On Tuesday, Amy Schumer took to Instagram to share a photo you may or may not have seen on Facebook: a side-by-side comparison of recent covers of Girls’ Life and Boys’ Life magazines.
The Girls’ Life cover includes stories like “Fall fashion you’ll love,” “Your dream hair,” “Wake up pretty,” and a “First Kiss” confessional while the Boys’ Life cover asks its young readers to “Explore your future: Astronaut? Artist? Firefighter? Chef? Here’s how to be what you want to be.”
Shortly after Amy’s post, Blake Lively regrammed the photo and voiced her frustration over the seemingly sexist message. “Wow. @amyschumer I second that emotion,” Blake wrote. “Ladies, let’s not let this happen anymore…”
Katie Holmes also joined in, along with a hashtag #ThisNeedsToChange:
The magazine covers first went viral in late August when Matt Frye, a father of three, noticed the display at his local library in Kansas City. “A sad microcosm of what our society says being a girl vs being a boy means,” he wrote on Facebook, along with the original photo. “With three girls to raise, this breaks my heart. I’ll fight like hell for my girls to not exist in this reality.” Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll, a mother of two girls and three boys, shared the photo two days later and addressed a letter to the editors of the magazine. “WHAT in the name of all that is and ever was good are you teaching girls??” she wrote. “Is this the message you want for your daughters?? 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?”
Karen Bokram, the publisher and founding editor of Girls’ Life, defended the magazine’s cover in a Facebook post published Sept. 2. “To be clear, I feel no need to apologize for anything on our cover or in our magazine,” she wrote. “And it’s probably beside the point that all of the haters who have contacted me admit they have never actually read ANY issue of Girls’ Life, no less the one being slammed (as one snarkily said 'let me guess, you have all sorts of empowering articles on the inside.' Well m’am, yes). The only thing that mattered to them was the fact they could shame us for talking about hair, clothes, beauty and boys (and ignore whatever our actual magazine might contain).”
As the Today show notes, Girls’ Life and Boys’ Life are not affiliated with each other. In fact, the latter is the official trade magazine of the Boy Scouts of America. Katherine Young, a graphic artist, has since reimagined a more appropriate cover for young girls. It is 2016 after all.
- Katherine Young (@Katersbonnevill) September 8, 2016
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