Friday, December 3, 2010

Seventeen (Magazine)

Seventeen (Magazine) Published since: 1944. Creator: Walter Annenberg. Publisher: Hearst Corporation. ISSN: 0037301X.

Plot summary
: One of the longest running teen magazines in the United States, Seventeen features information about fashion, beauty, romance, health, relationships and celebrities for teen girls. The cover of each issue typically features a popular female celebrity with a corresponding interview inside. Recently celebrities featured include Ke$ha, Rachel Bilson, Vanessa Hudgens, Rihanna, Carried Underwood, and Ashlee Simpson. Celeb interviews cover information about their lives, what they were like at age seventeen, and other topics important to teen girls. One of Seventeen’s most popular and well-known features are their quizzes. Issues feature several quizzes for readers to complete, with titles like “How should you do your makeup for school?” and “How organized are you?” These quizzes are also available on the online version of the magazine, Another popular portion of the magazine is the monthly section entitled “traumarama.” This section allows readers to submit their embarrassing stories for other teens to read and laugh at. Apart from these pieces that are meant for entertainment, Seventeen often includes articles about teens that have overcome or had to deal with a serious problem in their life. Stories from teens that have experienced date rape, been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or had an eating disorder are examples of these types of articles. In addition to these more narrative articles, Seventeen has features on fashion and makeup trends that correspond to the month of each issue. There are typically four issues per year that have larger fashion features as each season draws near (i.e. spring fashion, back-to-school trends, etc.)

Critical evaluation: Seventeen magazine stands out as one of the most well-known magazines for teen girls in the history of publishing in the United States, most likely because it has been in publication for over 65 years. It’s safe to say that the majority of teen girls have at least glanced through a Seventeen at one time or another, even though it is aimed towards the “typical” teenage girl. The magazine itself is quite formulaic, usually having a similar layout of stories and features, but is still quite entertaining to read. The editors do a good job of featuring the most popular female stars on the cover that will appeal to teenage girls. Indeed, the entire magazine is designed to appeal to girls: from color and font choice to wording. This does, unfortunately, make the magazine virtually useless for the majority of teenage boys, but there are certainly some who may be interested in reading it as well. The quizzes and “traumarama” sections of the magazine are some of the most entertaining and appealing. Teens will enjoy reading through these items together, comparing quiz responses and discussing results. Seventeen does a great job of creating something that can be enjoyed by a group of teens, a unique feature of a print resource. One of the most useful and educational sections of the magazine are the “serious” articles that highlight a teen that has experienced an issues affecting teens. These articles provide insight into the issue, and are usually highly relatable for readers. Typically, the end of these articles provides resources for helping readers or their friends if they are experiencing similar problems (i.e. hotlines, websites, community organizations.) The success of Seventeen is certainly no wonder as it is an entertaining, fun, appealing and informative magazine for teens.

Reader's annotation: Seventeen provides the most up-to-date information about celebs, fashion, makeup, relationships, romance and health. Features include quizzes, “traumarama,” interviews, and fashion tips.
About the publisher: Founded in March of 1887 by William Randolph Hearst, the Hearst Corporation has been one of America’s largest diversified media companies for over 120 years. The Hearst Corporation owns fifteen daily newspapers including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, The Advocate, Greenwich Time, and the Connecticut Post. They also publish over 200 magazines around the world, including some of the most popular in the United States like Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and Town & Country. Hearst owns 29 television stations as well, such as A&E and ESPN. The current CEO, Frank A. Bennack, Jr., has served as the CEO of the Hearst Corporation for 23 years. In addition, each subsidiary of the corporation, like the newspaper division, magazine division, etc., has its own president. After William Randolph Hearst’s death in 1951, a board of thirteen trustees was established to administer the Hearst Foundation. This board of trustees selects the eighteen member executive board of the Hearst Corporation, and includes five Hearst family members and eight outsiders. The Hearst Corporation is headquartered in the Hearst Tower in New York City. (
Genre: Magazine

Curriculum ties:

Booktalking ideas:
How magazines affect the daily lives of teens
Accuracy of magazine in depicting interests of teens
Do magazines appeal to all teens or just some?

Reading level/Interest Age:
Grade 7 and up

Challenge issues:
Romance/some sexuality
Includes images of thin girls (encouraging girls to be thin)

Challenge counterpoints:Recommended for grades 7 and up.
Recommend parent read through magazine before child.
Recommend parent read magazine with child.  
Recommend parent discuss body image with child.

Reasons for inclusion:
Magazine has been published for more than sixty-five years.

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