Seventeen Magazine

By The Hearst Corporation

Editor: Michelle Tan

Type: Magazine Subscription

Reading Level: 4th grade

Interest Level: 9th-12th grade

Awards: N/A

Teaser: Fashion, Celebs, and relationships! Oh, my!

Summary: Seventeen Magazine is the one-stop shop for teens interested in fashion, make-up, celebrities, and trends. This monthly magazine is a staple for young adults in the United States because it is a place for teens to hear from other teens, hear about new or upcoming products, and learn more about sex and health. While the magazine is geared towards girls, a shift in perception about gender specific materials is slowly making it more acceptable for anyone and everyone to read the magazine.

Information about the Magazine: Wikipedia describes Seventeen Magazine as “an American magazine for teenagers. The magazine’s reader base is 10-to-21-year-old females. It began as a publication geared towards inspiring teen girls to become model workers and citizens. Soon after its debut, Seventeen took a more fashion and romance-oriented approach in presenting its material while promoting self-confidence in young women. It was first published in September 1944 by Walter Annenberg’s Triangle Publications.

Critical Evaluation: In a lot of ways I think that Seventeen Magazine does empower young girls, but in some ways it perpetuates some sexist/misogynist ideas of females as well. It empowers young women because it provides access to information about sex and other health products that are beneficial to women. However, I do think that most of the models and pictures in the magazine portray an unrealistic party all the time. In the last five years, there has been a change in how people view body size/weight and, yet, it seems like the magazine industry is completely ignoring the call for women with realistic bodies.

Curriculum Ties: Journalism, Fashion

Booktalk Ideas: N/A

Challenge Issues: Sexuality, Language

Challenge Resources: Rationale for choosing this book (see “Why Did I Pick This”), Engage students and parents in discussions about intellectual freedom, ALA Library Bill of Rights,Challenge Resources from the American Library Association

Why Did I Pick This: I think it’s important for young women to have access to material that discuss personal topics such as periods and sex  so that women have a resource that is a non-authority in their life. I feel like I was shamed about my body and about my sexuality when I was a teenager and having a magazine where I could read stories from other women made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that I wasn’t just completely weird.

Tan, M. (Monthly). Seventeen Magazine. New York City: Hearst Corporation.


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