(submitted by OOC; photo provided by http://socialitelife.com/)
Hey Seventeen, really? Do you feel no accountability for the way young girls think of themselves? We're asking because on your cover, right below the parts where you tell young girls how they can LOOK HOT IN A BIKINI and GET FLAT ABS & A CUTE BUTT (really?!), you put THIS HEADLINE: EXCLUSIVE! Demi Lovato's Road To Recovery quoting her: "I basically had a nervous breakdown." We're just wondering what role you think you and your cute butt tips for young girls might have played in that breakdown. Any?
See, we look at it like this. You're advising young girls to "look hot in bikinis" on the one hand, while telling the sad and brave tale of a girl who's recovering from AN EATING DISORDER and battling the debilitating pressures of the perfection you're sugesting is accessible and reasonable on the other. At best, this is crazy-ass mixed messaging for young girls. At worst there's a cause and effect dynamic that you're just ignoring to the serious detriment of those you exist to serve (the girls, not the advertisers).
We're not saying you're all bad Seventeen nor are you alone. You're neither. We're all culpable. We're all responsible, and the effect is cumulative. But just because we're all responsible doesn't mean that you aren't. Yes, you've got articles on "how to deal when you feel like food is controlling your life" and you've got a "feel-good challenge", and piece on how important "your BFFs are" (after all, who else'll pick you up from the clinic?).
But look at the language you use and the expectations you're selling. Please. Want a cute butt, want a dream wardrobe, want shoes to die for, want perfect hair, want perfect shine, want a dream room? There's a whole lot of wanting going on on your cover and inside your pages. Don't get us wrong, we want a cute butt too and we get that want sells. But you're creating largely unattainable and unsustainable expectations (some that'll last a lifetime) not just wants. We want you to recognize your power, that what you say matters, that what you do matters. You know that. And you do some real good. You also do some real harm. We say choose more of the former and less of the latter moving forward, please. That's what we really want.