Dear tween self: Brace yourself.
If you haven’t heard, Teen Vogue is going out of print. Cue depressing music.
The decision to phase out the print section of Teen Vogue has been long coming. In 2013, The New York Times published an article claiming that the magazine “has weathered shrinking newsstand sales, which are half what they were when the magazine began.” That was four years ago, and since then, the printed magazine has been trying to stay afloat. However, this does not mean the end for Teen Vogue (yay!). A separate New York Times article explained that the major decision is due to “Condé Nast’s ongoing shift away from print as it makes itself leaner and more digitally oriented.” Although the publication will continue in the digital world, there is something extremely personal and special about dog-earing your favorite pages and cutting out quotes or images that inspire you.
I feel as though younger girls should be able to have the experience of leafing through an issue as they lay across their bed. Who wouldn’t want to read tidbits about the best lip color for your complexion while learning about issues plaguing society? When I was younger, I was not someone who enjoyed using cell phones, computers or other mediums of technology so this would have halted my experience with Teen Vogue. However, I do understand younger teens today are well equipped to use technology to read their favorite publications and probably prefer it.
I think the news that they were going out of print seemed devastating at first because it felt as though a chunk of my childhood just went out the window. Some of my most treasured memories with my older sister, Kayla, were spent flipping through the glossy pages of Teen Vogue, chock full of dreamy fashion spreads, enticing collages and articles on anything and everything a teen could ever want.
I had a subscription for years. In elementary and middle school, the best part of the day was rushing off the bus and expecting a new issue in the mailbox. Never mind the countless times I went grocery shopping with my mom where I found myself trying to read the latest issue as I blindly placed our goods on the conveyer belt in the checkout line. If I ended up buying it, I would read it the whole way home and feed my mom the bits of information I found most interesting. Even my bedroom expressed my adoration for the publication. My pre-teen bedroom boasted light pink walls and a floral bedspread picked straight from a spring Teen Vogue issue advertising their new home collection. And don’t forget about the towering stacks of glossy Teen Vogue issues haphazardly strewn around my room. My collection was sacred. I’m sure I still have a few favorite issues tucked away in a forgotten drawer.
It may seem trivial that this magazine is no longer in print, but Teen Vogue was the first mature publication I enjoyed. It was definitely a step up from J-14 (never really my style). It was Teen Vogue that fed my appetite for aesthetic layouts, photography and the world of entertainment journalism. From my first Teen Vogue, I was introduced to an elevated world of editorial and the possibilities within a publication. I may not have realized back then but this publication jump started my love for journalism, fashion and photography. Teen Vogue is the publication that lit the torch that would become my love for magazines.
Today, I appreciate a wide variety of publications, but I will always treasure the moments spent flipping through physical issues of Teen Vogue with my sister. I am proud of the direction Teen Vogue is heading in, including pieces on social justice, politics and major news stories. It is important to expose younger audiences to things other than the best lip gloss. I will always hold a torch to my beloved Teen Vogue collection, but their approach to be more inclusive, diverse and easier to attain will serve the publication well.
So, this is goodbye to the Teen Vogue of my childhood. And hello to the Teen Vogue of the future.