The Problem with Teen Magazines

My mother and I were discussing magazines the other day. I was trying to decide if I should get Cosmopolitan, People Magazine, or Rolling Stone. It caused me to look back on the magazines that I subscribed to as a young girl, Seventeen Magazine, and Teen Vogue being the most popular. I recall some of the articles I read and there were two that stood out in my mind. One advised that I should sell old essays I wrote online and make money. I am pretty sure that is illegal, and if someone were to use it, considered, you know, PLAGIARISM. Another article basically raved on how to get cute guys. It made me think, is this what we are selling to today’s young girls?

I am not putting down girls who like Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue, or any others, however, I believe that they should have more options. Society seems to think that all teenage girls are interested in is nothing but boys and making money, and give garbage ways in helping them with those affairs. Although that may preoccupy some of their time, they do indeed think about other things. It’s true. I promise. So why can’t we write about other things that are not insulting to their capabilities? I would love to see a magazine for teenagers writing about feminism, culture, and a less simplistic image of travel. The brain of a teenage girl is filled with more than just boys and fashion. It is creative, it is athletic, it is political, it is cultural. It is curious, it is dangerous, it is strong, it is intelligent. It is of various races, colors, ethnicities, genders, social classes, sexual orientations, and spiritual beliefs. When will we see a magazine that does not continue to insult girls by underestimating their capabilities, but one that encourages to challenge and to open their minds?

Over the summer I decided to pick up a Seventeen Magazine to see if it has changed in the five years since I last read it. On a positive note, it talks of how celebrities deal with their insecurities and mental health. Many people see celebrities as role models, and their struggles may help people feel like they are not alone. Yet, I could not help but notice these articles were glossed over with ads and simplified to a great extent. Seventeen magazine has readers of all ages. They should believe in their reader's abilities to read and understand the material. I also noticed they capitalized on the “love is love” and “black lives matter” movements. Instead of having an actual article on the importance of these, they had advertisements of clothing with those words written on it. Who knew political movements were actually just fun fashion-wear? This is how the magazine presented it. My last, but far from only, critique is on a “Would you Rather” game on the last page. My choices were always something along the lines of, “Would you rather have your crush block you on social media or include all your past Snaps on your college app?” The whole magazine is a pattern of crushes, phones, food, and shopping. GIRLS CONSIST OF SO MUCH MORE! Start treating them like it.