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Sexualization of Pre-Teen Girls through the Media. By Liz Facchini. Spread in Seventeen Magazine , November 2009 “Bargains for Your Body: $20 & Under”. Physical Attributes. Shows each item of clothing that is pivotal to enhancing your bust, waist, and legs

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Sexualization of pre teen girls through the media
Sexualization of Pre-Teen Girls through the Media

By Liz Facchini

Spread in seventeen magazine november 2009 bargains for your body 20 under
Spread in Seventeen Magazine, November 2009“Bargains for Your Body: $20 & Under”

Physical attributes
Physical Attributes

  • Shows each item of clothing that is pivotal to enhancing your bust, waist, and legs

  • Has a “mix and match” theme

  • Each clothing item is color-coordinated to the body part it emphasizes

  • Clothing is very revealing and promiscuous

  • There are also accessories such as earrings, belt and platform heels that help sexualize a young girl’s wardrobe

  • Under each item is a blurb that explains what about the item will enhance your figure

  • Because each item is under $20, each item is affordable and young girls are able to access them more easily (“Who says looking like a million bucks has to cost it?”)

  • Each item is in a fun, bright color in order to be geared towards a larger audience of younger girls


  • The spread features different parts of the body to play up: “bust”, “waist”, “legs.” Each body part has sexual connotations

  • The spread isn’t directed towards teenage girls because they already know how to sexualize themselves, but rather teaches pre-teen girls how to dress to attract male attention

  • Implies the male gaze without the use of models through which body part you want to emphasize and how the clothing will make you look better

  • The spread subtly sexualizes through word choices such as “slim”, “accentuate”, “lean”, “toned”, “flaunt” and “peek” using to describe the clothing and accessory’s functions

  • Implies that in order to be appealing to boys, you need to sexualize yourself and show skin in order to get attention

  • By specifically instructing girls how to dress, Seventeen Magazine creates a narrow construct through which pre-teen girls see themselves

  • Each clothing item is labeled a “bargain”, and this implies that you don’t have to spend a lot of money sexualizing yourself and becoming appealing to boys isn’t going to cost you a lot of money

Sexualization of pre teen girls through the media

  • Each body part is color coordinated to the items used to enhance

  • The background where the items are displayed are also color-coordinatedbut the colors are faded

  • The price of each item is in the same color as the blurb that says “$20 and Under”

  • The word “your” is emphasized and set apart from the others in the title of the spread, creating a sense of intimacy between the magazine and the audience

  • “Bust”, “Waist”, and “Legs” appear largest on the page

  • Each separate clothing item or accessory is in capital letters

So what
So What?

  • This spread explicitly tells pre-teen girls what parts of their body need to be exposed and emphasized in order to “look like a million bucks” and be more appealing. It also teaches young girls that they don’t need to spend a lot of money working on their appearance, because revealing clothing items and accompanying accessories can be purchased for under twenty dollars.