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« Channeling Helen Lovejoy | Main | Orwell lives »

April 27, 2007

Shortchanging teen girls

Seventeen And we wonder why so many teenage girls become obsessed with body image, hooking up, and materialism. Novelist Marie Myung-Ok Lee writes about how teen and preteen magazines like Seventeen and Mademoiselle have gone from stories by Flannery O'Connor and Truman Capote and articles on travel, technology, and getting into college, to "Sexy Legs Workout," "How to Get a Natural-Looking Spray Tan," and "Love Secrets."

Of course, back then, Seventeen had a bit of an unseemly focus on appearance and boys as well, but it is difficult to imagine the slightly neurotic "When Your Boyfriend Forgets Your Birthday" of 1982 eliciting any frisson compared with today's "Do I Have an STD?" There seem to be plenty of articles on what to do about rejection from a boy but none about rejection from a college. In fact, as opposed to thoughtful articles on college, joining the Peace Corps or relating to parents, in the current Seventeen (Spring Shopping Issue!), life beyond instant gratification seems utterly absent.

Read more -- and consider buying your daughter, if you have one, some good classic books instead of renewing that Seventeen subscription.

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Comments

Anna

What novels has Marie Myung-Ok Lee writtened? She's appealing just on her dislike of Seventeen.

labrialumn

This is also short-changing teenage boys.

By producing such shallow, vapid women.

Of course, at least some Christian teachers colleges teach that this is natural and to be expected, and that we musn't oppose such behavior.

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