Thanks…but No Thanks.

Purposeful Parent Tip:  Resist the temptations of society to rush childhood.

Today my daughter received a free year of Teen Vogue. And if she subscribes, she’ll get a lovely tote bag too. With this subscription, she will get the magazine’s features on beauty and fashion, see what celebrities and top models are wearing and how she can “get that look” too. She “deserves to look good”, so she should mail in her subscription card today. No thank you.

My beautiful eleven year-old daughter does not need to begin comparing her growing body to leggy, Photoshopped teen models who wear too much makeup and too few clothes. Her fashion sense is just fine and her gorgeous, un-made up face is the envy of her mother, quite frankly.

I don’t know how Teen Vogue knew that I had a pre-teen daughter. I don’t subscribe to any beauty or fashion magazines. And to my knowledge neither does my daughter. I’m careful not to expose any information about my children and do not fill out any surveys inquiring about my family demographics.

How they got this information is not important as big business collects personal consumer data all the time. What I do resent is them thinking that my daughter needs this publication in order to look good and have value in the world.

Call me overprotective, or old-school, or out of touch with reality, but I’d like to see my daughter look her age. I realize the teen years are right around the corner and this battle will get even more difficult, but for now, it’s winnable.

Comparisons to other girl’s looks and clothing choices have already begun but at least I know she’s comparing herself to REAL girls her age instead of teen models that are stick thin and are only appreciated for how they look in a magazine cover shoot. She doesn’t realize that despite how good the models appear on the pages of a magazine that they really do have pimples, their thighs are not that thin, and their hair was made to look that way by stylists who can turn every strand into a shining ray of sun with the perfect bend of curl in the just right place. An experienced graphic artist can make anyone look good with the click of a mouse.

The media bombards our little girls with images of made-up caricatures of pre-teens every day. From magazines to commercials to pop-star videos, what is the message that is being sent? If you’re not wearing the latest fashion or do your hair a certain way or be able to fill out a bikini before you lose your baby teeth, then you’re not worthy? Please….

I tell my daughter all the time that she’ll only a child once. She has her whole life to be an adult and there will be plenty of time to be a grownup. For now I want her to enjoy her age and relish the pore-less skin devoid of wrinkles that need anti-aging products. Celebrate the body parts that have no hint of cellulite that require back-of-magazine miracle creams. Be grateful for the thick, shiny hair that does not need to be drenched in conditioners to regain the sheen it once had.

Thanks for the free subscription Teen Vogue but we’re going to pass. Can you send the free tote bag? That’s something my daughter can use.

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