We all know that there are double standards when it comes to how we talk to–and about–boys and girls. But sometimes it helps to have the ocular proof, and one photo that’s going viral on Facebook pinpoints exactly what the problem is.
Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll, a Jewish mom living in Israel, recently shared a photo of two magazine covers side-by-side–Girls’ Life and Boys’ Life. The cover of Boys’ Life features in big bold letters, “Explore Your Future,” with the tagline, “Astronaut? Artist? Firefighter? Chef? Here’s how to be what you want to be.” So far, so good.
And then we get to the cover of Girls’ Life. “Fall Fashion You’ll Love.” “Your Dream Hair.” “Wake up pretty!” “The *New* Denim Checklist.”
Notice a trend here? Apparently, we, as a society, want to make sure that boys have the tools to succeed in whatever career they choose, while making sure girls know how to look good in the latest trends. In her Facebook post, Keats-Jaskoll addresses the women on the masthead of Girls’ Life and doesn’t hold anything back, writing:
You are women. Working, professional women. Is this the message you are proud of? Is this why you became publishers, writers, graphic designers? To tell girls they are the sum of their fashion, makeup and hair?
After the photo started spreading (it has currently been shared over 1400 times), Keats-Jaskoll updated the post to add a call to action:
I see this is being shared by many who feel as I do. So, I would like to ask all of you who feel the same, refuse to buy these magazines. Write letters to them asking them to respect your daughters and provide quality articles and information. We are the consumers. We can make the difference for our daughters.
It’s clear this is going viral for a reason–people are fed up with the way media propagates the idea that a man’s value is in his intelligence, while a woman’s value is in her looks. And girls are getting this message from a very young age. Thank you to Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll for speaking out about this. I hope the magazines are listening.