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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Finally, there's peace. The dust has cleared. We're putting the horror and the carnage of war behind us. Seventeen Magazine has called a cease-fire in the war with our body images.

In a video featured on CNN.com, the editor in chief of Seventeen, Ann Shoket, presented the Body Peace Treaty campaign.

The Seventeen Body Peace Treaty advocates self-acceptance, inside and out. It's touching, really. I think Seventeen might have stolen the idea from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, though.

The treaty consists of conditions that people who sign must follow, and it boasts the support of various international celebrities. Some of the conditions are, "Know that I'm already beautiful just the way I am," and, "Notice all the amazing things my body is doing for me every moment I walk, talk, think and breathe."

Stars who endorse the campaign include Carrie Underwood, Ciara, Brittany Snow and Pink. So far, the Seventeen Web site has garnered more than 5,000 "signatures."

Seventeen also received backing from "Heroes" star and Barbie-doll look-alike Hayden Panettiere, who stressed that she, too, experiences "fat days." In other words, even though Panettiere knows that America knows she's gorgeous, rich and famous, she occasionally feels fat and ugly, too.

My parents always told me I was special, but the words of these celebrities truly affected me. Sitting on the couch and watching them make millions of dollars off of their looks really motivates me to listen to their sincere words.

So, great idea, Seventeen. You could also join forces with Playboy's abstinence-only program. Or what about Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority's new etiquette education program? Sounds great in theory. Actually, it just sounds really funny.

As humans, we'd be stupid to ignore the fact that we're all insecure. But honestly, don't insult our intelligence by rounding up a bunch of stars who hide their flaws on a daily basis, then tell America that imperfection is just fine.

And it would also be a lot easier to take Seventeen's well-meaning campaign seriously if the headlines on its cover didn't stress the importance of outward appearance.

For example, one headline on the cover of the newest edition reads "695 Ways To Look Great Every Day." I thought there was only one way to look great, Seventeen. I thought accepting myself would be good enough. Maybe you meant to say there's always room for self-improvement along with self-acceptance.

Another Seventeen article in that issue I found very suspicious: "Your Hottest Abs, Butt and Legs: Tone your body - fast." According to the conditions of this peace treaty, I should be happy I have a body at all. I should be happy that my un-toned body can walk, talk and breathe.

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Until there are changes within the magazine itself, the contradicting messages of the publication renders this treaty shallow. Don't worry, though. I have a solution to save this worthwhile campaign.

All Seventeen has to do to make this work is get rid of the makeup section, the clothes section, all the ads - except the "Got Milk?" ads because those are awesome - and change all the content of its magazine to mental health and fitness articles. And it should also do away with airbrushing because that doesn't promote self-acceptance.

Got that, Seventeen? If you want to make this work, no fashion, makeup, models, ads and absolutely no airbrushing.

But wait - wouldn't that mean no more Seventeen?

Ah, peace at last.

Stephanie Rosenberg is a junior majoring in journalism. Her column appears on Thursdays.

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