A US magazine aimed at young girls has apologised after publishing an article offered tips on buying swimsuits, which included giving advice to girls who are "curvy on top" or "straight up and down". Discovery Girls was criticised for the sexualised article, entitled What Swimsuit Best Suits You?, given that its target audience is 'tween' girls aged between eight and 12.
The article advised that some girls may want to choose swimsuits that "draw the eyes down" and that those with different shapes may want to "add curves with asymmetrical straps". The article also gives swimsuit tips for girls who are "rounder in the middle".
The magazine was also seen as being hypocritical as it had received thousands of letters over the years from girls "sharing their insecurities about their bodies".
Following the criticism, Catherine Lee, publisher of Discovery Girls, issued a statement on the magazine's Facebook page in which she admitted that any article that makes people feel bad about their bodies "is not a good article, and should be questioned".
She added: 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. Nobody knows better than Discovery Girls how impressionable our girls are at this age and we are ALWAYS mindful of this.
"As much we like to think that something like this would never happen to us, it did. We're not immune to making mistakes, but we are always willing to get better and learn from our mistakes. We'd like to thank the readers who contacted us to let us know they couldn't believe we could make such a mistake."