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To teenage girls magazines are very important along with television and the internet as it is one of the only ways that teenagers can keep up with trends, what make up to wear, who’s hot and who’s not. For example for the average teenager it could completely crush your “street cred” if when asked for example what you think of Justin Timberlake, and you reply “Justin Who.” To not be the first to know the latest fashion craze and what music is popular can be crushing, for at the very least their self confidence.


I myself am caught up in this gossiping craze for the fight for popularity. In order to keep up with the latest trends and music I started buying magazines at the tender age of 10 when everyone else started bringing them to school and I started to be left behind. Nowadays the younger generation are buying magazines much earlier, filling their impressionable minds with stereotypes. I now buy 4 magazines these being Sugar, Sneak, J17 and More. I have to limit myself to these of I’d end up buying them all. This little lot can cost me £10 a month, that’s £50 a year and for some who can buy over 10 magazines it will cost them a lot more.


In my study I will be focusing on J17-£-Monthly and Sugar-£.10-monthly. As I found that these were the most popular.


Content


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In J17 there main focuses are on Boys, Make up, hair styling and Pop music. In Sugar their main focuses are on Boys, Make up, hair styling and Pop music. To an outsider i.e. and adult of a male this would lead them to believe that all teenage girls only think about these things. My brother for example thinks that my mine works the same as his 18 yr old girlfriends’ mind. Thinking that I like the same sort of hair and make up and clothes. This of course is rubbish as I think that some of her style is tarty and over dressed. Whereas she thinks that my style is sometimes scruffy. However we both read the same sorts magazines. When I read the magazines I just read some of the articles and cut out the pictures of good-looking boys. We are completely different people and have very little in common however people think we are similar because of the magazines all contain the same thing. Meaning as we read them we are the same.


As these magazines contain much the same thing and all say that you should all like and wear the same thing. This however causes a lot of stereotypes to be pushed upon children from a young age. Most teen magazines cater for “Rude girls”, “Trendies” or the “Pikeys”. For many teenagers the choice in what to wear and listen to is very slim unless you want to be labelled as something other than these three stereotypes. The other choices are “Goths”, “Grungers” or the ever-popular “Outcast”. Due to the messages in teen magazines teens are forced to choose which group to belong to. For many this can mean completely changing their identity and losing touch with friends because they are in a different stereotypical class and just to stay in, with the in crowd. I myself have been teased to the point of bullying because I refuse to choose. Because of this I have been labelled a grunger or a rude girl wannabe.


I find this hurtful, as all I want to be is myself. I’m a trendie, who listens to grunge music & rudie music, and dresses and acts like a rude girl but talks like a grunger some times. That to some people is very hard to understand as they can’t see why I don’t just conform to a stereotype but I don’t see why I should have to so I’m quite happy being a mixture.


Magazines can also be very expensive not in the actual price of the magazine but the price of the content of the magazine. For example in the February 00 issue of J17 they tell you that “this lipstick is the best” and so it should costing £6.4. 5 out of the 66 “Things to make your winter warmer in evolve you buying over priced items you will never use again. 7 pages out of the 114 were devoted to telling you what you need to look cool and that’s not even including the explicit advertisement pages which totted up to 1 pages. So that’s 48 pages out of 114 telling you what to buy.


Of course you don’t have to buy these product although without the latest clothes, trainers, shoes, make up and hairstyles it can lead many teenager to be bullied even slip in depressing enough to be suicidal. I know of many teenagers teased for simply not being able to afford the latest gear to being beaten up. I myself was inside my best friends house when it was bricked because this group of teenagers thought it would be funny to do this to a family less fortunate than themselves. This stereotypical lifestyle of having the latest stuff is affecting children much younger than before as they are copying the behaviour of their older magazine reading older siblings right up to adults wanting to “keep up with the Joneses next door”. Obviously teen magazines can’t be blamed for all of this however ideas that we pick up at a younger age leave impressions upon us until adult hood.


Language


In the teenage magazines that I studied and the ones that I read normally they use a colloquial tone so that the readers can relate to the writer. This is very successful as statistics show that products advertised in magazine promotions sell more than others. This tone is used throughout the magazine even in the problem pages.


I think that they use this relaxed everyday language as if a friend is talking to you so that your brain tells you that if they are saying that this product is good then it must be because your friends only generally use this informal language.


Lots of the words are shorted down, as they would be in speech. For example “gonna” and “wanna”, “Boyf and Girlf” are commonly used words. These word are shortened like this to relax you so the magazine is not heavy going at all and a very easy read, unlike in a book. However studies show that more teenagers, girls in particular are reading fewer books and more magazines.


Visual Images


Something that has always annoyed me about teenage magazines is that the models are always happy and they are always skinny with perfect skin, teeth, hair, and e.c.t. The pictures Taken always seem that the models are having a good time making you think that if you had those clothes, that make up or that hair style you too would be that happy, which is obviously not true as materialistic things like that can’t really make you truly happy at the end of the day.





From my studies I have found that reading beauty magazine can actually make you feel really depressed, as you become jealous of these teen models.


In the UK we have one of the highest rating of teens with eating disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia caused by the quest for the perfect body. These magazines do not help these figures at all as they promote the stereotypical images of beautiful people and, surprise, they’re all thin.


Myself when I flick through the magazines feel myself becoming depressed. There is so much pressure to be slim like the film stars as it is just no fashionable to have a curvy figure. Due to this highly critical world I like so many face the taunts everyday.


To many the likes of Britney Spears and Nicole Kidman are role models; however the person I feel I can relate to most is Eastenders curvy “Sonia Jackson” played by Natalie Cassidy. When her character Sonia started dating “Jamie Mitchell” played by Jack Ryder I felt it was a conquest for fat teens everywhere as if someone like Sonia can date a heart throb like Jamie what’s stopping us.


In the last 10 to 0 year weight has become a real issue and something to taunt the over weight with. I feel that all these stick thin models and T.V stars have influenced this making the Weight loss industry one of the biggest in the world.


Conclusion


In am annoyed at my findings that commercial companies use these supposedly helpful magazines to boost their profits and leave many parents out of pocket. While creating a more critical, materialistic, stereotypical world for these teenage girls and everyone else to live in.


Yes, these magazines do provide helpful hints for teenage fashion and self-conscious girls, and yes, they are informative with facts about issues that affect us teens. However I still an annoyed and feel used as we as teenage girls to the commercial bosses are just a money making scheme and when you break the magazines down to it’s more simple form and you get a catalogue of adverts with a bit of old gossip thrown in for good measure.





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