Magazines Behind the Counter

Children are counseled from a young age to confidently be themselves. They are taught to be original, and that everyone is beautiful. In schools, diversity is considered beneficial and valuable. After hearing these lessons, the same children, along with adults and grandparents, walk through stores, and are victims to the contradicting lies blaring from magazines. The images displayed on the covers of magazines shout falsehoods about what brings happiness and joy in life. By preventing stores from displaying inappropriate and revealing images on magazine covers, the occurrence of frightening health issues and harmful relationships will decrease while keeping all customers satisfied and comfortable. This small act has potential to work wonders, and even change the world.

Every day, a wide variety of customers flood grocery stores and gas stations. Regardless of a customer’s age, gender, or intentions, they are all victimized by seeing the magazines so commonly displayed at the front of check stands. Many of these magazines flaunt photo-shopped pictures of scantily dressed women and underdressed men. It is shameful to turn innocent children and unsuspecting adults into victims by viewing these images. When similar images are found on a movie screen, they are usually deemed “PG-13” or “Restricted.” Yet, they are carelessly thrown into clear sight of children under thirteen, and people who do not wish to partake in such viewings at the grocery store. Simply put, everyone is forced to see the pictures on display at stores. It is critical that stores take action to make displays uplifting and appropriate, rather than downgrading, and potentially harmful.

With every action comes a consequence. Fatal consequences can result from the viewing of revealing pictures, such as the ones shown on magazine covers. Just a few of these consequences include the indulgence in eating disorders, unhealthy body building, unwanted sexual relations, and pornography. Magazine images generally portray that girls must be overly skinny, or boys irregularly buff, to be happy. Sadly, teenagers and surprisingly young children have taken these lies to heart, and resort to unhealthy habits such as anorexia and muscle pills. After seeing magazine pictures, 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade stated that their idea of a “perfect” body shape was altered, and 47% had the desire to lose weight (Curtis, 2011). Revealing images also may lead to unhealthy sexual relations, as such images are sexually suggestive. Similarly, just as tobacco is notoriously known for being a gateway drug, certain magazine covers serve as a “gateway” to pornography. The indulgence in pornography easily destroys family and friend relationships, and one’s self respect. In 2003, two thirds of 350 divorce lawyers reported that more than half of their cases were caused by pornography (Paul, 2004). These situations lead to everywhere but a joyful life. These unwanted fates should not be pushed onto unsuspecting victims.

Every person must make their own choices. It is true that many people choose to purchase certain magazines. However, many would choose not to view, let alone buy, the same magazines. In order to cater to everyone’s wants and wishes, stores should sell inappropriate and revealing magazines without publicly displaying them. All images displayed in grocery stores should be deemed G-rated, since customers are a very general audience. Stores could sell magazines with more mature content and higher ratings “behind the counter,” and out of sight. This easy alternative keeps impressionable people from harm’s way while allowing stores and customers to buy or sell more explicit magazines. Choosing to put this method into practice promotes the uplifting ideas of personal beauty and diversity that have been taught throughout the years to toddlers and teenagers alike.

Parents, teachers, and leaders have the responsibility to uphold the values of diversity and individual worth. Preventing stores from displaying inappropriate and revealing magazine images is crucial to completing this task. With this prevention, the occurrence of alarming health habits and destructive relationships will decrease. Customers in stores will be able to be content and comfortable in their surroundings. Children, teenagers, parents, and grandparents will have the chance to fully understand the importance of the lessons taught of diversity and originality throughout the years. This simple action will change the world.


Covey, Sean. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989. 210-12. Print.

Curtis. Eating Dissorder Statistics. ANAD, 2011. Web. 23 July 2011. <>.

Divorce Wizards. Divorce Statistics: Pornography. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2011. <>.

Paul, Pamela. The Porn Factor. N.p., 19 Jan. 2004. Web. 23 July 2011. <>.

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