• Tue, Feb 26 2013

Watch This: A 17-Year-Old’s Takedown of Seventeen‘s Partnership With Biggest Loser

We’ve critiqued Seventeen magazine’s confusing messages about body image, weight and health before, but this message from reader Alice Wilder is especially powerful, given that she’s exactly 17, and a reader of the magazine. She’s critiquing their latest “Body Peace Treaty,” a body positive contract that encourages teens to be confident regardless of how well they conform to ridiculous body standards… and has been a major focal point of Seventeen‘s partnership with The Biggest Loser (which is tackling childhood obesity this year).

The contract asks participants to sign a pledge vowing to goals like the following:

Appreciate what makes my body different from anyone else’s. I love that I’m unique on the inside, I will try to feel that way about the outside too!

 

Quit judging a person solely by how his or her body looks — even if it seems harmless — because I’d never want anyone to do that to me.

 

Remember that the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I had one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream tonight.

The goals are wonderful, but slightly ironic, coming from a magazine that consistently idealizes thin celebrities and models, but Wilder still wants to love it. “The Body Peace Pledge is awesome,” she says, but “you also have this collaboration with The Biggest Loser, which is really confusing.” It gets better:

Like, have you seen the Biggest Loser? I mean, that show is all about shame, and making people not like their bodies, and really extreme, unhealthy practices that you shouldn’t be encouraging to your teenage audience.”

Watch Wilder’s detailed plea for Seventeen to make better choices about the content they market to teens for yourself:

h/t: Upworthy

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  • Anonymous

    While I agree with her to some extent regarding the mixed messages that Seventeen magazine is sending, I have to disagree with her assessment of The Biggest Loser. I’m guessing that this girl has never been obese and doesn’t completely understand the psychological stuff that goes along with that (I have been and I do understand it). These contestants choose to be on the show. The trainers do what they have to do to get these people to believe in themselves and to push themselves further than they ever have. You have to understand that being obese does a lot of damage to your self-esteem, and while I think the body pledge is a nice idea, let’s face it, kids will be kids and they will say mean things. Plus I don’t think it’s a good idea to promote being okay with what amounts to an unhealthy body. I think it’s a great idea to promote loving your body even though it’s not perfect, but being okay with an unhealthy body is not a message I want to send to kids, especially with childhood obesity being the epidemic that it is.