a mistake, and that the article was intended to be "about finding cute, fun swimsuits that make girls feel confident." However, many weren't satisfied with Lee's explanation. 

"Would there be a similar article in a boys magazine about 'cute fun swimsuits that make you feel confident?' There is no need for any article that highlights how focusing on your appearance at this age (8-12) will make you more confident," one commented on the Facebook post. 

"I don't want your magazine telling my 9-year-old that she needs to feel 'confident' in her swimsuit. She has no current thoughts about NOT feeling confident in her swimsuit," said another.  

Read more: What Swimsuit Companies Are Getting Wrong About What Women Really Want

But it's not just Discover Girls that's telling young people what to wear. Just last month, the University of Washington came under fire for policing college students' bodies with a sexist infographic telling cheerleaders the do's and don'ts for tryout gear — natural tan, as well as spray tan, was startlingly a do.

Young people are already inundated with celebrities' "perfect" bodies and a multitude of filtered Instagram selfies. The last thing we need is a magazine — or college — intended to educate young girls, adding to this troubling discourse.