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Things You Read in Teen Magazines

by Flora Richards-Gustafson, studioD

In existence since the 1940s, teen magazines have a largely female audience. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the leading magazines mostly feature articles about personal appearance and dating. Because some young girls look to teen magazines as a source of advice, it’s to a parent’s advantage to learn about the issues that interest teens by checking out the contents of their favorite publications.

Beauty and Fashion Tips

Many articles in teen magazines are dedicated to beauty, fashion and makeup. Editors often include regular articles about the latest hairstyles, clothing trends and makeup techniques. Some fashion and beauty articles are seasonal. In the late spring, for example, a magazine might feature the best swimsuits to wear for different body types. In addition to offering tips about makeup and clothes, teen magazines also publish articles about skin care and dealing with issues might be new to a young person, such as acne.

Relationship Advice

While some articles in teen magazines focus on maintaining a healthy relationship with family and friends, most focus on boys and dating. The contents of a periodical might include advice on how a teenage girl can gain the confidence to talk to a boy she likes or offer a quiz to determine whether a boy likes her. Some articles discuss how to interpret nonverbal cues during a date or include interviews with teen boys about what makes a girl dating-worthy. On occasion, a teen magazine will print an article about recognizing unhealthy or abusive relationships, and provide tips about where to find help.

Diet and Fitness Tips

It’s common for teen magazines to print articles that teach its readers about fitness and maintaining a healthful weight. In the article “Minding the Media: Teen Magazines” on the PsychCentral website, associate editor Margarita Tartakovsky comments that you can find teen magazine covers with headlines like “Get Your Best Body” or “Ab Attack.” Instead of focusing on weight loss in fitness- and diet-related articles, teen magazines often share recipes for healthy snacks or exercise routines that a young person can do without going to the gym.

Entertainment and Celebrity Gossip

A handful of teen magazines focus on the latest popular celebrities. They offer celebrity news and gossip, posters and interviews. In teen fashion magazines, the celebrity focus is also on gossip. If a celebrity is on a magazine’s cover, that same issue generally includes an interview with the individual and pictures of the celebrity wearing the latest clothing trends in the fashion section. On occasion, a magazine will also show its readers how to copy a celebrity's looks.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images