Even though Hayden Panettiere turned 18 last August, we're wondering, is the Heroes starlet a teenager or an adult? We ask only because Hayden is on the cover of three different Hearst girly magazines for April 2008: There's Cosmopolitan ("Fun • Fearless • Female"), which, according to demographics, has a medium reader age of 31.5. But Hayden is also on the cover of Seventeen ("It's Fun To Be Seventeen" — median reader age, 16.5), and that magazine's seasonal spin-off, Seventeen Prom (median age, um, Jessica McClintock?). Are we supposed to believe that both high school sophomores and career women in their thirties want to buy into what Hayden — and Hearst — is selling?* After the jump, we take a closer look at the differences in how Hayden is presented to the ladymag-loving public.
Appearance: Hayden's makeup is fresh, light, and appropriate for impressionable young kiddies: Light pink lips, just a hint of color on the cheeks. There is no visible cleavage, and, for the most part, her hair covers up her bare arms and armpits. Cover Lines: Talk about chaste! There's "cute" jewelry, "pretty" hair secrets and no mention of sex, save for "sexy [hair] cuts" and "The Kissing Disease No One Wants To Talk About!". And as for clothes, there's both a "free" tank top and hot celeb trends ("Under $20"). Cover Profile: Hayden expresses her love for Angelina Jolie, BFF Hilary Duff, explains her breakup with Laguna Beach's Stephen Colletti, talks about her love of shoes and gives advice on breakups. (Males, by the way, are referred to on the cover as "guys".)
Appearance: Hayden shows more skin than on the magazine's namesake, including cleavage. Plus, there's a bit of cleavage, the Cosmo standard hand-on-hip, and a princess-y tiara set into her crispier-looking hair. Cover Lines: Not a lot of "sexy", but plenty of "amazing" "perfect" "pretty" and "best", as well as the chance to win a "free dress". As for guys, there is no mention of boys whatsoever, although their presence is implicit ("Sexy Shoes", "Your Best Prom Body (In Just Two Moves)"). Cover Profile: Written by the same author as the Seventeen profile, this story presents Hayden as just another prom-crazy secondary-schooler, explaining that her "biggest big night" was her prom, that she worries about who she should take to events as her date (um, we can think of one!), that her perfect prom date would be a "best girlfriend", and her own prom disaster story (a strap on her dress broke).
Appearance: Standing before a va-va-va-voom red background, Hayden is shown with a lot more skin: visible cleavage, thigh and armpit. Lip and cheek colors are darker (does her slightly-larger parting of the lips indicate that she's been practicing the magazine's "Little Mouth Moves That Make Sex Hotter"?) Cover Lines: Where to start? This is definitely the slut's style guide. There's the aforementioned "Mouth Moves" — Question: Do "Mouth Moves" lend themselves to "Kissing Disease"? — the highly touted "Be A Sex Genius!", and all sorts of other suggestive words and phrases. Males are referred to as "men" as well as "guys", and there's no free tank tops here; readers can enter to win $10,000 and become "A Rich Bitch!". Cover Profile: Hayden, say Cosmo editors, is a "good bad girl" who wears sexy thigh-high boots to her interview, admits to drinking alcohol, and explains that every girl "likes feeling hot and sexy and beautiful and hearing it", does not want to be called "cute", and is "not as sweet as I look." Her heroines? Angelina, Natalie Portman and Meryl Streep. Also: There's no dishing on guys (like any seasoned, "serious", adult actress, she refuses talk about her personal life).
*Apparently, Seventeen and Cosmo have been trading female celebrity cover subjects for some time: Hayden, Rihanna, Ashlee Simpson, Carrie Underwood, Hilary Duff, Beyonce. What tends to be happen is that a starlet appears on Seventeen first, then on Cosmo a few months afterwards. How quickly these young ladies go from Swarovski-encrusted Sidekicks to Rabbit Habits!