Penelope Cruz may have the best possible solution for this problem.
The Daily Mail
just ran a new article about Cruz, and while it is mostly the usual celebrity fluff and not worth reading,
it does include this amazingly forward-thinking statement from the actress:
‘I would close down all those teenage magazines that encourage young girls to diet,’ she says. ‘Who says that to be pretty you have to be thin? There is almost a standard being created where only thin is acceptable. The influence of those magazines on girls as young as 13 is horrific.’
Bravo. Finally, someone gets it. Finally, someone understands what needs to be done.
Notice that she is not
pushing for the closure of all teenage magazines out of hand- just those "that encourage young girls to diet." Granted, right now that's every teenage magazine that's in print. But it doesn't have to be that way. What Cruz is saying is that those magazines could
remain in print, so long as they would stop pushing diet-starvation.
There's nothing wrong with girls' publications as a medium- merely their content. If these magazines featured true plus-size models (size 14 and higher), if they stopped using underweight models, if they stopped running any diet ads or any stories promoting weight loss, but instead ran content that encouraged girls to happily eat whatever they want and as much as they want, then they would be a positive force.
Cruz's idea is the only sensible approach to this problem. It's high time that someone proposed it.