While there appeared to be more ‘retouch free zones’ in this issue of Dolly (you may recall I said I’d like to see more of these), there also seemed to be even less body diversity. I couldn’t see one girl who didn’t fit the mould.
Dolly has so many pages of fashion and shopping I stopped counting. It’s the bulk of the magazine.
“Crush Crib Notes” tells girls how to “get” the boy they like. Stealth ways (i.e lying) include: ”Tell him you’ve lost your phone and ask if he wouldn’t mind calling it so you can find it”, “If you’re friends on Facebook, private message him saying, “I’ve lost the homework question and my laptop charger is broken…can you text it to me? My number is 1800AWESOME”. (Nothing like a bit of modesty to get the man of your dreams).
You can also “Text him: ‘you were in my dream last night.’ It’s sure to get him curious”. It may get him more than curious. Surely this will be read as a come-on? (bear in mind 11 and 12-year-olds read Dolly). There’s also 5 tips for how to make eye contact.
Justin Bieber’s new perfume Someday (“NEVER LET GO with the new fragrance for her that gives back” huh?) is scattered through the magazine. Yep, a 16-year- old boy with his own perfume line. Perhaps it’s the lingerie line next?
More useful is a two page feature on not comparing yourself to others and how to stop procrastinating. Even more timely is a feature called “Bullied to Death” about Sheniz Erkan who tragically took her life just short of her 15th birthday as a response to extreme cyberbullying. The piece cites a recent Australian report revealing that 52 percent of 13-14 year olds and 29 percent of 15-16 year-olds are victims of cyberbullying.
Joanna, 17, shares a personal account of two years with The Esther Foundations’ development program which helps out troubled young women, following bullying induced depression and self- harm. The piece also provides helpful advice on what to do if you are the target of bullies.
Another important piece is about the harms of marijuana ‘The Real Deal on Marijuana’ . According to the article, 21.5 percent of teens aged 14-19 have tried cannabis. Sandra, 16, shares how she saw the life of her best friend destroyed through marijuana. “…losing your friend to pot is the scariest thing – it’s a way more dangerous drug than you might think.” There’s a breakout box on ‘How to say No to marijuana’.
There’s a few pages on boys ‘extreme hotness’, ‘model of the month’, ‘homegrown hottie’, ‘hot factor’ (‘Did someone say T.A.S.T.Y?’)…You get the picture.
First person accounts from Dolly readers include a 17-year-old Speedway driver, a teen mum, an 18-year-old fighting to protect sharks from poachers, a 14-year-old athlete with an artificial leg, an 18- year-old ballerina, a girl with a “mystery illness”, another who survived an earthquake and a 14-year- old who stars in Nine’s ‘Tricky Business’.
Last month I wrote critically about the revival of Dolly’s Model search. This issue we meet past Dolly model search winners. Even a quick glance at the cover images from the 80’s and 90’s show just how much airbrushing and photo-shopping have changed the images we would see now.
Next issue we’re going to meet the state finalists of the Dolly Model Search. Guess I’ll have more to say then.