Seventeen Body Peace Treaty

By Tracee Sioux
Seventeen Magazine and Dove are asking girls to sign a Body Peace Treaty to encourage better body image and self esteem in their readership.

I vow to:

* Remember that the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I had one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream tonight.
* Never blame my body for the bad day I’m having.
* Stop joining in when my friends compare and trash their own bodies.
* Never allow a dirty look from someone else to influence how I feel about my appearance.
* Quit judging a person solely by how his or her body looks — even if it seems harmless — because I’d never want anyone to do that to me.
* Notice all the amazing things my body is doing for me every moment I walk, talk, think, breathe…
* Quiet that negative little voice in my head when it starts to say mean things about my body that I’d never tolerate anyone else saying about me.
* Remind myself that what you see isn’t always what you get on TV and in ads — it takes a lot of airbrushing, dieting, money, and work to look like that.
* Remember that even the girl who I’d swap bodies with in a minute has something about her looks that she hates.
* Respect my body by feeding it well, working up a sweat when it needs it, and knowing when to give it a break.
* Realize that the mirror can reflect only what’s on the surface of me, not who I am inside.
* Know that I’m already beautiful just the way I am.

Seventeen Magazine is specifically sited in the APA Report on the Sexualization of Girls. Their “articles about fitness have centered on the need for girls to increase their sexual desirability through exercise rather than improved health . . . encouraged young women to think of themselves as sexual objects whose lives were not complete unless sexually connected with a man . . .asked girls to achieve rigid norms through consumption of beauty products,” states the report.

Is Seventeen Magazine turning over a new leaf, to encourage girls to love themselves, or trying to halt the fallout of the girl revolution where people finally stop accepting their old tactics of making girls feel bad to sell magazines?

While browsing Seventeen’s website I found a few gems for girls like this Dating Respect Video discussing dating violence and asking girls to expect respect from boys. The weight/stress article focused on health rather than appearance (though the photo was of a very thin model on a scale).

I think Seventeen’s Body Peace Pledge is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, girls will take it seriously. Such a pledge wouldn’t hurt their mother’s either.

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