Cover Girl Culture

Category: Blog

VS sexualizing girls for years. Stop buying it and you force them to stop.

Parent Guide Magazine article Feb 2014

I wrote this article for Parent Guide magazine. (before giving birth, when I had time to sit and write more than a sentence)
The article came out Feb 2014 and has been edited from what I wrote but it’s fairly close.



Vogue Factor: girls dying from eating disorders is part of the business. BS!

The former editor of Vogue Australia talks about how prevalent eating disorders are in the fashion world with a sort of cold, disconnected matter-of-fact attitude. She says the problem is that ‘eating disorders are HIDDEN’.  BS!  If you know they exist at all, DO SOMETHING! All the top designers should redefine beauty standards TOMORROW and show no favoritism to one body shape. All major fashion magazines support the designers TOMORROW in the global movement for healthy fashion instead of a toxic one.


It is so sad and aggravating that grown-ups in the fashion world sit back and watch girls slowly kill themselves without considering how THEY HAVE ENCOURAGED IT and rewarded it. They’ve done nothing to stop these girls from destroying themselves to “fit into THEIR unhealthy, deadly ideals.” You’d think that watching a girl dying before your eyes ONCE would snap you awake and make you stop it from happening to another. To sit idly by and let these children starve to be ‘thin enough’ is inhuman. Would you let these people near your girl?

Too often “adults” in the fashion industry see models as miniature adults — they are children who need wisdom and healthy guidance! In my books they are irresponsible, cruel and should NEVER be allowed to dictate anything to girls!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the impact the fashion world’s BS standard has on girls. I’m baffled that anyone would feed BS to girls and watch them die believing your lies and then shrug if off as not their problem, saying ‘it’s a terrible side-effect of fashion’. If sick and dying girls are a side-effect of your job I’d hope you’d reconsider and examine your heart and conscience — otherwise you’ve lost all shreds of human decency and should not be permitted near a girl. Soldiers die in wars — girls are not supposed to die for something so trivial as clothes and shoes! Where are the sane people in the world?? Why are we allowing these misguided, twisted people govern and dictate to girls around the world? It’s NUTS! Where are the parents of these girls, the gov’t, lawmakers?? It’s up to us- then– the people who are sane, who do CARE, who see girls as miracles, as light beings, worthy of kindness and love, as future healers of our world, as intelligent, creative, and brave humans who need guidance from WISE, INTELLIGENT, COMPASSIONATE adults. GET FIERCE – ROAR, Protect girls and teens when you see injustice happening!


119 Girls Write Teen Vogue letters demanding +change in media.

Girls request Teen Vogue uses healthy models. Hear what Teen Vogue has to say. Sign the Petition!

Teen girl’s letter to Teen Vogue – from a ‘mad 7th grader’ in Miami Florida. Media Renegades!!


Teen Vogue editor’s view of their magazine VS a teenage girl’s view of their magazine.

Nicole Clark reads one of the girls letters to Teen Vogue. This one is by Milan, age 13.

Teen girls write Teen Vogue demanding healthy images and age appropriate content. Media Renegades!.

 another letter from one of the teen girls in Miami written to the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue.
 More listed on my youtube channel: MediaTrends stay tuned for more letters!


Vogue’s weak attempt to “play nice” and make changes in their pages.

BEWARE the SNEAKY LEGAL SPEAK in Vogue’s ‘guidelines’…

Vogue editors have made the following six-point agreement:

1. We will not KNOWINGLY work with models under the age of 16 or who APPEAR to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image

2. We will ASK agents not to KNOWINGLY send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns. (right, because no teen has fake ID)

3. We will help to structure mentoring programmes where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative. (??? Older models have been helping younger models this whole time)

4. We will ENCOURAGE producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late. (how will this help? This makes NO sense to me. I modeled with Elite internationally)

5. We ENCOURAGE designers to CONSIDER the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models. (even editors know they cannot dictate to designers)

6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image. (I’ll take a REAL message of healthy body-image over Vogue’s twisted idea of it)

SHOW ME THE CHANGES – don’t write guidelines and hope it’s the right band-aid we all need.

This was in Teen Vogue’s “athletic” March 2012 issue… What the heck are they smoking over there?? Clearly no change has been made — this was released during 2012 — when they had made their “guidelines” for us.

