by Alice Wilder

This April, YingYing and I are taking the ultimate challenge: living life according to the rules laid out in Seventeen and Teen Vogue.

After my video about the Seventeen collaboration with The Biggest Loser went viral, we started talking about how to turn attention into action. A month later, I’m leaving the house with pounds of hair gel in my hair because Seventeen says it looks cute.

Each week, YingYing and I will be following the advice of a different section–she’s following Teen Vogue, and I’m living by Seventeen. Week one was beauty, week two is health/fitness (shudder), week three is fashion and week four is lifestyle. Each week will feature fun stuff–like photo spreads and videos and “boy dares,” where I dare YingYing to try all the flirting tips that I find in Seventeen–plus serious critique, and culminate in a weekly in-depth post about our experiences. Here’s a peek at YingYing’s critique of “beauty”:

I know, I know, that’s how the fashion industry works- it favors light-skinned, tall, stick-thin models of one set body type. But Teen Vogue is hitting girls in middle school and high school, when their view of the world is still being formed. And when I see images like this teaching me what to wear and how to do my hair, not only does the hair advice mostly ignore minorities, but I also think: this is how I’m supposed to look. This is what my body type is supposed to be. And that is, as one follower put it, toxic.

At the end of each week, on Sunday, YingYing and I will chat about our experiences that week. We want to see what it takes to truly be these magazines’ “ideal” teen girl. So far, there’s been a fair amount of racial diversity, but there is virtually no diversity in terms of body type, gender identity or ability. (If you haven’t yet, you  can sign our petition asking Teen Vogue to represent all girls in their magazine.)

You can follow our journey on our Tumblr and Twitter.