Believe it or not, I did perform a search for this, and only found 1 match, from 2001. So I thought I'd ask the question for all the newer folks (and older folks): What's your opinion on teen magazines? Do they do more damage or good when it comes to self images of girls and how others see them? Do you believe that headlines such as "Find the perfect suit for you!", "Get crush advice from the experts" and "5 Simple Steps to looking gorgeous for the new school year" help the magazine to sell? (Those are real headlines, by the way ) Or do you believe that teen magazines can be helpful, and give good advice on situations girls face on a regualr basis? I'm very interested to hear how people feel on this much debated subject!
Posts: 3987 | From: Greater Burlington Area, Vermont | Registered: Apr 2004
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So, out of the blue, some company gave me a free subscription to YM magazine. First, I don't know how they targeted me. Second, I feel sort of ashamed everytime I pull it out of the mail box and flip through it.
It's interesting, though. Mostly the "content" is advertisement in one form or another (I believe Gloria Steinem (and I could be wrong on who it was) wrote a very compelling article about how pop mags for young women are constrained by their advertiser's demands). Most of the rest of the content is photos of very slim girls in very trendy outfits, letters from girls about how they were embarassed in front of cute boys, and cute boys posing for the camera. A (very) few pages go to an article of a more serious nature, dealing with eating disorders or cutting or such issues.
I feel as if these sorts of mags are of little value under most circumstances. For girls in lower income families or for girls with bodies that aren't mirror images of the girls in the mags, they simply create more internal conflicts than they calm.
Teen pop mags are fine for fun, or to see what sort of things might be popular once in a while, but taking them too seriously poses the problem. If their content were more balanced I would feel differently. As it is, I use mine for art projects.
------------------ I see you shiver with antici......pation
I think similar criticisms can be levelled at many mainstream women's magazines. They too seem to be advertiser-driven and are choc-full of adverts, and even their articles often contain pictures of only the thin, beautiful stereotype.
I think these magazines (Seventeen, YM, etc.) are a load of crap...just like MTV. I know i'm sexy, I don't need to do my hair a certain way or wear certain clothes to be any sexier.
Posts: 35 | Registered: May 2004
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Sry, was away for a while...I'm mainly talking about magazines like Seventeen, YM, CosmoGirl, Teen, etc...I'm actually a subscriber to New Moon, and I think it's a great publication, but that's not what I was refering to.
I personally have to say teen magazines don't and have never done much for me...I've always viewed them as a bit on the negative side, focusing mostly on beauty and fashion (though there are exceptions). I prefer New Moon and it's likings, which focus more on teen voices and who teens really are: people. Not some branch off of the human race (the reason I say this is because I've read several articles concerning teens, and one refered to our generation as "hormone raging emotional tinderboxes stumbling their way into adulthood" and I take some offense to that!)
I read them, they're like junk food for my soul. My sister gets Cosmo!Girl and Seventeen so they come to our house anyway. The only magazines I get are Ms. and Elle!Girl (for the clothing design and pages on street styles in different countries- it interests me as a costumer). For the girlie mags- I mostly look at the pictures, etc., but I do notice, in a self-destructive kind of way, that they make me feel bad. I am not the size of most of those girls, and that kind of makes me feel repulsive. I think that my self-image may suffer from constant exposure. But I also think that I am responsible for my own self image and that I should buck up and make my own opinions about myself, so I try. Elle!Girl isn't as bad as the other two, though.
Where can I see an issue of New Moon? It sounds like something I'd like. Do they have it at bookstores?
(Aren't you lucky I'm working on the body image chapter of the book today? )
- One in every three (37%) articles in leading teen girl magazines includes a focus on appearance, and most of the advertisements (50%) use an appeal to beauty to sell their products.
- - The average woman sees 400 to 600 advertisements per day, and by the time she is 17 years old, she has received over 250,000 commercial messages through the media. Only 9% of commercials have a direct statement about beauty, but many more implicitly emphasize the importance of beauty--particularly those that target women and girls. One study of Saturday morning toy commercials found that 50% of commercials aimed at girls spoke about physical attractiveness, while none of the commercials aimed at boys referred to appearance. Other studies found 50% of advertisements in teen girl magazines and 56% of television commercials aimed at female viewers used beauty as a product appeal.
- An analysis of both Seventeen Magazine and YM Magazine over the course of 2003 found that articles devoted to appearance continue to make up the largest portion of article topics in both magazines. Another important finding is that despite the heightened national awareness since the 9/11 attacks, articles devoted to political or world issues decreased slightly as compared to the 1998 study.
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