This just in!!  Girls in 7th & 8th grade, from Miami, wrote me about Cover Girl Culture and the editors at the fashion magazines.  VERY TIMELY.

The documentary Cover Girl Culture showed me how the fashion industry really works. I believe that if enough people saw this documentary, or others like it, that we could truly change the fashion industry.

–Emily, 14

I thought the film showed us that Teen Vogue pretends to care about the health of their models but in reality, they just want super skinny, anorexic girls. Many of these girls had eating disorders and nobody cared!

-Allegra, 14

Cover Girl Culture really helped me look at myself better. The great interviews made me realize that not only do the models in the media have health problems (eating disorders, etc.), but also that the people behind the magazines are oblivious to the impact they have on all girls. This “perfect” image they are sending is dangerous because girls think to get people to like them they need to look like that and have that body, resulting in mental and physical problems in young girls.

-Olivia, 14

I think the movie Cover Girl Culture really calls attention to one of the major problems in our society today. Many fashion magazines are putting a false image of perfection into the minds of young girls which makes them want to attain the unattainable. Cover Girl Culture helps us see what these magazines are doing and how they are poisoning the brains of young women.

–Gaby, 14

It’s funny to watch the magazine editors try to make themselves and others around them believe that they are supporting the cause rather than destroying millions of teenagers’ self esteem and lives.

I didn’t realize how much magazines and models actually affect teen girls (myself included). It’s scary. I suddenly feel so protective over my sisters. I want to make sure that none of this ever happens to them because now I know that it can, and does, ruin countless teenage lives and crushes our self esteem every day. How can those editors not care what they are doing to their daughters?! I find it sad and heartless.

-Christina, 14

Cover Girl Culture made me realize that the editors of magazines basically contradict themselves when they are interviewed.  They claim to use normal sized girls in their ads, when in reality the girls they use are far from “normal” looking.  It is because of these editors that a teenager’s idea of normal is completely wrong.  The editors are oblivious to the damage they are doing to these teenagers.  It is really sad.

-Maddie, 14

Cover Girl Culture showed me how hypocritical magazine editors are, saying that they try to choose healthy girls modeling when that is not what they are putting in the magazine. It helped me to realize that teenage girls are not the one with the problem (which is what the magazines are making it seem like), the editor’s expectations are. The models are damaging their bodies to live up to the editor’s expectations.

-Fifi, 14

Cover Girl Culture helped me understand what actual beauty is. It also helped me understand that society negatively impacts our view of beauty.

-Linda, 14

What I thought about the documentary of Cover Girl Culture is that it is a way that girls can open up to reality and see what the possibilities are in life instead of the unachievable. This movie shows girls that what we see in magazines and all the commercials is not reality and that beauty is being oneself because everyone is beautiful in their own way. Cover Girl Culture sends out a positive influence for troubled people that feel insecure about themselves. I think that this movie is like a wake-up call to all those people that are unhappy with themselves and helps them to see that being like the models in magazines is unhealthy and it gets to a point that those models stop being beautiful. It also makes a stand to all those magazine companies that are sending out negative messages and are influencing minds in the wrong way.

-Andrea, 14

I personally thought the movie was the final factor that really showed me the truth behind the models of Teen Vogue. You could already see how skinny the models were in the magazines but the movie showed how unhealthy they actually were. The fact that the workers at Teen Vogue basically admitted the lies they have been telling without even realizing it was very interesting. The reactions of the girls my age truly opened my eyes on how pressured some girls feel. It was very impacting to see how much Teen Vogue influences teenage girls.

–Julia, 14

The film gave me a clear understanding of how magazine editors are so blind about how they affect society. Compared to their standards I would be considered “ugly”, and I don’t think I am.

-Natalie, 13

This movie has showed me how much the media affects us. This movie has changed my perspective on how to view the media and everything they put out there.

-Giana, 13

The documentary ‘Cover Girl Culture’ has really affected me and I now understand what magazines are doing to girls. When I see a magazine like Teen Vogue, I will think of the documentary. I loved how the editors were contradicted by showing pages from the magazine.

