Seventeen

A short post, but I can’t stop thinking about this.

The “The more you add, the more you subtract” reading describes the magazine Seventeen as “a magazine aimed at girls about twelve to fifteen.”

Why is the magazine called Seventeen if it’s not aimed for girls who are actually seventeen? (Side note: *I’m* seventeen, and it’s really weird to think that this magazine is being read by girls who are 2-5 years younger than me. That’s 8th grade/early high school age. I was a completely different kid back then…)

I’m not saying that 12-15 year olds can’t be as mature as a 17 year old, or that 17 year olds can’t be as immature as a 12-15 year old. But the magazine is specifically marketed towards younger girls, so that they can seem… older? So they can be prepared for the trials and tribulations of fashion, makeup, relationships, etc. that all apparently come with the transition from “teenage girl” to “young adult woman?”

The reading also goes on to describe the different kinds of advertising that goes into magazines such as these, which promote unhealthy ideals for girls such as “makeup will make you perfect” and even the idea of having to be “perfect.”

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Seventeen

3 thoughts on “Seventeen

  1. I was a subscriber to Seventeen between the ages of 14 and 16. I had just moved to the United States when I was 14, so I saw Seventeen as my ticket to being cool and a “normal American teen.” I saw it more as a way of making myself fit in, although the older I got the more I realized how ridiculous all of it is- like, would wearing turquoise eyeliner really make the boys want to date me and the girls befriend me? I think that Seventeen caters to a lot of insecure girls like I was, who are just looking for a way to become “cool” and “interesting” like the girls in the pictures. Did you ever read Seventeen, or a similar magazine? What did you think?

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    1. I’ve never read Seventeen or other “teen” magazines, mostly because my parents wouldn’t let me, Actually, my parents wouldn’t let me wear makeup or nail polish either. But I remember in 6th grade or so, it seemed like all the other girls in school talked about boy bands and makeup and fashion, and honestly I did feel a little left out. I remember that I kind of just accepted that I wouldn’t ever be able to be a “popular girl” in school. Maybe that’s why I started going in the opposite direction, in a way – I started wearing t-shirts and jeans almost exclusively, instead of trying to wear more “pretty” things. Looking back on it now, it seems like teenage girls put a lot more value on “popularity” than boys do; all the magazine articles and ads just keep emphasizing this “competition” between girls.

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  2. It will be interesting to find out who in our class may have read this magazine, and at what age. . . the sales demographics are obviously different from its name, and that means the advertising is aimed at that younger demographic also.

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