It’s Promposal Season: Inside Today’s Teen Magazines

We dug through the pages of this month's Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and (new!) Tiger Beat (so you don't have to) and found the biggest topics to know...

In between the trauma-ramas, the new fashion trends (hint: it's always denim), the horoscopes, and the starlets, teen magazines are a treasure trove of information about being a teen today. Even the design of the issues can speak volumes about what appeals to young consumers right now. Tiger Beat, which has catered to teens for six decades, has revamped their pages to appeal to the new generation. Their covers once featured busy collages of famous faces, but now focus on one star, including up and comer digital celebrities. (Fame has been redefined, after all). The magazine's online presence has gotten the biggest makeover: a redesigned website, and more digital editorial content. We added it to our pile of pink pages to find out more. Here are three things we learned from this month's teen mag issues: 

1. It's Promposal Season

Forget the endless ads for sparkly dresses, these days you can tell prom is approaching when teen magazines start to feature stories the cutest and most creative promposals. The promposal trend, which we spotted in 2014, has only been growing and now brands are getting in on the public “will you go to prom with me” spectacles. MTV launched “Promposal Mania” last year, orchestrating promposal stunts with pop stars and broadcasting them on Snapchat and Periscope. Sour Patch Kids also asked teens to submit their promposal stories on social, and hosted a prom for the winners of the competition. Seventeen and Tiger Beat both feature reader-submitted stories of real life promposals, including gay and straight besties who asked one another, and one boyfriend who asked via a Facebook photos of a trip to Paris. 

2. The…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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