The Local Germany (16 July 2015)
German teen magazine BRAVO sparked outrage across the internet this week after publishing a “sexist” and “outdated” list of flirting tips for young girls.
The tips, published on BRAVO’s website, included pearls of wisdom such as:
- “Shave your legs and armpits regularly. Boys find girls who take care of themselves sexy, and they like it when girls make an effort with their appearance.”
- “Trip up on purpose in front of your crush, and then make a gushing apology. He’ll find you really cute because you’re a complete klutz.”
- “Start to get into similar things as your dream boy. Is he obsessed with a particular band? Get a band shirt or buy a key ring with the band logo on. He’ll think you’re cooler!”
- “Lots of boys like rosy cheeks on a girl. Always use blusher – guys will see you as healthy and sexy.”
- “It’s best to always look at boys from below. They’ll think you’re the sweetest.”
- “Mirror his gestures. If he leans to the right, you lean to the right – and if he rests his head on his hand, you do the same. It means he’ll subconsciously see you are really sympathetic.”
The list made its way across the net quicker than journalists at the magazine could have anticipated – but for all the wrong reasons.
Both men and women slammed the site on social media for its “outdated” approach – which apparently advised young girls to hide their natural identities and act in a submissive manner around their crushes.
“Your 100 tips for ‘awesome charisma’ are the most sexist thing I’ve ever read!” argued one Facebook user.
Another commented: “The combination of submissiveness, adoration and giving boys the cold shoulder is a superficial, stupid addition to the ‘flirting school’- manipulative and completely humourless.”
Essenz der #flirtennachbravo-Tips: Unterwürfigkeit und Anpassung. Die 70er wollen ihre Zeitung zurück.
— Caro Mahn-Gauseweg (@688i) July 14, 2015
“Tips: submissiveness and conformation. Your magazine wants the 70s back.”
“Hau dir selbst auf’s Maul, dann bekommt er Mitleid und sein Beschützerkomplex ist aktiviert.” #flirtennachbravo
— VoBe (@VolkerBonacker) July 14, 2015
“Punch yourself in the jaw: you’ll get his sympathy and his protector instinct will be activated. #flirtennachbravo”
Editors of the magazine seem to have taken on board the criticism, with the article no longer viewable on BRAVO’s website.
And they posted a long apology to Facebook in which they said that “in fact some of the tips are completely unfortunate and overall the article didn’t reach the level of quality that we set for ourselves.
“We’d like to apologize for that explicitly.”