A $10,000 Scholarship…If You’re Pretty Enough

Seventeen Magazine is sponsoring a $10,000 scholarship contest. On the surface, it seems the winning girl will be picked by the essay she writes on what makes her “pretty amazing.” However, applicants must also submit two photos of themselves, and according to the fine print of the official rules, “All eligible entries received will be judged by a qualified panel consisting of Seventeen’s editors who will select a group of semi-finalists based on the following criteria: appearance (50%); passion (50%).”

You are setting a fine example for young girls everywhere, Seventeen. I stumbled upon this scholarship while digging through ways to offset the $55,000 price tag that comes with my school. $10,000 is a lot of money, and I find it absolutely shameful that you are rewarding girls for their looks and not the talents they’ve developed through hard work. What kind of message do you think you’re sending?

Allow me to help you. The message is: “Sure, you can be the most passionate, amazing girl in the country, but if we don’t think you’re attractive enough for our cover, you’re not getting that money.” Well done, Seventeen. You’re doing a really stellar job in your efforts to show girls that appearance is not what’s most important. Your hypocrisy is obvious, and you should be ashamed.

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One Comment
  1. Ashley,
    Thanks for your comment!
    I agree that people will do what they want with their own money. However, I have a few problems with Seventeen spending theirs this way. First, they are always going on about “Body Peace” and how it is important to feel beautiful in your own skin. I can’t see this helping that cause. My second problem is with how this was marketed. The advertisement for the scholarship made it seem like the winner would be picked based off an essay, when in fact the essay was only half, while appearance made up the second half. I wish they would have been up front and open about it.
    Also, I do not agree with your statement about scholarships for minority students. Those were created to help traditionally underrepresented and underprivileged students to get the start that historically was denied to them. You are not getting these scholarships, not because you are not “black enough”, but because the ethnicity you belong to has not had to deal with the oppression they have.

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