'If you're curvy up top' - Tween magazine comes under fire for telling 9-year-old girls how to look good in a bikini
A tween magazine has come under fire for printing a swimsuit guide based on body types.
The magazine is targeted at girls between the ages of eight and 12.
Tween girls who are “curvy up top” were advised in the latest issue of Discovery Girls, that “coverage is key” and they should choose a one-piece with side cut-outs or ties to “draw the eyes down”.
“If you’re straight up and down,” the article said, girls were advised to “add curves with asymmetrical straps”.
"Busy geometrics" were recommended for those who are “rounder in the middle”.
The article was titled "Which Swimsuit Best Suits You?"
Different bathing suits are juxtaposed against the text, alongside three illustrated girl figures, each of them meant to depict a different body type: Curvy, straight and "rounder".
The American magazine, which is reported to have a readership of 900,000 young girls, received a lot of criticism online after it published the feature.
It claims that its mission is to "inspire girls to grow more confident and resilient and to believe in themselves." but many angry parents feel this article promotes negative body image issues for children.
One parent wrote: "I don’t want your magazine telling my nine-year-old that she needs to feel ‘confident’ in her swimsuit. She has no current thoughts about NOT feeling confident in her swimsuit."
The magazine's publisher, Catherine Lee, issued an open letter on Facebook addressing the article and made no attempt to defend the spread.
"We want to make sure that our girls know that any article that makes you feel bad about your body is not a good article, and should be questioned," she wrote.
"It’s still hard for me to believe that an article so contrary to our magazine’s mission could have been published on our pages," she added.
"The article was supposed to be about finding cute, fun swimsuits that make girls feel confident, but instead it focused on girls’ body image and had a negative impact. Nobody knows better than Discovery Girls how impressionable our girls are at this age and we are ALWAYS mindful of this."
As the summer approaches and the warm weather fills us with excitement about the things we'll get to eat, see, and do, it's important to remember that, regardless of age, shape and size, everyone deserves to embrace the joy of being in the sun.
Nobody needs to worry about what they can or cannot wear, especially children.