When you look at the below photo, what do you see? This image of side-by-side magazines, respectively titled “Girls’ Life” and “Boys’ Life”, went viral in early September 2016. With “Girls’ Life”, it appears as though success is measured by dream hair, fall fashion, and waking up pretty. For “Boys’ Life”, however, it is obvious that boys are perceived as successful when they are astronauts, artists, firefigthers, etc.

Female Empowerment Through Design

Graphic Designer, Katherine Young, came across this image and decided to give “Girls’ Life” a proper touch-up. She altered the cover of “Girls’ Life” to create a more empowering version. Her goal was to have the cover be equally as inspiring to girls as the “Boys’ Life” magazine was for boys. Katherine Young elaborates…

“The worst part for me was ‘Wake Up Pretty.’ I mean what the hell kind of unattainable standards are we setting for kids? Being a girl is hard enough without thinking you are somehow a failure just by waking up in the morning.”

“I always felt like I wasn’t good enough in my teens and early twenties because my jean size was too big and boys I liked never liked me. The popular clothes stores wouldn’t even carry my size. It didn’t matter that I was accomplished, had integrity, and achieved my goals one after another. I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t ‘wake up pretty.'”

Check out Katherine Young’s touch-up of “Girls’ Life” magazine below. She thought about everything in a girl’s life that make her feel empowered. What differences can you spot?


Katherine’s final thoughts…

“We have to do better. These messages are harmful to girls and boys alike. Girls need to be taught they are more than a pretty face and boys need to be taught that, too.”