Last month, a photo surfaced on Facebook after someone took a photo of two magazines aimed at teenage boys and teenage girls highlighting the alarming difference of content produced for each gender. This went viral and led to Hollywood also criticising the contrast with Amy Schumer, Katie Holmes and Blake Lively taking to Instagram to slam the magazine cover.
Outraged by this, Katherine Young, a graphic designer from the US decided to give Girls’ Life magazine a makeover and show how she felt the teenage magazine should be published. Instead of teen actress Olivia Holt, she replaced her with Olivia Hallisey who won the 2015 Google Science Fair.
Katherine spoke to Espire21 about the inspiration behind the makeover, how teen magazines affected her growing up and how she feels about the media’s influence of today’s younger generation of women
1. What emotions did you feel that made you want to recreate the cover with your interpretation of how it should be?
I was angry and frustrated. A woman is running for President and somehow crap like this still exists. It is just exhausting. I want to show that girls can be talked to exactly like boys in the media. The cover is just an example of media as a whole and the damaging messages we are still sending to boys and girls in 2016.
2. I noticed that from your blog post that you said ‘we need to do better’ – what change would you like to see and why?
A girl’s value shouldn’t rest on her pretty face and having a boyfriend. If you don’t have those things it doesn’t mean you are worthless. We need to celebrate a well rounded image of a girl and put that message out to the world.
3. Do you feel like teenage magazines had an impact on the way you saw yourself growing up – particularly career wise or to do with your self worth? And how?
I think media as a whole influenced me as a girl. I always thought there was something wrong with me. When the popular clothing store doesn’t carry your size clothing the message “you aren’t good enough unless you are one specific type of person” is loud and clear.If you never see yourself reflected back to you in media you will constantly try to change yourself to fit the accepted image and it sets you up for failure just for being who you are.
You can see more of Katherine’s work on her site here