Francesca, 14

Because of many magazines like Teen Vogue and Elle, many girls today are being blinded by the fact that they have to be “perfect” or “skinny.”  They don’t see that they don’t have to be skinny, or tan, or tall, to be beautiful; because as long as they are themselves, they are more beautiful than the girls in the magazines that starve themselves to be “perfect.”

-Kateri, 13

I normally don’t look at Teen Vogue, but just by watching this movie I was very amazed on what people do to get teenage girls’ attention towards clothes and fashion. After watching this movie I would want the magazines to change the way that they do these things.

–Thalia,  13

I think the film was great! I like how this film shows how, we, as teenagers feel.

-Laura, 13

I enjoyed watching Cover Girl Culture because it showed me that media basically gets a girl to feel bad about herself by picking models that are extremely skinny. From watching this video I have learned to love my body for what it is, not what the media says.

-Sofia, 14

Cover Girl Culture was super informative. My favorite thing about it was how the different editors were interviewed, and they tried to defend their magazine; but their argument didn’t count when you opened their magazine.

-Ceci, 14

The film Cover Girl Culture really showed me that the media influences young girls so much that it has become normal in our everyday lives. This type of media affects the minds of girls, altering their perception of beauty to an unreal idea that they can never attain.

-Isa, 14

I feel hurt and offended that these magazines would do this. These are the magazines that I go to for advice and it is discouraging to see they are betraying me.

-Sabrina, 14

These pages of “perfect” women do nothing but discourage young readers who are learning what and who they want to look like. The magazine’s readers turn to them for advice and instead of helping, it makes them dislike themselves more.

-Luli, 14

The film Cover Girl Culture hit it right on the nail, because many girls/teens look at magazines and think “WOW those girls are so pretty”, but they don’t even notice what it does to their self confidence. Cover Girl Culture gave us an awareness that we don’t/shouldn’t look up to those anorexic models used in ads, but be happy about the way we are!

-Marloes, 13

The movie about the editors from Teen Vogue showed me that I am not the only person that believes it is not normal to look super-duper skinny, Also it showed me what the editors at Teen Vogue believe is pretty and how people (normal looking people) also believe that they do not portray beauty.

-Elisa, 14

I think that the film, Cover Girl Culture, is accurately stating what teenage girls feel when looking at magazines with anorexic models. Seeing other girls saying that this “impossible perfection” makes them feel bad about themselves, makes me feel that I’m not alone. Now I that I learned that the anorexic models are not what we call “fit”, I will not let the pictures make me feel bad about myself.

-Adri, 14

The film Cover Girl Culture made my realize how the media is affecting the lives of teenage girls today. The film made me realize that there has to be a change in our generation of today; because those models that are supposed to be an inspiraton are giving us all a negative impact everyday.

-Valentina, 14

I learned a lot from the film, Cover Girl Culture. The eating disorders of the models in Teen Vogue are alarmingly sickening for many, and offensive for others. My belief is if a person deems they are beautiful on the inside then other people will recognize that as well. Learning this fact can help create a confident personality that is not just about exterior.

-Megan, 13

I thought that the film was very interesting and showed the truth on what the magazines are portraying. I found it ironic how the models were talking about eating disorders, but then it is obvious they are struggling with the same issues! Society needs to take more action.

-Francesa, 14

The movie, Cover Girl Culture, supported my belief in that everyone is perfect in their own way. It made me feel good to hear that all sizes are the right size.

-Jasmine, 13

The movie “Cover Girl Culture” was a good way to inform people of the horrible messages magazines send. The movie made me feel better about myself.

Hallery, 13

CFDA’s Red Herring for Fashion Week. Joke’s on us…

Joke’s on us:  Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recent move: releasing an updated set of guidelines to ensure the health of runway models during the upcoming New York Fashion Week, Feb. 9-16.

As a former Elite model I can tell you this will have LITTLE to NO effect on designers choice of using ultra-thin, skeletal models on their runway.  This is a sad attempt (which seems to have tricked the N.E.D.A) at playing ‘nice’ when in reality most designers have little interest in using realistic, diverse body-types on the runway.   It’s a ploy that was used years ago and nothing has changed.   (see Teen Vogue’s 2012 idea of “athletic models” for their Sport issue – it boils my blood)

Some of the new guidelines include educating the industry to identify early warning signs in an individual at risk of developing an eating disorder and encouraging models who may have an eating disorder to seek professional help in order to continue modeling.

From my experience in the modeling world, agencies and designers KNOW DARN WELL when a girl has an eating disorder.  They turn a blind eye (in most cases) as long as she’s booking jobs.   I’ve been in the Elite agency in Miami when I heard an agent ONCE tell a girl she’s lost too much weight.  To them it was about earning $$ and she’d stopped.

If Auschwitz-thin models book the runway jobs then agents will keep their lips sealed.  One of my many roommates earned over $200K a year and her agents knew damn well she was wracking her body to stay thin enough to book catalog jobs.

When I interviewed designers for Cover Girl Culture, every one of them said they can tell from looking at a model that she has an eating disorder, they see it far too often.  One designer told me she wished to use healthier models and has tried but the other designers stick with thin models.  She got harassed about it and received the ‘message’ that if she wishes to continue to show she better shape-up.    Some designers DESIRE to be part of the solution….they need our help.  We have to take action.

Guidelines and tips to help the fashion industry detect eating disorders is like telling a vampire that humans are food.  They already KNOW perfectly well.

Teen Vogue released their MARCH 2012 issue with an “athletic’ editorial spread.  It infuriates me.  NONE of the models have muscles visible, they are shapeless insect-like sticks that girls around the world will see and believe they should be that thin if they are into sports.

The Teen Vogue stick model on the rings is obviously standing on a box for this shoot.  Simple physics dictate she couldn’t hold herself up in that pose with her shoulders cocked and wrists limp.  The other two women are REAL athletes with strong physiques who COULD have been used for this issue.

Teen Vogue’s idea of athletes are anorexic looking girls with as many muscles as Iraq had nuclear warheads. Our girls need to see a TRUE representation of ATHLETES.  Not phony, unhealthy ideals perpetuated by an industry hell-bent on keeping girls in a body-hatred matrix.  If you subscribe to Teen Vogue – rip it up, toss it out, call up and cancel your subscription.  We outnumber them — your $$ is your VOTE.    We ARE THE CHANGE.

My superhero!

My sentiments exactly! Riley Rocks! When I was a kid I played with Tonka trucks, smurfs, a hand-me-down barbie/skipper, gi-joe, legos, Star Wars action figures.
Check out my new workshops for girls on media literacy, critical thinking and body image.

Collection of some great reviews

Cover Girl Culture:

“A powerful and unrelenting critique of the marketing of sexiness to young women and even little girls.”
Joan Jacobs Brumberg
Author, “Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa”

Reminds others loudly that a true cover girl is one who is full of strength, power, confidence and compassion, not a vapid, thinned out display model used to sell self loathing to the masses.”
Dr. Robyn Silverman
Body Image Expert, Coach and Author, “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat”

A powerful teaching tool to deconstruct and uplift,…poignantly gives the girls’ eye view of the collateral damage in this fight for the hearts and minds of children’s perception of their own self-worth.
Amy Jussel
Executive Dir., Shaping Youth

“The documentary reveals the insidious reality of U.S. consumer culture and tells parents how to combat the beauty industry’s grasp on their daughters: Teach media literacy.”
Ms. Magazine

“Cover Girl Culture introduce(s) many constructs and themes essential to discuss in gender and women’s studies courses… Showing [it] at the very beginning of such a course would provide an excellent introduction to material that will be discussed in more detail throughout the course, generate students’ excitement and anticipation for the material, spark discussion…”
Tracy L. Tylka & Rachel M. Calogero
Sex Roles Journal

“I have treated Eating Disorders for 20 years. In that time, I have never come across anything that has the impact of ‘Cover Girl Culture’. The filmmaker did a brilliant job of exposing the media’s soul-killing influence on our girls today. I believe that all parents of girls should see this film.”
Kelly Boswell, PhD, Licensed Psychologist

“As a Girl Scout Troop Leader, I deal with the impact the media’s messages have on our girl. Cover Girl Culture is an eye-opening documentary I believe is important for girls in my troop to see.  We watched CGC in three parts with a discussion session after each segment.  I was amazed by the insights the 7th grade girls came away with regarding the mixed messages, hypocrisy and lack of responsibility the teen magazines and fashion industry churn out. They were so passionate about how important this message is that they chose this topic for their Journey Take Action Project.

