Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Teen Magazines Need a Makeover

When I was a 14 and 15 I devoured as many as 10 teen magazines every month. Like most girls, I loved what I found between the glossy covers. The articles on style, hair and health drew me in but it was the articles about the crazy things that happen in girls lives and how they overcame obstacles.

CosmoGirl! was my favorite magazine for this. They always had CosmoGirl! of the year and featured strong women role models. Of the teen girl magazine CosmoGirl! has always been the one I’ve wanted to intern.

Once I realized my dream of wanting to have a teen girl’s magazine I only read the prominent magazines to get ideas – mostly of what not to include in my magazine. Eventually, I gave up on reading these magazines at all. They drive me up the wall with their pages of fashion and style and teaching girls that looking “pretty for back to school” is going to give that confidence every girl craves.

Sadly, it’s not true. Yes, a girl’s fashion gives her confidence. Yes, feeling pretty releases endorphins and boosts confidence levels. But who are these magazines to say that these main styles are the one that’s going to offer a girl the confidence she needs?

I look at the styles to look out for this for back to school: “sexy tomboy, glam rock, comfy girly, flirty sporty, artsy chic and sweetly chill.” Well, all of these styles are just a little too high maintenance for me. I like to get dressed up, and my makeup done and have a great night on the town. I like to look “sexy,” “hot, “gorgeous” or another synonym. But my general everyday school style would have been jeans and a tank top, the occasional dress or skirt; minimal makeup and my hair scrunched into waves.

This was my comfortable confidence. I ruled that school.

True, some days I wish I were more fashionable. Like on Friday when we had girls night and were supposed to go to a club. But for the most part I love my style. It makes me feel comfortable and for me comfort is confidence.

This month’s issue of Seventeen does have that one redeeming factor. Somewhere toward the back of the content between those glossy covers is a promotion from Above the Influence and Seventeen that touches on confidence. “The confidence quiz” coupled with a mission statement is a very healthy start toward realizing the confidence that should come easily for any girl.

But those two pages could be easily skipped over as their scrunched between this latest style and that latest style. We all love to read about styles and want to look good. But shouldn’t a teen magazine be filled with more positive things and touch on the more shallow things briefly.

I’m not saying Seventeen is a bad magazine for girls to look up to. We have several magazines that touch on everything, but how many widespread magazines focus positively on teen girls? Not many. Like I mentioned, CosmoGirl! appears to be the closest to what I aspire for.

I will have it. People tell me that I should keep my idea to myself, so that no one steals it. But someone can take my idea without forming it the way I want it to. Who am I to care if someone else takes my idea, as long as there is someone out there being helped by it.

I believe it’s my purpose here – to help people in any way that I can. To have this magazine, I don’t believe anyone could take that from me. It is me. I live and breathe it, and no one could make anything as I could. We are all different, yet so the same.

Someone someday may make my magazine, they may make it better or they may make it worse. Either way, I will get that magazine out there. If I can’t be the person behind the idea, although I don’t see how I wouldn’t be, then at least I will work on that magazine to help mold it as I can.

A magazine is a whole bunch of parts, a bunch of people with different ideas. Will it matter if I’m the head or the one with the idea? Not at all. I want to edit because I enjoy it, but I would be just as content writing.
As always, my blog has gone on a tangent, but I like this one so I’ll keep it. I showed my confidence, where’s yours?

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