This 10 Year Old Girl Just Destroyed Women’s Magazines’ Superficial Definition Of Beauty


Notice anything about the images on the magazine covers above? Aside form the picture of Tiger Woods on Vanity Fair, all the women fit into a very narrow ideal of what women’s magazines and the media think of when it comes to the definition of “beauty”. It’s quite sad, because if beauty is “in the eye of the beholder”, or at the very least subjective, why are we continually being force-fed narrow ideals that are based solely on physical appearance?

When we start to see what kind of long-lasting damaging effect these standards have on young girls, it’s important to take a stand as women, as big sisters, aunts, cousins, mothers, and caring community members. It’s not just women’s magazines that play a big role in how young girls shape their ideals of body image and beauty, because there are plenty of teen mags that contain just as much hyper-sexualized messages.

In the United States, 20 million women suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, according to The National Eating Disorders Association. And media messages play a role in perpetuating these unhealthy ideals about self image.

An analysis of the top 4 teen magazines by Kaiser Family Foundation found that 44% of the articles focused on dating and sex, and 37% on appearance. Only 12% of the articles were reserved for topics like school and career advice. said when the same girls who read these teen magazines then graduate to reading adult magazines, where heavily photoshopped models and articles about beauty advice dominate, that’s when we start to see effects like eating disorders, body dissatisfaction and the firm notion that their appearance is just not good enough.


Well one 10 year old girl decided she was sick of this cycle and spoke out about it in a way that has gone viral. Tish Melton is the daughter of  ‘Love Warrior’ author Glennon Doyle Melton, who shared an incredibly powerful story on her popular blog Momastery. In a post titled ‘Pe-TISH-ion’, Glennon starts off with a candid admission from her daughter.

“Two nights ago, my ten-year-old daughter, Tish, who is a younger version of me (in every wonderful, terrifying way) sat on my bed and said with a shaky voice, ‘Mama, the other girls are all skinny. Why am I different?'” she writes.

Glennon then goes on to describe how shocked she felt, because at age 10 she too started noticing things about her own body which sadly led her down a journey of bulimia which lasted for 20 years. Needless to say, she freaked out knowing that she did not want her own precious daughter to go through the same experience. After gathering her thoughts, she had a talk with Tish which ended up becoming the spark for something amazing.

“Tish and I sat on my bed for two hours and talked about everything. We talked about all the messages girls get about staying small and quiet and competitive and how that’s all horseshit meant to keep girls weak and separate from each other, so we can’t join forces and lead. We talked about how hard and wonderful it is to have a body, and we talked about what, exactly, bodies are for. I did my best. The truth is – I’m still learning what it means to be a woman and how to live comfortably inside my body. Ten to forty has gone by pretty fast,” she writes.


A trip to the bookstore after this talk gave Glennon another opportunity to share some important messages about what girls see in the media and all around them in society. Tish was stopped in front of the women’s magazine section and Glennon noticed this.

“She stood in front of…covers that all displayed pictures of women, each blonder and more emaciated than the last, each angrier and more objectified than the one before. These magazine covers held up a certain type of pretend woman for all to see as the pinnacle of female achievement. Tish stared,” recalls Glennon in her blog post.

Instead of just pulling her away, she decided to engage in a conversation about Tish’s thoughts on what she was seeing. She pointed out that each of these magazines are trying to teach women and girls what it means to be a successful woman, by focusing only on the physical aspects.

“I picked up a magazine and we looked at it together. I said, ‘Tish, what do you think women’s bodies are for?’ And she said, ‘Writing, running, hugging.’ And I said: ‘Are women’s bodies for selling things?’ She said no. And I said, ‘That’s why this feels bad to you. Because this is a lie. There’s nothing wrong with you, baby. There’s something wrong with THIS.’ She nodded,” writes Glennon.

This simple, yet powerful, conversation started the wheels turning in young Tish’s head, and when they went home, she locked herself in her room to create a petition (hence the blog title). This was the badass result:


There is so much that we love about this pe-TISH-ion. The fact that it is titled “Help Save Humanity” shows incredible insight on behalf of this young girl, as well as her passion to change the status quo for women. It should be a celebratory moment for mom Glennon, but also a powerful witness to all the other moms out there who have young boys and girls growing up in a media-saturated world. your voice has the ability to cut through the noise and shape your child’s ideals in a positive way.

Glennon told ABC News that she wants to encourage other moms to really place an active role in their daughter’s lives when it comes to body image.

“Most of the mothers I talk with have the same body image problems, which is why it’s so tricky…But we don’t have to have it figured it out before we teach it,” she said.

“Girls either get sick or angry. You can take it internally and feel shame and feel like it’s your problem and then get sick or you can see it as the world’s problem and then you get angry. If we can raise a generation of girls who get pissed about it, things may change,” she added.

It is a sobering thought to see that even today with all our enlightenment, empowerment and Oprah-esque resources to help us conquer the world as badass, strong, independent women, there is still a battle raging in society. This is the force that seeks to keep women from reaching their full potential and feeling good about themselves. It is an army that preys on our lack of self-esteem, which starts from the day girls start noticing bodies and hearing messages related to what they are “supposed” to look like.

Each of us has the ability to change this and instill in our daughters a sense of confidence, beauty, and belonging that begins from within.





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