Sometime during the tween years, the Christmas wish list changes. There are no toys. The list, if she will give you any ideas, is filled with higher priced electronics, clothing (if she trusts anyone else to buy for her), and maybe a book or two. Moms, desperate to give relatives a gift idea in this new era where one-doll-does-not-fit-all, sometimes ask for magazine subscriptions. Over the next couple weeks, I will be reviewing some of the tween magazines including Seventeen, BYOU, Discovery Girls, and American Girl.
Let’s start with Seventeen. A tween magazine? No, not really, that’s way it needs to be reviewed. If you were like me, you started reading Seventeen long before you hit that age, maybe around twelve or thirteen. I remember the magazine as being full of fashion, make-up and hair advice and quizzes to tell me if the guy in the next row liked me. Sounds okay for the older tween crowd.But moms, either my memory is failing me or the magazine has changed (truly not sure which).
Seventeen begins targeting readers at age 12, though if you look at their media kit, they are focusing on older girls, closer to the name of their magazine. Their true market is more in the 16-24 range (they don’t even track stats for girls under 12, but I know there are girls reading it–especially the ones with older sisters). Their headlines and content reflect this older age. Seventeen is not a tween magazine. I would not recommend it.
Here are some of the cover stories from the Feb 2011 issue:
- Flat Tummy Tips That Work
- Look Cute Everyday!
- Love and Sex Secrets: What No One Tells You About Your First Time
Some content from the March 2011 issue and the April 2012 issue
- Sex ed: Is it more than a girl crush?
- How Hot is Your Hookup? The Hot Guy Panel gives advice on how to make your moves on fire with advice like, “You pull away for a minute and kiss his neck. That the kind of move that makes me tingle all over.” –from 17-year-old John
- What No One Tells You About Birth Control: Including the advice that it can make sex feel better and that you don’t have to tell your parents
That should be enough. I am a conservative Christian mom, but any mom raising a tween can see that this magazine is not appropriate for tween girls. We don’t want them to grow up too fast and at this age, moms should be having these conversations with their girls. If the girl in your life doesn’t have a mom she can talk to and you want her to have a book that answers her questions, try this instead (more resources coming soon, I promise). So don’t give into nostalgia and let her read this, there are tween magazines that are full of age-appropriate content.