Hey, remember earlier this month when side-by-side photos of Girls’ Life and Boys’ Life were posted to the internet in order to make it clear that, despite what anyone wants to believe about equality of the sexes, we’re still conditioning boys to believe that they should have careers and “explore their futures,” while girls should be more worried about looking great this fall and getting that perfect hair to pair with the latest trend (denim, it’s always denim)?
Yeah, that was pretty obvious, wasn’t it? And it was soundly mocked by Twitter and Facebook and every friend who has their head around the idea of everyday sexism. The side-by-side showed everyone how ridiculous the double standards for boys and girls are.
But you know what was missing in all that well-deserved mocking? Someone stepping up to actually show the magazine what a real cover that empowers young girls would look like. Well, that person is here. Her name is Katherine Young and she redesigned the cover to feature Olivia Hallisey, the winner of Google’s 2015 Science Fair. And aside from changing the cover model, Young also changed the types of articles that would be featured in the magazine. Forget about the latest trends, Young’s Girls’ Life is all about doing good, planning for the future, and eating healthy (because let’s face it, teenagers eat like literal monsters).
Check out the cover:
Here’s what Young told Mic about why she chose to mock up an alternate version:
“A girlfriend of mine had posted it and I was so taken back I Googled the images to make sure they hadn’t been photoshopped,” she said in an email.
“The worst part for me was ‘Wake Up Pretty,'” she said. “I mean what the hell kind of unattainable standards are we setting for kids? Being a girl is hard enough without thinking you are somehow a failure just by waking up in the morning.”
Right? And then compare that to Boys’ Life which doesn’t even acknowledge that dudes ever have to worry about their appearance. Nah, it’s just about flipping through the mag’s pages and figuring out whether they want to be an artist or a firefighter.
“I always felt like I wasn’t good enough in my teens and early twenties because my jean size was too big and boys I liked never liked me,” [Young] said. “The popular clothes stores wouldn’t even carry my size. It didn’t matter that I was accomplished, had integrity, and achieved my goals one after another. I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t ‘wake up pretty.
According to Mic, Young says she wants her cover to change the messages we send both boys and girls. That means letting everyone know that girls are “more than just a pretty face.”