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Monthly Teen Mag Roundup

Teen Vogue August 2012 Cover

Millennials are always plugged in, but that doesn’t mean they’re tossing magazines aside. In fact, nearly 30% of Millennials say they turn to magazines for fashion advice according to our latest Fashion & Style report, and publications are particularly important during the back-to-school shopping season as students seek to transform their style. So with this in mind, we decided to check out the newest issues of the top teen magazines to understand the trends and what’s in style this season:

As one might expect, both Teen Vogue and Seventeen’s August issues are focused on back-to-school shopping with jeans popping up on almost every page. However, what stood out the most in both these issues was the focus on collegians (even though these are both traditionally teen mags), as well as the message to be yourself and inspire others.

Funny girl and Millennial favorite Emma Stone graces the cover of Teen Vogue along with her boyfriend slash “The Amazing Spider-Man” co-star Andrew Garfield. Emma is relatable and even quirky, and most of all, represents the idea of individuality. Many of the stars featured throughout the magazine, including Ashley Rickards of MTV’s “Awkward” and Chloe Moretz also embody the message that being different makes you cool. This concept resonates with Millennials and in finding fashion inspiration, who better than these girls to serve as role models?

But besides the star appeal, this issue focuses on fashion with several affordable features like Macy’s Material Girl line and Vera Wang’s new collection for Kohl’s. Self-expression creeps up throughout the pages both in how one dresses and what they do. Music and dance are spotlighted in this issue with mention of Kimbra — New Zealand’s pop princess, Jordin Sparks and her upcoming role in the film “Sparkle,” as well as a trend piece on all the dance TV shows and movies hitting the screens this season. The theme connecting all of these ideas is expressing yourself whether it’s through what you wear or what’s around you.

But the topics became a little heavier when we read the lifestyle feature on excessive drinking, a typical behavior on college campuses that also exists among younger adolescent girls. The idea of “drunkorexia” disturbed us as some girls are cutting calories during the day to save them for drinking, and often, to get drunk faster. For many, throwing up at the end of the night is even part of their typical behavior. The article affirms that girls drink to such a degree to feel more confident in situations where they’d otherwise feel nervous. However, we hope the message of being yourself conveyed throughout the rest of the magazine resonates with them, especially as being different is in!

Seventeen stands out as it too offers more content for the college-aged audience and promotes the ideas of inspiration and individuality. The glossy includes a 40-page supplement called Seventeen College Style, which contains content on campus fashion, as well as dorm décor suggestions including DIY projects and affordable items. Millennials show off their personality through their clothes so shouldn’t their room reflect and evolve into who they are too?

Seventeen August 2012 CoverSpeaking of being an individual and an inspiration, nothing exemplifies this more than the feature on 17-year-old Olympic boxer Claressa Shields. She was told boxing was for boys, but with hard work and determination, she’s now London bound and proof that anything is possible!

Differences are celebrated throughout other features in the magazine like The Body Peace Project, where readers vow to make peace with their bodies and can talk about what body judgments have hurt them. Real girls share their stories to spread the idea that having confidence in yourself is what matters most. This idea is echoed by cover girl Shay Mitchell from ABC Family’s hit show “Pretty Little Liars” who says to “embrace what you were born with because it’s beautiful.” She discusses how being different is what makes you stand out, and by believing in this  — she posts an inspirational quote to Twitter every day to share with her fans — she hopes others learn to inspire themselves and their peers too.

When it comes to fashion, jeans are shown throughout the pages of the publication — there’s even a jean shopping guide — both in how they can fit your body and personal style. Seventeen continuously offers affordable options with jeans from Kohl’s and Target to JC Penney and American Eagle. And like Teen Vogue, relatable girls are featured throughout — again Ashley Rickards has a spread, as well as real girls in all shapes, sizes, and skin colors alongside articles telling them to be fearless and confident.

If there’s one thing to learn this BTS season, it’s that individuality is a must-have!