Discovery Girls Magazine Publisher Apologizes for Swimsuit Article

A Facebook post tripped up by the use of the word "confident."

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Since we all make mistakes, it’s all about how someone apologizes in the face of one of those missteps.

In that regard, we think Discovery Girls publisher Catherine Lee has done a fairly poor job addressing the harsh social media criticism sparked by the piece above, which counsels her pre-teen readers on how to look good in a bathing suit. Via Facebook, she sets things up fairly solidly with these first two sentences:

It’s still hard for me to believe that an article so contrary to our magazine’s mission could have been published on our pages. I have been a loss for words for days. The article was supposed to be about finding cute, fun swimsuits that make girls feel confident, but instead it focused on girls’ body image and had a negative impact.

But there are no further details about the process by which the piece was approved. And Lee is being roundly criticized for her use, in the subsequent and last sentence above, for her use of the word “confident.” From the stream of Facebook comments:

Jenna Glatzer: Subscriber here. I thought I was with you until this: “The article was supposed to be about finding cute, fun swimsuits that make girls feel confident”- what?! No. I don’t want your magazine telling my 9-year-old that she needs to feel “confident” in her swimsuit. She has no current thoughts about NOT feeling confident in her swimsuit. Just like boys have no thoughts about not feeling confident in theirs. This is straight-up conditioning to teach girls that they should be conscious of their body shape, compare it to others, and make sure they’re not wearing the “wrong” thing that will make predators think they’re not hot enough to gawk at. Because 9-year-old boys sure don’t care. So, really, are you just teaching her how to appeal to pedophiles?

Photo via: Kathryn Howell Dalton