Teen Vogue: September Issue Review
Some of you know that I had this really big issue with Teen Vogue a month or so back. Being very disappointed with its downwhirling content and lack of response, I wrote, a lot, and after a long headache, eventually got into contact with Amy Astley, the EIC, who basically said she would take my concerns into consideration. But I mean, honestly, who am I, right? It's not like I am expecting them to make any huge changes.
I had a couple major issues with:
1. Teen Vogue's disappointing choice of tween and unmerited/little-talent celebrities as covergirls and the constant coverage of them. [*cough* 2x covergirl Lauren Conrad, Emma Roberts, 2x covergirl Emma Watson]
2. More and more, Teen Vogue seems that it's being made expressly for those who can afford to be in their magazine. By that, I mean children of socialites, designers, in general--rich socialite kids, etc., get highlighted in their magazine-- even instead of fashion-savvy teens (no matter what their household income).
3. Their staff (interns) are all extremely privileged and get their positions primarily through their personal connections [what I based my opinion on].
I find that if they keep on this trend, they'll see their readers turned off more and more.
Some of you may ask the same thing Amy Astley bluntly asked, "If it infuriates you so, why do you keep reading Teen Vogue?" Well, like I said to her, it's because it started off so well as a teen fashion magazine...and then I started noticing that more and more it got into this annoying quagmire, highlighted by 3 of the above points.
So these Teen Vogue "reviews" are to see: Are they at Teen Vogue trying to make a difference? Should I keep subscribing? And should you buy the latest issue?
Here is BOTH the good and bad of their September issue, starting with opinions regarding the 3 points:
On Point 1. Overall, this issue wasn't as bad at that. Still, there were the repeat offenders: the constant mentions and inclusions of Camilla Belle and Lauren Conrad. I really think Camilla Belle is a T.V. fav with an unfound hulabaloo about her.
What I found quite hilarious was how they mentioned Lauren Conrad-- their Hills intern. They managed to stuff her photo in one of the main articles, "The Pressure to be Sexy". The article itself was actually quite good and very relevant: on how today everyone's trying to out-sex each other with revealing photos. However, they totally tainted it with an inclusion of Lauren as "Hot but Not Oversexed"...not to be catty, but this is the girl, who asides from not being the best role model in the world, had a brief moment of exposure for having made a sex tape which had gotten into the public media.
Also, imagine my surprise that the front cover of Yahoo yesterday morning, which showcased a clip of "The Hills" --capturing a heated moment between Heidi and Lauren where they have a loud insult match, yelling at each other for being "sad" and "pathetic" with shouts of, "YOU'LL NEVER BE MY FRIEND AGAIN!!". [click the below picture to go to the clip]
Geez, so much drama surrounding a Teen Vogue intern. Sure got a keeper there. I cannot believe why Teen Vogue would get an intern with so much dirty laundry to air...I mean, it's just got to be the publicity, no matter how good or bad it is. They don't really care how her character reflects on Teen Vogue or how it may impact their readers...as long as they get publicity. I've watched a few episodes of The Hills myself a year or so ago-- entertaining but not... what you want your tween girls watching-- she's not really role model/covergirl material (teetering around drunken on screen?). And Teen Vogue just loves to feature her! So no matter what they say about not just hiring LC cause she's a reality TV star...
They do get brownie points for featuring a star over the age of 20 though-- Anne Hathway (substantial article! not like the dead one-pager on LC and Port)
On Point 2. Miniscule improvement about this. I say this because although they did manage to squeeze in a few spawn of celebrities (who, as Ellen Pompeo has said, are "rich & famous" for being "rich & famous"-- what kind of message to send out to today's youth?). I didn't mind the minor insert of Tallulah Willis (although the past cover story on the Willis/Max Azria children was tiring) or even the (brace yourselves) article with the Vera Wang children as well...who always seem to make it into every issue...extremely annoyed about. I didn't mind it as much this time because they were promoting their mother's Kohl's line. However I'm already wondering how they're going to squeeze them in October...
Teen Vogue didn't do so much better on the including less of "born-privileged kids". Once again, the redo-a-room article was about some well-off Manhattanite (they hardly ever go out of NYC) teen, who (can I be blunt) no doubt, has a mother with good connections.
On Point 3. Besides the above said, concerning Lauren Conrad, they also managed to include a little photo of the rest of the interns. Surprisingly, they're not all blonde-- yeah we've got some brunettes...but they do all seem caucasian. Then that got me to thinking, well...in her letter, although she said the "win an internship at Teen Vogue" winner was not chosen because of personal connections (which I actually don't doubt) Ms. Astley never denied that the majority of girls included are all extremely privileged, and from well-off families with good social connections.
I guess it is the type of people Teen Vogue is featuring more and more that is what's unfortunate.
Now, as for everything else (good and bad):
Their feedback section wasn't concerning the LC August one I fumed about so I guess I'll have to wait on that one to see if they'll put down the true opinions from readers (I've been on the forums myself & I'm not the only one with those 3 point concerns).
Another main article, besides the oversexed-issue one, was written by a girl who was severely affected by 9/11, what she went through, and the aftermath of the event on her. It was very in-depth, touching, and even thought-provoking. Overall, a great article. There was even another article with good content about a model's self consciousness and self esteem when it came to her acne problem. It was very relatable. There was also a useful article on the best snacks for certain situations and tips on how to take the perfect yearbook photo. They also had something on the current crowd's extreme addiction to technology and tech communication. So it seems that Teen Vogue has great educational and enriching content (at least in this issue), but their much adored tween focus on celebrities and privileged kids is just plain annoying.
About other bits... They had something on Irina & Agyness, but they're kind of old news already, and the articles were kind of...unrelatable (I thought their last one on Coco Rocha was done well). As for fashion-wise, they were pretty on trend with their A-Z fall fashion guide, well-written, their style articles, and they also had a page of actual street fashion. Their DIY section was featured by Phillip Lim with a spruced up oxford. Teen Vogue normally does pretty well by their DIYs, they pick just the right designers at the right time. Of course, I love Phillip Lim & Wenlan Chia, so...
Lastly, they had a fashion spread based in Beijing. It was pretty impressive; they used a model from a local village and also used local influences in and wares for the shoot. Not to mention, it was very beautifully shot.
However, the low points were that it was a little too stereotypical-- they outfitted the model with all these traditional and very asian head-dresses. Not even contemporary chinese people wear their hair like that.
I understand it was a "very asian" photoshoot, but I think they could've gone a little modern with the hair if they could do so with the clothes. Also, we all know I'm not crazy about fur.
Speaking of Beijing (what a segway!) you can take a moment of action from Save Darfur:
One year from today, the Summer Olympic Games will begin in Beijing, China.
To mark this date, Save Darfur Coalition partner Dream for Darfur is launching its own Olympic torch relay in Chad, across the border from Darfur. The torch will tour the world, including sites of other genocides and many U.S. cities, until it reaches China's doorstep in December.
All nations must do more to stand up for the people of Darfur. However, China's economic, political, and military ties to the Sudanese government give it considerable influence over Sudan's decisions. China therefore has a tremendous responsibility to help end this tragedy. That is the message we sent two weeks ago when I delivered 42,000 Save Darfur Coalition activist petitions to the Chinese Embassy in D.C.
Unfortunately, so far, China's actions have not been enough.
As next year's Olympics draw near, we must ramp up world pressure on China. Click here now to sign our new petition and make sure China gets the message.