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January 14, 2013 - Jennifer Brookens
Parents are used to being bombarded with their kids sales items: candy and nuts, Girl Scout cookies, and magazines. This past fall, I took a chance on a magazine subscription for my daughter. She's nine now and interested in fashion, but I'm not about to let her have a Teen Vogue or Seventeen. Needless to say, it's tough to find a fine line between fashion and sexuality in the magazine world.
I thought I had found it with "Girls Life," which advertised itself in the flyer as being for pre-teens/teens. Perhaps I was thinking it would be the equivalent of "Boys Life," put out by the Boy Scouts. Anyway, I ordered it in October, so I was disappointed that the first issue didn't come until last week. And then I was disappointed again. On the cover was a girl (some celebrity from the show "Pretty Little Liars,") who has to be at least 19 in a low cut dress with girl's cleavage as the center point of the photo. Um... NO! Not even close to what I was expecting out of "Girls Life." I ended up taking the magazine to work to show my co-workers. Was I that far off base? Am I just being an old prude? Is this what passes for "pre-teen" now, I asked.
"The main article is about sexting," commented one of my co-workers. UGH! This is definitely not the "Girls Life" I had in mind for my girl.
Looking around online, there is a very small niche for girls who might've outgrown "Highlights," but are not ready for the world of boys and bras. My first issue of "Girls Life" will also be the last. At least we already got the scout patch from the sales. Looks like we'll be staying away from the magazines for a little while longer...
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The Girls Life cover that threw this mother for a loop...