A graphic designer has taken a stand against inequality by taking the “sexist” cover of a magazine targeting teenage girls and transforming it into something incredible.
Katherine Young created the new cover after noticing the stark contrast between Girls’ Life magazine and Boys’ Life magazine, namely that the girls’ cover largely focusses on appearance, while the boys’ cover focusses on career prospects.
In response, Young created her own cover of Girls’ Life - one in which young women are celebrated for their achievements and are given empowering advice.
She tweeted the two covers on social media and, understandably, received a lot of praise for her version.
Young was prompted to redesign the cover when author Jennifer Wright tweeted a picture of Girls’ Life magazine next to Boys’ Life magazine, with the caption: “Why are you feminists always complaining? We treat boys and girls exactly the same.”
In Girls’ Life magazine, which is aimed at teenage girls, the focus is predominantly on appearance - whether that’s how to achieve “your dream hair”, what fashion to wear or how to “wake up pretty”. Snore.
Boys’ Life magazine, on the other hand, is all about encouraging young men to “explore their future” and aim high.
Finding the publication’s attitudes towards gender frustrating, Young recreated the front cover of Girls’ Life and swapped the appearance-based headlines for ones that said “Girls doing good” and “Your dream career”.
She tweeted a picture of both magazines sat side-by-side with the caption: “Suck it #GirlsLife.”
The magazine change went down a storm on social media, with some saying they’d love to read a magazine like the redesigned version and others praising the fact Young had picked the Google Science Fair winner of 2015 to feature on the front.
David Wertime, senior editor of Foreign Policy magazine, tweeted to say he’d love to see more empowering publications like this on newsstands.
After plenty of retweets and favourites, the story was shared as a Twitter moment highlighting what magazines for young women would look like if they “weren’t cliché and sexist”.
In response to the cover, a Girls’ Life spokesperson told Mic: “We are so proud of every page in every single issue. Girls’ Life serves a dynamic audience of 2.16 million tween and teen girls who have a variety of passions.
“That’s why every issue is packed with a rich blend of content centred on friends, family, fun, fashion, community, crushes, crafts, cooking, confidence, futures, fun, fashion, role models, style, self-esteem and more.
“This meaningful mix is why we’ve won dozens of awards for our high-quality editorial and outstanding photography — and why we’ve been the #1 magazine for tweens and young teen girls since 1994.”