11/24/2003 Add a comment
There's a semi-bewildering article in the New York Times about Seventeen Magazine. As a formerly faithful reader of Seventeen, I was curious to see what they'd do with the 60-year-old stalwart in the face of new competition from CosmoGirl and TeenPeople. The answer? They'll be working on "wardrobe development" and will add an etiquette column and a column on cooking. There won't be much "pint-sized feminism" but there will be advice on how to be a "well-coiffed young woman." The magazine will be "bracingly retro" and "surprisingly demure." It's disappointing that in order to capture Middle America, the editors seem to have decided to forgo an attempt to honor quirkiness, feminism, individuality, or the other values that help teenage girls survive in an era of alpha females and mean girls. By regressing to wardrobe development, Seventeen seems to be giving up on personality development.