Friday, April 30, 2010

23. Seventeen Magazine

Seventeen Staff. (2010). Seventeen, 69(5), $5.99. New York, NY: Hearst Magazines.

Magazine Information
Seventeen magazine, first published in 1944, is read by over 13 million people every month, making it the highest selling beauty and fashion magazine around. Each issue delves into fashion, beauty secrets, relationship advice, celebrities, entertainment, and health issues for teenage girls. The cover of each issue features a talented up and coming teenage star, articles by magazine editor Ann Shoket, and page after page of glossy fashion and beauty product advertisements. At the end of each issue the magazine also includes a section of embarrassing stories submitted by teen readers, and horoscopes for the month.

Critical Evaluation
Seventeen magazine is a visual explosion of all things popular and trendy for the teenage girl demographic. Each issue is filled with bright photographic spreads of celebrities and attractive teenage girls modeling the latest fashions and trends. Visually, the magazine utilizes every square inch of available space for the latest lipstick or summer shoes. The jumbled and busy layout of the articles and mass amounts of photographs give the magazine a collage feel for each of its double spread compositions. The few articles that exist amongst the mass amounts of advertisements, are brief, to the point, and often consist of nothing more than a couple of quotes. The magazine also features a few very important articles on female health inside each issue. These health related articles discuss everything from proper diet and exercise, to the hazards of excessive suntanning. Articles like these provide important educational knowledge for teenage girls, who might not seek out information on health issues otherwise.

Seventeen magazine, despite its simple articles, and emphasis on advertisements, has the ability to get teenage girls reading. Fashion and beauty, are for many teens a way of life, and unfortunately seventeen magazine promotes an image of beauty that for many teens is unobtainable. The slender, good looking, teenage model is plastered across every page, helping teenage girls to form their ideas and perceptions of teenage beauty. While this is the case, many of the magazine's articles will help teenagers to lead healthy lifestyles. The magazine will also function as a research tool for teen readers interested in working in the fashion industry.

Reader's Annotation
For teenage girls looking for fashion, beauty, and relationship advice, look no further than the pages of Seventeen magazine. With bright colored text, large detailed celebrity and fashion photographs, and page after page of advertising, teenage girls can disappear into the world of beauty, celebrity, and commerce.

fashion, beauty

Curriculum Ties
fashion, advertising

Book Talking Ideas
How does our society view beauty?
What makes something fashionable?

Reading Level
Grades 8+

Challenge Issues

Challenge defense ideas:
1. Make sure you are familiar with your library collection and the magazine in question.
2. Be familiar with your library collection policy.
3. If possible, speak with the person challenging the material and make sure they feel comfortable. Ask the customer what they disliked or disapproved of in the resource. If they still insist on challenging the material, give them instructions on how to file a formal complaint.
4. Research professional reviews that speak to the material's merit, and get input from teen readers on why they found the book important.

Reason For Selection
Including materials for teenage girls is important in rounding out this blog, and also for my own knowledge in understanding what teenage girls are reading.

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