These girls will never look at a fashion magazine or fashion ads the same way thanks to Cover Girl Culture. Because Girl Scouting is about building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place, our workshop built around Cover Girl Culture was the perfect place to set an example.

I feel this is a video not only for girls, teenagers, and young women, but one that every parent should watch. Parents and adult women need to understand and realize how their behaviors and habits impact their own self-esteem, their daughter’s and other young girls who are watching!” – ELISSA M. JACKSON, Girl Scout Troop Leader, Cadette Troop 2943

When fashion forgets its place…

Designer Karl Lagerfeld apparently has forgotten his place in society.  He is a tailor, he makes clothes.

He was quoted during a recent interview in Interview Magazine, in which he speaks with former French
Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld saying “it would be hard to have an ugly daughter” and that he doesn’t believe men should have children.

Normally this would be ignored as one individual’s opinion.  But since he’s one of the biggest fashion icons his opinion, sadly, has a lot of weight.   How many mothers will, upon hearing him, allow their vanity to harm their child’s self-esteem and health by having plastic surgery, botox or another twisted technique to hide or fix their daughter’s face?  I’d hope that NO sane woman would pay him any mind.  But I know there are many whose own insecurity and low self-esteem will become imprinted upon their daughter as they try to fix her looks.

We need to remember that fashion designers are TAILORS – they make our clothes. They don’t get to make our decisions about our health and well-being.

I hope anyone who hears of his utterly non-nonsensical comments has their eyes opened and realizes we need to take back our power, make our own educated choices about health, beauty and what is valuable in a person.

French Vogue Editors mentally ill: approved pedophilic images. Pedophilia is a mental disorder.

The definition of PEDOPHILIA IS:  As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia is defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents (persons age 16 or older) typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger, though onset of puberty may vary).

What is French Vogue saying here?  That they are a MAD magazine for the mentally ill?  Editors have approved a photo spread of a 10 yr old girl in provocative poses wearing make-up that give her a sultry come-hither look.  The images were produced by Tom Ford – what was he thinking?  What sane person would publicly submit himself to be labeled “a pedophile” by photographing a child the way he did? Desperate for press at the cost of a child’s emotional/mental well-being.  His actions contribute to the desensitization of society.  There is NO justification for this.  Many other companies and individuals in the industry are guilty of the same shameful, heartless act.

Yes, that is a plunging v-neck nearly to her belly button.

This is not a little faux-pas or bad taste; it is mental illness being promoted as fashion.  What shocks me is that most women are apathetic about the heinous images French Vogue and Tom Ford printed in the magazine.   Voices need to be heard, complaints filed, fines given, Ford banned from runways — anything, something! If women canceled their subscriptions that would be a HUGE step towards healing this issue.

Another issue that needs to be addressed:  What is wrong with the girl’s mother?  Jesus!  Is she thinking “My little angel is so sexy that grown men will get aroused looking at her. That’s how sexy she is and I will let the world know how important it is that she can do this.”   Mothers like this woman have issues around being noticed or feeling like she’s contributed to society.  It would be better if she put her daughter in Girl Scouts instead of allowing MEN to dress her up as eye-candy for perverts and pedophiles.  What an enormous disservice she’s done her daughter.  She’s equally as horrible as the mother who gifted her daughter with a boob job certificate for her 6th birthday and the mother who was injecting her daughter with Botox at the age of 7 or 8.  Folks will point out that a mere three cases of ridiculous mothers is not going to ruin mothers who have common sense and put their child’s health needs first.  But there are plenty of mothers who are copy-cats or who are desperate to get their daughters in the spotlight. They will see this behaviour as acceptable, especially when little is done to discourage it, prevent it or condemn it.

I’m 100% French and would never say “Oh, it’s just the French being obtuse and artsy.”  Pedophilia is NOT ART.  There is NO EXCUSE for these images. PERIOD.
French Vogue has no class, no taste, no style, and therefore has gone out of fashion. Let’s focus on solutions now that we’ve sufficiently fumed about the images.

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