Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

Teen Vogue

Title: Teen Vogue
Editor-in-Chief: Amy Astley
Company: Condé Nast Publications

Summary: Are you a young fashionista?  Then Teen Vogue is the magazine for you!  Created as a spinoff of fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue that was aimed at a younger audience, Teen Vogue features lush and artistic photo spreads – as well as information on celebrities and current events.  The issue that I reviewed, May 2010 (pictured), featured Karlie Kloss on the cover, a rising star in the modeling world that had appeared in a Teen Vogue photo shoot only two years ago and is already making a name for herself.  This seems to be consistent theme with Teen Vogue, to promote someone in the industry when they are first starting out – for instance, an article profiled 24-year-old artist Danny Roberts, who is making a name for himself by sketching models and fashion industry insiders, which has lead to a collaboration with singer Gwen Stefani.  In addition to the fashion content, there was an article on the dangers of marijuana.

Critical Evaluation: Teen Vogue just feels different – at 6.75 by 9 inches, the publication is smaller than the average magazine.  This wasn’t the only unique feature – there were several notable details that I think set it apart from other glossy fare.  For starters, it seems to really value the team that puts the magazine together – a section called “Contributers” highlights a few employees and describes their position, as well as asks them an interview question.  In this question, they were asked what they individually do to reduce their carbon footprint – which brings me to the next point: Although primarily a fashion and celebrity magazine, Teen Vogue seems to make an effort to feature current events and hot issues.  In this issue, there was a heartbreaking interview with a teenage girl from Haiti, talking about her experience of the damaging earthquake.  They even managed to incorporate this into their fashion content – one of their fashion bloggers wrote an article on eco-friendly beauty products.

Reader’s Annotation: Teen Vogue is the magazine of choice for the young fashionista, featuring sumptuous fashion photography and interviews with models, as well as tracking celebrity style.

Editor-in-Chief Information: Amy Astley earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Michigan State University.  She joined the staff of Vogue in 1993 and worked as the Beauty Director before being named by Anna Wintour (Vogue’s editor-in-chief) to head the launch of Teen Vogue in 2003.

Astley currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

Genre: Fashion

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Discussion Ideas:
1) Do you like having extra content available online?
2) Does Teen Vogue do a good job covering world issues and current events?
3) What was your favorite article in this issue?  Was there anything you didn’t like?

Interest Age: 14 and older

Challenge Issues: None.

Challenge Defense Ideas:

• Become familiar with the magazine and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Try to get reviews of the magazine from teens who read it.

Selection: I wanted to include a teen magazine that a library might maintain a subscription for a young adult materials collection.

Extras:

Teen Vogue Official website and MySpace.

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Magazine | | Leave a comment

Seventeen

Title: Seventeen
Editor-in-Chief: Ann Shoket
Company: Hearst Corporation

Summary: Celebrity gossip, fashion advice, makeup and relationship tips – Seventeen magazine has it all!  The magazine is divided into themed sections, with color coded borders that make it easy to flip to the articles you want, whether fashion, beauty, health, love life, or your life – which features interviews with real Seventeen readers!  The issue I reviewed, May 2010 (pictured), had themed articles within each section.  For instance, the fashion portion seemed to be primarily devoted to pages of shoes, and the beauty section was all about using self tanners and protecting your skin with sunscreen – a great lead in for summer.  Since it’s graduation season, there was advice on dating after high school, and tips on how to thrive at college.  It was also a “freebie” issue – chock full of giveaways, from gift cards and shoes to cameras, a bike, and even a computer!  The cover article was an interview of actress Shailene Woodley, from The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and there were lots of other celebrity tidbits.

Critical Evaluation: I have to say it: Ads.  Lots of ads.  Of course, this is not surprising, but the ads and articles are so similarly formatted that it was sometimes hard to tell the difference (other times it was obvious they were intentionally juxtaposed – after Seventeen recommended a Clinique sunscreen in the self-tanner promoting article, the next page opened to a two-page spread advertising the exact same product).  I don’t have a big problem with marketing, I just hope that the teen readers are perceptive enough to view them with a critical eye.  There were some things I was pleased to see – I didn’t expect to find a health section, including a work out and some healthy eating tips.  They also had an article about teen pregnancy, which I thought was fairly balanced – they portrayed keeping the baby, putting it up for adoption, and abortion as equivalent options without placing judgment, and mentioned abstinence as a choice but promoted safe sex as an alternative.

Reader’s Annotation: Check out Seventeen magazine for fashion and makeup advice, relationship tips and even celebrity gossip!

Editor-in-Chief Information: Prior to her position at Seventeen, Ann Shoket was the Executive Editor of CosmoGIRL! magazine, where she developed the friends, love and celebrities sections.  She also worked as the Web Editorial Director of cosmogirl.com and redefined the magazine’s online presence.

“Shoket has a B.A., cum laude, from New York University and a certificate in Media Management from The New School. She currently lives in New York City.” (Source)

Genre: Alternate Formats, Non-Fiction, Relationships, Fashion

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Discussion Ideas:
1) How does seeing so many advertisements make you feel?  Does it bother you?
2) How well do the headlines on the cover actually portray the content of the article?
3) Do you have a favorite section of the magazine?  Do you think they provide good advice?

Interest Age: 12 and older

Challenge Issues: sexual content

Challenge Defense Ideas:

• Become familiar with the magazine and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Try to get reviews of the magazine from teens who read it.

Selection: I wanted to include a magazine that was targeted to a teen audience.  I knew that Seventeen would be a good choice – I used to read it as a teen!

Extras:

Official website

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Magazine | , , , | 3 Comments