Glossy Talk: Girlfriend gets a new, girl-friendlier image in light of Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image
Girlfriend magazine editor Sarah Cornish is walking the talk on body image with a relaunch of her teen title to coincide with the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct launched by Minister for Youth Kate Ellis in June.
Cornish was a part of the National Advisory Group on Body Image and also front and centre at the press call for the launch of the resulting initiatives which "encourage media, fashion and advertising industries to promote more positive body image messages" through support for the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct.
In addition to a refreshed masthead, the re-design of sections, layouts and fonts and a new cover-mount strategy, Girlfriend aims to comply with the Code of Conduct with a strict new body image policy covering everything from the selection of models published within the magazine to retouching guidelines. These include:
- The removal of images of models modelling catwalk (runway) from the pages of
- Banning the Photo-shopping of body shape, size, hair colour or permanent marks
(moles, freckles, scars, lines, tattoos);
- An ongoing commitment to using more real girls as models;
- And the promotion of positive role models and banning of celebrities who readers
identify as having poor body image.
Additionally, the new-look August issue out on Wednesday will give purchasers the option of an "I am beautiful" or "I am strong" necklace, which signifies the first of a series of girl-positive gifts to be cover-mounted over successive issues to tie in with the magazine's "I Am Beautiful" body image campaign.
In a press release, Cornish states, "The youth market has always valued innovation, and we’re excited to deliver Girlfriend readers a fresh, creative product which, more than ever, offers greater editorial substance and real understanding of the teen issues of today."
I'm in two minds about the "banning of celebrities with poor body image": by all means, present teens with healthy role models, and subtly omit celebs who might influence girls negatively, but what constitutes/measures poor body image exactly and what does it say to girls about accepting each other, and themselves, if these celebrities are singled out and shunned?
Still, all credit to Girlfriend for getting a jump start on the Voluntary Industry Code, which comes into play later this year and will allocate the body-image friendly symbol to compliant media through an awards scheme overseen by Mia Freedman. Big tick!
ACP's Australian Beauty Awards + Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image
Kate Ellis' launch speech
Girl With a Satchel