The Common Good
July-August 1997

Taking Teen Voices Seriously

by Emily Wayne | July-August 1997

Crediting young women with intelligence

Teen Voices is a magazine, written by and for teen and young adult women, that credits us with intelligence and an interest in women’s issues more serious than Brad Pitt’s new hairstyle/girlfriend/movie. My only complaint is that it is not long enough, but this is explained in the latest issue as a funding dilemma rather than an editorial decision.

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The front cover of Teen Voices is proof enough that this is not your typical teen-age magazine. Teen Voices has three teen-age girls on the front representing various races and sizes. Other magazines usually feature one young female model who is grotesquely skinny, and then on the inside pages of the magazine, the reader is told what make-up and clothes the model is wearing so her "look" can be copied.

Other teen magazines foster the feeling that the editors believe all teen-age girls to be vapid and to have interest only in make-up, fashion trends, and how to get a boyfriend. The articles offered to us include "How to make that boy like you," "How to dump your boyfriend," and "10 easy steps to applying make-up to look as natural as possible."

On the other hand, the latest issue of Teen Voices (Volume 5, Issue 3) offers such diverse topics as teen witches, affirmative action, Hollywood’s new trend of featuring teen-age girls as strong individualistic heroes, and a young woman’s account of her exchange trip to Mexico. These articles make for interesting and stimulating reading, and provide facts so readers can make up their own minds about where they stand on certain issues.

Sisters, we no longer need to be dictated to by the mass publications that tell us how to dress and the latest place to be seen. We are intelligent and discerning readers who deserve better. Jam-packed into a few pages are many more stimulating and thought-provoking articles than Seventeen could ever hope to hold. So, three cheers for Teen Voices, the thinking girls’ alternative.

EMILY WAYNE is a 17-year-old high school student who lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Teen Voices. . PO Box 116, Moster MA 12123-0116, 1996.

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