Seventeen Magazine and the Body Peace Project | Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Seventeen Magazine and the Body Peace Project

Sometimes I get so excited about the media coming around, but then my hopes are dashed! I had heard that this month's Seventeen Magazine included a "Body Peace Project" to help girls love their bodies just as they are, so I was even planning on buying the October 2007 issue - to the utter surprise of my teens - but then, I looked at the contents online and no where did I see "Body Peace."

Instead, there are articles about the beauty secrets of stars, clear skin, mini makeovers, the cutest flats, make overs for making men hotter, dancing your way to a better body, eating your heart out, the real reason guys act so obnoxious, and dating drama. If the "good stuff" is in there - I will never know, because I cannot buy the issue now. I am back to disappointed!

When I searched the search function I did find a page on the web site that does include the Body Peace Pledge, which has some redeeming qualities. People can sign the pledge 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.
The pledge includes signatures from pop starts, which is great, but if I am not mistaken, some of them have "augmented" their bodies - which makes them hypocrites in my book.

Oh well - back to being responsible for helping my daughters love their (imperfect) bodies, and be conscious and critical of the messages they receive from the media - no help there!

Photo credit: Running Toddler

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.