A Crytical Analysis On Teen Magazines

4911 words - 20 pages

IntroductionMagazines aimed at the young teenage women market may give the impression of being a 'girl's best friend'. Of course, like everything, they have their strengths and weaknesses but do the strengths outweigh the weaknesses? It seems more likely for the negative effects of teenage magazines to be more prominent than the positive effects but is this really the case?This response reviews the way teenage magazines address issues relevant to young women today, especially from the point of view of promoting healthy body image, safe sex and leading social justice issues. All these aspects are emphasised by techniques used in the composition of these magazines with article structure, ...view middle of the document...

It is, therefore, important that they address the relevant issues teenagers face in society today.One of the biggest issues addressed in teenage magazines is sex, and more importantly, safe sex. The impression you acquire when you pick up a teenage magazine is that they "assume that if girls are not sex savvy then they want to be."One teenage reader asked the question concerning Chik magazine: "where's all the sex stories?" This simple question supports the theory that teenage magazines are not necessarily successful for the correct reasons.Amongst some groups in society, such as the Christian churches, such articles are often perceived as immoral. It also makes these acts seem more common in society, which is not necessarily true. In fact, 80 percent of 16 year-olds have not had sexual intercourse but by the age of 18 there's a 50 per cent probability that they have. Being a virgin is generally criticised by other teenagers. Despite the fact that magazines promote safe sex, research has shown that safe sex does not exist unless two virgins are having sex for the first time and remain with each other for life.On the other hand, these magazines run articles on what their readers want to know. If Dolly magazine receive a letter asking for help about not wanting to have sex, they will run an article about abstinence. Or if they receive a letter about date rape, they will run an article about date rape and what to do about it. In the same respect, if a reader asks Dolly, 'what is masturbation?' they will respond with an appropriate article.There seems to be a common perception that reading teenage magazines has contributed heavily to readers' low self-esteem. As a result of this perception, today teenage magazines seek to promote a health body image. Dolly magazine has a specific section in every issue called the Body Confidence Club that is dedicated to motivating teenagers to be content with their body. This ranges from advice on exercising and meditation to healthy eating. Often it will include real-life stories to help teenagers to believe 'if it worked for them, it can work for me!' The deputy editor of Dolly magazine said:"We never publish diets or ever say that a girl should lose weight, it's only ever about toning up if that's what you want to feel better about yourself."The Body Confidence Club is a reader forum where Dolly talks about a body issue and does it in a way that is inspirational. Stories will reflect the problem and show solutions, stimulating teenagers to think that they can change too. Publishing articles on healthy body image next to fashion spreads "glorifying all that is tall and skinny" can have a negative effect. What girls need to remember is that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14 and she was still considered beautiful.Even Cosmopolitan has dealt with the issue of body image, introducing the 'Body Love Initiative' in October 2001. This policy states that Cosmopolitan will use models from size 6 to size 16 in every issue, as...

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