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Tuesday 27 July 2010

Girlfriend magazine is relaunching... sans catwalk fashion pics

Pacific Magazines' teen title is relaunching and come Wednesday, you'll be picking up a fresh mag that's had some work done - in a good way.

It is relaunching with a body image policy that includes turfing any catwalk images of models, plus tighter rules on the use of Photoshop.

The mag's re-design (oh, how many times did I hear that word when I worked on the frontline of various titles) will incorporate a new masthead, layouts and fonts, plus a new cover-mount strategy, brand-spanking new sections and a revised body image policy.

The last point is of particular significance; for over four years, Girlfriend has been committed to a strict body image policy, which incorporates everything from which models are selected to feature in the magazine, to retouching guidelines.

A study by Girlfriend found only 18% of readers were happy with the way they looked, with less than half describing themselves as beautiful. Furthermore, a third of readers still felt fat or self-conscious when viewing unhealthy catwalk models.

In line with these issues, Girlfriend has extended the existing body image policy to include:

- The removal of images of models modelling catwalk (runway) from the pages of Girlfriend

- Banning of Photoshopping of body shape, size, hair colour or permanent marks (moles, freckles, scars, lines, tattoos)

- An ongoing commitment to using more real girls as models

- The promotion of positive role models and banning of celebrities who readers’ identify as having poor bad body image .

The August issue offers a l'il sweetner for readers: a silver ‘I am Beautiful’ or ‘I am Strong’ necklace, to coincide with the ‘I am Beautiful’ body image campaign. The mag will keep the gifts coming, with each edition of Girlfriend to include a cover-mounted gift for readers.

In a press release, Girlfriend editor Sarah Cornish, says: “The youth market has always valued innovation, and we’re excited to deliver Girlfriend readers a fresh, creative product which, more than ever, offers greater editorial substance and real understanding of the teen issues of today.”

Curious? I am. And I will likely buy a copy even though I am not in their demographic.

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