College Girls Are Reading Seventeen MagazineS

My friends and I read Seventeen when we were tweens, but moved onto more sophisticated reading material like Jane and Cosmopolitan before we entered high school because there were only so many boy band profiles and "52 ways to have the best first kiss ever" articles we could stomach. (But not, apparently, too many "52 ways to have the best sex ever" stories — those provided endless entertainment.)

But research shows that the number of 18- to 24-year-old women reading Seventeen grew 17 percent in the last five years — thanks in part to events on college campuses and a number of college freshman bloggers, Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket told the New York Times — and now the magazine is making a concerted effort to hold onto their more mature readers (who probably don't have to ask for parental permission to buy a subscription): tomorrow, the magazine will release a "Seventeen College Style" supplement along with its August issue. This will include "articles on campus fashions, creative ways to apply eye makeup for rush week events and affordable ways to decorate a dorm room and make it the 'hangout, study haven, makeout spot of your dreams,' according to the magazine."

Shoket said the supplement's articles are tailored to women on different types of campuses: "We designed the stories so that it was drilled down to what kind of college you are going to." Ugh, but I always thought that was the most obnoxious thing about teen magazines: quizzes are cute and all, but girls are more multidimensional than "Are you a Berkeley babe? Wear Birkenstocks!" Why read Seventeen when you could read Rookie? Or, I don't know, any one of the zillion amazing and inspiring teen fashion blogs out there?

Of course, I haven't seen the supplement (and I'm not actually a teenager) so I'm just speculating — maybe it'll be awesome. I hope it is! And the NYT tracked down at least one 19-year-old girl (a Harvard student, no less; fancy!) who buys Seventeen. "Vogue, I cannot afford a single thing in there. But in Seventeen I can afford most of all of it," Danai Kadzere said. "In college, your parents aren't paying for your clothes anymore. Even with a summer job, it still doesn't come up to being able to afford a $100 T-shirt."

True that. I'm just honestly shocked that older young women still rely on Seventeen to figure out where to buy T-shirts and how to kiss. "We are the magazine that helps them go to college," Shoket said. Really?


Seventeen Reclaims Readers Who've Moved On to College
[New York Times]