Seventeen August 2012 Issue ISSN: 0037-301X
Summary: Seventeen was the first magazine published in the United States targeting teenage girls from ages 12-19. The first issue was published in 1944. Their aim was to promote self-confidence, provide positive role models as well as provide fashion and romance information. They can also be found online at www.seventeen.com.
It was interesting to see that this issue opened up with a note from the Editor in Chief, Ann Shoket, addressing an issue about showing “real girls” in Seventeen since the goal of Seventeen was to promote self-confidence and provide role models for teenage girls. Ann mentions that there have been many tweets and Facebook comments regarding the Photoshopping or digitally enhancing photos of their models. She re-states their stance on showing real girls and Seventeen magazine’s Body Peace Treaty was also posted on this opening page along with samples of what types of re-touches they DO make on photos. There is a version of the Body Peace Treaty online that allows teens to “sign” it. I think it is great that Seventeen is promoting this issue as body image and eating disorders are important issues that many teenagers face. I did still find it disturbing that one feature talking about how to look hot in your jeans features a tiny model for the “Slim your thighs!” photo. My first thought was if her thighs need thinning then there is no hope for the rest of us.
Despite some questionable photos that don’t scream “real girls” to me it’s obvious why this magazine appeals to teenage girls. It is jam packed with fashion advice, news about Hollywood stars, make up tips, information about what to eat and it also tackles more serious issues like knowing when you are ready to have sex. Fulfilling it’s goal of providing positive role models with the Olympics quickly approaching they also featured an article about Clarissa Shields, a 17 year old boxer who is on her way to the Olympics. The main photo that went with this article features the quote “they said boxing was for boys” across it. I appreciated the fact that Seventeen was promoting that girls shouldn’t let people tell them that females are not capable of doing the same things males are.
Why did I include this magazine?
It’s a classic magazine that has been appealing to teenage girls for decades.