Recently a photo of two magazines made the rounds on the social medias, you probably saw it and were probably angry. But did you do more than just judge a book (or magazine) by the cover?
It's not the first time the comparison has been posted on the interest, a google images search shows numerous photos comparing the two but this most recent one really struck a chord in the media world. The picture shows a Girls Life Magazine placed next to the similarly named Boys Life mag. The social media world was outraged, or at least the female side of it, but did any of the angered actually look inside either of the magazines to know what they were talking about and comparing?
The truth is, it’s not really an apples to apples comparison.
Boys Life is produced by The Boy Scouts of America. Boys Life is a published by a males only organization with strong ties to the past and to religious organizations. Boy Scouts of America is only for boys (no girls allowed in the US Scouts) so of course they won’t be including girls in their focus. It's a special interest magazine tied to the BSUSA program.
Girls Life is a for profit, advertising driven magazine. Girls Life magazine states it's about Fab Fashion, Secrets from Health & Beauty pros, and really cute guys. Covers are created to be eye catching and drive revenue. One of my biggest issues with this magazine is that the content is strongly teen oriented. We bought this once for our tween because it featured a Disney star on the cover, but the content was really not appropriate for her age. Teen Life would be a better title.
If you are Canadian and have the Texture app you can download both magazines to compare content. I haven't seen Boy's Life on the shelf in Canada because its a Boys Scouts USA magazine.
I think it's important to recognize that some kids ARE interested in the content of Girl's Life. We need to need to recognize that because a kid reads a magazine focused on fashion, hair, beauty and boys, it doesn't mean that they aren't also able to pick out other magazines to read to satisfy other interests. I like to read women magazines that have a similar focus, or but I also read Outside Magazine and Wired. We're allowed to have all kinds of interests ... it is 2016.
Having said that, I did notice that in all the outrage about the cover comparison very few alternatives were suggested (and very few people obviously took the time to actually look INSIDE the magazines at the content). So I took to the magazine stands and internet to find some other magazines that you might want to check out to sub in for Girls Life (and Boys Life) or use to supplement your magazine reading tween and teens shelf.
Owl Magazine (Chickadee and Chirp for younger readers): OWL's focus is to give children access to new information in a fun, age-appropriate and engaging way. OWL highlights elements of science, technology, engineering, art, and math to encourage kids to discover, explore, engage, and inspire. OWL appeals to girls and boys, is a Canadian magazine and publishes 10 times a year.
Discovery Girls: Discovery Girls inspires girls to grow more confident and resilient and to believe in themselves. US magazine, publishes 6 times a year.
Kazoo Kazoo is a magazine for girls (ages 5 to 10) that inspires them to be strong, smart, fierce, and true to themselves. Created by a mom of girls, is a US magazine and publishes four times a year.
National Geographic Kids Nat Geo Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core. National Geographic Kids magazine is a photo-driven publications. Nat Geo Kids appeals to girls and boys and publishes 10 times a year and is available on the Texture app in Canada.
Faces Magazine FACES Magazine takes young readers around the world and back to learn about important inventions and ideas from other cultures through articles, folk tales, recipes, illustrations, and hands-on projects. Faces appeals to girls and boys, is a Canadian publication and publishes 9 times a year. It is also available on Texture.
Muse: MUSE is the science and arts magazine for kids that’s spot on with the facts and off the wall with the jokes. Muse appeals to girls and boys, is a Canadian publication and publishes 9 times a year. It is also available on Texture.
I'm sure there are more out there, if you know of some great kids magazines let me know!