Seventeen Magazine

by chickenhilton

Seventeen Magazine is a fashion/beauty/advice magazine which is read by teenage girls all across the globe.  The magazine is made in America and is mainly read by 10-17 year old girls and it reaches over 12 million readers every month.  It was first published so it could inspire teenage girls to become ‘model workers and citizens’.  But shortly after this the magazine became much more romantic and more of a fashion magazine but it was still “promoting self-confidence in young women”.

In Seventeen Magazine teenage girls are represented as always being tall and skinny with nice hair, perfect skin and professionally done makeup.  However this is a misrepresentation of teenage girls completely as teenage girls do not all look like the models and celebrities used on the covers and in the articles of Seventeen Magazine.


From most of the magazine covers I have seen, just by searching ‘Seventeen Magazine’ and viewing the images, I was able to notice that the magazine had a particular theme going on which was mainly how to make your body look “better” and how to look much nicer with their “amazing beauty tips”.  This is advertised on the magazine by fraise’s like “get your best body now!” and “get your hottest body!” and of course they have a skinny, pretty girl on the cover so teenage girls can think that if they follow seventeen magazines steps to getting their “best bikini body” they may also look like these pretty models and celebrities on the covers of the magazines.  Also their beauty tips on how to look better for a particular season, event or just everyday are generally advertised on their magazines just as much as the articles on how to get a better body.  These beauty tips are usually to do with makeup, hair and how to have better skin.  You can see articles like this in almost every single issue of Seventeen Magazine, and of course you can see articles like this in many other magazines that are directed towards the audience of teenage girls.


In this particular issue of Seventeen Magazine we can see in very large, bold letters “Get An Insane Body, It’s Hard, But You’ll Look Hot!” which is something we can see on most issues of a Seventeen Magazine.  However in very small text just above this statement, we can see how the actress and model Troian Bellisario was struggling with an eating disorder which almost ruined her life.  In the article Torian stated that she would not eat as a punishment if she didn’t do that well in school that day, this is an example of how girls can be affected by the media so terribly.  They are told they must have the perfect body, that they must be smart and do well in school, that they must maintain societies idea of beauty while still being healthy and happy.  Seventeen Magazine is promoting Torain’s story in order for teenage girls to see that everyone goes through what they may be going through and use her as an example of how you can recover from things like eating disorder’s or mental health issues.  However by putting “Get An Insane Body” right next to the caption about Torian, but putting it in bolder letters and making it much more eye-catching seems as though the magazine is making loosing weight and having a good body before the consequences that over working and starving your body can have on you both mentally and physically.  According to around 90% of American’s with eating disorders are female and around 5% of teenage girls are suffering from anorexia today.  This shows how much teenage girls can be affected by just being insecure with their bodies, and many of the reasons of their insecurities can come from magazines like Seventeen Magazine which are constantly saying how important it is to lose weight and are promoting weight loss in nearly every single issue of their magazine, and because their audience is mainly girls aged 10-17 every girl could be affected by what this magazine is saying as Anorexia can start with girls as young as eight years old and can affect them for the rest of their lives.


The affect that the messages in Seventeen Magazine have can affect girls majorly.  The idea that Seventeen Magazine says that girls must never get tagged in the same outfit twice and how they are constantly sporting weight loss ideas, how to get clear skin and how to have nice hair on their front covers along with a pretty photoshopped celebrity that many teen girls are going to look up to can make teenage girls think that in order to be just like the girl on the cover they have to follow seventeen magazines advice.  However this has a majorly negative affect on teen girls well-being which I have stated earlier.  They may over work their bodies and not eat enough food and this can result in teen girls being extremely sick due to the media constantly sharing weight loss ideas and saying things like “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, as well as celebrities endorsing weight loss products and websites telling women just how important it is to be skinny.  The pressures of society are always shown widely throughout the media and this has been affecting teen girls for years.  We are exposed to the ideas of women always having to maintain their beauty standards and thin figures from a very young age mainly through different types of media, including children’s movie’s and tv shows, books and many other sources of media.  From a young age girls are expected to be able to carry out these things and because no one will ever look as perfect as a photoshopped celebrity on the cover of a magazine, teen girls will often become insecure and then act upon these insecurities, trying to become societies idea of ‘perfect’.  Over half the population of 13 year old girls in America are insecure with their bodies, and by the age of 17 almost 80% of girls in America will be insecure with their body, this just proves that as we become older and become more exposed to different types of media we become more affected of the stereotypes and the representations shown within the media.

Seventeen magazine is the perfect example of how the media affects teenage girls both mentally and physically.  As a magazine full of only pictures and a few words this magazine has a huge impact on the well-being of millions of teenage girls as young as ten years old, and can show the negative affect that the media has on young girls.  Seventeen magazine mainly affects girls through always sporting titles about how to lose weight, how to have nice hair and skin and how to keep your makeup and clothes always look nice on their covers and in their magazine, which can make many girls very insecure if they cannot achieve what this magazine is saying they must do, and from their insecurities they can try to ‘improve’ themselves, but damage themselves mentally and physically in the process.

header image link: