Words and Deeds
For anyone who's been a regular visitor to FeelMoreBetter, our feelings about Seventeen and Ann Shoket are pretty well established. In a nutshell, we think Seventeen is the devil, and that Ann poses as an advocate for girls when she's really an advocate for advertisers. Not that there's anything wrong with that ~ unless you think there is, of course, and unless you pretend otherwise.
As we've said before, we hear Ann's nice. And her job is to do what she does, which is support an advertising driven business. Whatever pays the bills, right? And as for Seventeen, we know there are a lot of women and girls who've grown up with it and love it, and are none the worse for it. So why "the devil"? Because of their duplicity. Because they pretend to be something we don't think they are. Because they (and she) pretend to be "healthy media" when they perpetuate body-and self-dissastisfaction in word and deed. It's not just about their images. The images we're shown are as much about what we the people want to see and what causes us to buy as anything else…and many of them are advertiser driven and provided. But it's also their words. Here are some of their words from just the August issue (the caps are ours), the same issue where they offer up their "Body Peace Treaty". Are these words (most of them headlines) really consistent with preaching about body peace? Um, not so much.
BEST cuts EVER
HOT NEW looks
Your BEST NEW look
BEST curls EVER
your BEST BOOTY
The PERFECT formula to looking SLEEKER
SHOW OFF your BUTT
Seventeen PERFECT fit
LENGTHEN Your Legs
FILL OUT your frame
SLIM Your Thighs
BALANCE Your Height
That's a lot of perfects, bests, prettiests, and butt-showing-off for any audience, let alone an audience Seventeen's age. That's a lot of suggesting that whomever you are and however you are isn't good enough, and that you should strive for and seek more and BETTER and NEW (to say nothing of slimmer, sleekier and more bootylicious.)
Look, I like more and better and new too. In and of themselves, they're not bad…and wanting them is always a matter of personal and individual taste. But to Seventeen and Ann we again say don't pretend to be what you're not. Don't pretend to be holier than thou when you're not. Don't pretend to be about the accepting who you are when you're preaching being different. Think about Teen Vogue for a moment…it is what it is, does what it does, and makes no pretense about it. Don't like it? Don't buy it. They don't pretend to be anything other than they are. Maybe we could all learn something from that.
Now, and we want to be fair here, the same issue also featured:
Beauty ISN'T Skin Deep (though it also said in the same breath: if you bring this issue in you can get free nail polish)
STRONG = SEXY
All good things. On balance though…they're not balanced, not even close to balanced, really…and they pretend to do and be otherwise.
To Ann and Seventeen (and Hearst) we say stop posing. Be who you are. Be more like Teen Vogue, um, kind of. The devil's in the duplicity.
To you guys, we ask ~ what do you think?