Ruby's Corner

Teen Beat

I like reading magazines almost as much as I like reading Tumblr. Have you seen itsapuglife.tumblr.com? It’s awesome. It’s devoted to pugs. But wait, I was going to talk about magazines.

I’m getting frustrated with magazines that are supposed to be for teenage girls. Like, seriously. Why do you think I want to read CRAP? Why do you think I want to read LIES? Why doesn’t it occur to you that really, I would love to read an interview where Kathleen Hanna is talking to Taylor Swift about how to write a punk rock song, or Abby Elliot interviewing Miranda Cosgrove about comedic timing? You know, interesting combinations of cool girls of different generations talking about whatever their craft is. I’m so sick of seeing these covers with collages of all the cool teen stars – it’s the same photos I’ve seen over and over and over again. I’m so sick of reading magazines where it’s assumed I’m not intelligent and don’t want to be challenged in any way.

I mean, God forbid a teen magazine – and let’s face it, they’re targeted at girls – mention the word FEMINISM. Or talk about how girls and boys are of equal value. Or address issues of body image. Or anything real in a girl’s life that she could use wisdom on. I mean, thank goodness for moms and also, the Internet.

Still, here are some magazines that get it right:

MAD MAGAZINEMAD MAGAZINE makes fun of our society. They are probably one of the funniest magazines out there. If they’re going to tell me about Ashley Tisdale eating celery, they’re going to have fun with it. And that’s a whole lot better than making it a NEWS FLASH.

SEVENTEEN and TEEN VOGUE, sometimes Both have a lot of fashion for teen girls. Which I almost am. I mean, I’m a ‘tween. So ALMOST. But anyway, they have fashion and I like to look cute and I like that these two teen magazines are focused on clothing rather than gossip, gossip, gossip. Like it or not, fashion is a part of a girls life. 

NEW YORKER Real life stories written by JOURNALISTS. Like, writers who have FACTS in their stories. I know, what a concept, right? Yes, it’s a lot of words with very few pictures, but I like that. I love that David Sedaris. He’s so silly. So yeah, they  have funny magazines articles, yet they have a reality check in them.

So if you’re going to start a magazine for teens, here are some tips:

1. I DON’T NEED TO KNOW WHAT SELENA ATE ON TUESDAY.  Teens don’t care about celebrities eating habits; we care about their health. And also, stop picking on the girls who aren’t stick thin. Seriously, that’s not cool.

2.  STOP WITH THE FAKE STORIES. I can’t stand the magazines where you can tell everything is fake. Stories that make it seem like Selena is mad at Justin, supported by a photo with her pouting? That’s misleading. Stop cobbling stories that use quotes from other articles. Just write something real. Something I can believe in.

3. YOU TALKIN’ TO ME? THEN START TALKING TO ME FOR REAL. Teen magazines talk to us like we are in pre-school. Like, really? If I want to feel like I’m 5 again, I will pull out my Fancy Nancy books. So don’t talk down to me; I can see right through that.

4.  GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME Give us some crossword puzzle. Give us some quizzes with substance. Give us some quizzes that are funny. In other words, challenge us, make us laugh, give us a quiz that’s fun.

5. MAKE IT WORTH MY 5 BUCKS. These days, if I want to connect with the girl universe, I can go to my computer and pull up HelloGiggles. Or my favorite Tumblrs. Or if I want to see a photo of Justin Bieber, I can go to People.com or something. So If I’m going to spend money on your magazine, give me something I can’t find anywhere else. Give me an experience that brings me back for me.

If you could create your dream magazine, what would it be? LMK!

And please read/follow my blog, tweet at me @rubykarp or do the “like” thing with my Facebook page. See you next week!

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