Publisher apologises after article encouraging 8- to 12-year-olds to add curves and draw the eyes down left her lost for words

Discovery Girls Magazine Under Fire For Swimsuit Tips For Pre-teen Girls

The publisher of a US magazine aimed at 8- to 12-year-old girls has apologised for offering tips on choosing bathing suits based on size and curves.

Tween girls who are curvy up top were advised in the latest issue of Discovery Girls that coverage is key and they should opt for a one-piece with side cutouts or ties to draw the eyes down.

If youre straight up and down, the article went on, girls were advised to add curves with asymmetrical straps.

Big block patterns were offered for those rounder in the middle all under the headline: What swimsuit best suits you?

Discovery Girls Magazine Under Fire For Swimsuit Tips For Pre-teen Girls Taffy Akner (@taffyakner) May 10, 2016

Hey @DiscoveryGirls, why not include diet tips/surgical options with this? Your readers are 9, after all. Tick tock. pic.twitter.com/5oJI4KqnM6

After taking heat on Twitter and other social media, founder and publisher Catherine Lee issued a lengthy apology on the Discovery Girls Facebook page expressing shock that the article was published.

I am in total agreement with all of you regarding this article, so much so that I wanted to make this letter as public as possible, she wrote. We want to make sure that our girls know that any article that makes you feel bad about your body is not a good article, and should be questioned.

Lee said it was still hard for me to believe that an article so contrary to our magazines mission could have been published on our pages. I have been a loss for words for days.

She did not give further details about the commissioning and publishing of the article, but said it 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.

Lee added: Nobody knows better than Discovery Girls how impressionable our girls are at this age and we are ALWAYS mindful of this.

She said the magazine was not immune to making mistakes, but we are always willing to get better and learn from our mistakes.

But responses to Lees apology some from parents of girls in the magazines target age group queried why the article had been published at all.

I dont want your magazine telling my nine-year-old that she needs to feel confident in her swimsuit. She has no current thoughts about NOT feeling confident in her swimsuit, wrote one subscriber.

Associated Press contributed to this report

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/may/11/discovery-girls-magazine-swimsuit-tips-pre-teen-girls