We find the news to know between the covers of this month’s teen magazines so you don’t have to.
Between the makeup tips, fashion spreads, and fawning It Girl profiles are the cultural tidbits, new talent faces, and even marketing campaigns that can tell you a lot about being a teen today. We read between the lines of Teen Vogue, Seventeen, and Nylon so you don’t have to, and find the youth culture news to know:
1. Young Musician to Watch
In August, we let you know about Alessia Cara in our viral talent to watch list, and now the young singer is in the pages of Teen Vogue, featured as a musician people are talking about. Cara’s single “Here” has become an anthem for teen introverts—or those who just hate the high school house party scene—and her cover of “Bad Blood” earned her a shout out from Taylor Swift on Twitter (a byproduct of Millennial musicians making fame a team effort).
2. Insta-famous to Follow
Seventeen’s issue this month is devoted to social media stars like cover-kids Tyler Oakley (who we got to know in 2014) and Zoella. But the magazine is also full of young online talent to watch, including Insta-famous teen Emily Ables, aka @blueeyedbiblio. The 18-year-old has earned over 100,000 followers on the network thanks to her book-centric photos (#bookgrams), which highlight the novels she’s reading—in beautiful light, of course. Ables started her Instagram to draw attention to her book blog, which “no one really read” and now uses it to share her love of reading, and the beauty of physical books.
3. Marketing Sign of the Times
According to Ypulse’s research, 37% of teens are passionate about bullying prevention, making it one of the top causes they care about. Teen Vogue and Secret have partnered together for a social good campaign that tackles the issue. Secret “Mean Stinks” asks readers to submit photos pledging to end school bullying, or painting their pinky blue as a sign of support, with the tag #ChainOfNice. The effort promotes kindness, and spreads the message that “it’s not cool to be mean.” (As we explored in our own Play Nice trend.)
4. Other Teen Issues
Seventeen and American Eagle Outfitters surveyed 700 12-17-year-old girls to find out about their lives and passions and shared the results with their readers this month. They found that the environment is the number one issue “keeping them up at night,” followed by civil unrest, the economy, and terrorism. Other stats to note: 45% have felt bullied in school, 31% say “looking good” means “looking fit and healthy,” 75% say their friends make them feel good about themselves, 85% are close with their parents, and 91% say they are stressing about their grades all or some of the time.
5. Life After Viral Fame
Fame has been redefined by the next generation, and we’re officially in a new era of celebrity influencers. For teens, fame is something that could happen to them at any moment, thanks to the constant possibility of viral notoriety and microfame. In a spread following up with some recent instantly famous, Alex From Target confesses, “I feel a lot of pressure to keep [my social media followers] interested and to always say the right thing,” and prom dress design sensation Kyemah declares, “One of the coolest things is when someone reposts a quote of mine.”