Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

A Perspective on Teenage Magazines and their Continued Focus on the Superficial


Natalie Ryder Redcross and Tresmaine Grimes

Teenage magazine content, after decades, continues to complicate decision making in the communication of the young, impressionable girls who read them. Previous research has indicated that teenagers can be negatively influenced by the media, including teen magazines. These magazines are created for teens, so they will read them, believe what they read, and in some cases, base their decisions on the advice of certain articles. Why do editors continue to, despite what the research purports, produce this type of material? The response has been that it is what the consumer wants, and the more modern response is that it is what the consumer “needs” in a world in which girls are more mature today. While both online and print publications have attempted to address this issue by going outside of the norm publishing content that balances education and entertainment, few have survived. Most popular in the teen world are topics focusing on celebrity gossip, appearance-oriented articles, dating and socialization. Our paper will explore the case of teenage magazines that to this day, remain largely unchanged in a nation in which young girls are desperate for healthy media guidance. Teenage magazine editors are in a powerful position to influence and impress upon teenage girls their value and worth. The authors wonder when they will accept this challenge. Mass Communication professor Dr. Natalie Redcross and Psychology professor Dr. Tresmaine Grimes work out of different departments, but share a common interest and deep concern for young girls. As mothers of daughters, we have personal experience as to the impact of media on girls’ impressionable minds. With backgrounds in the effects of media on attitude and behavior, and the psychological effects of media content, this article delves deeper into the subject of media targeted at young girls today, specifically girl magazines.


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