Kiley Roache is a sophomore at Nazareth Academy and Andrea Limon is a junior at Kenwood Academy. They are student reporters for The Mash, a weekly teen publication distributed to Chicagoland high schools.
Yes, some advice is too mature
Seventeen magazine is definitely too forward with its advice. Even though they're called "Seventeen," many of its readers are younger than that -- a fact that Seventeen must know because it once ran an article about makeup recommendations starting with age 15, not the age on its cover.
However, even though Seventeen has such a young readership, its advice, especially about dating, seems to target an older audience. The magazine often gives advice for hookups with the opinions coming from adult authors, or their "hot guy panels," which consists of guys as old as 21 years old. It's a little inappropriate when Seventeen publishes advice about hot hookups in a magazine read by 13-year-olds.
I remember one time when Seventeen gave readers advice on how to determine if their love will last based on how their boyfriends walk or hold their hands, and what cars they drive. Mixed in with how to plan the perfect outfit and celebrity interviews, Seventeen tried to define on a single page what constitutes a real, lasting love. In another issue, it advised girls to lie when a guy they don't like asks them out. Dishonesty is never good advice for young readers, even when they're trying to deal with an awkward moment.
Furthermore, most advice Seventeen gives is simply not practical or age appropriate. Every person is different and therefore everyone will find love in different ways. Trying to break love down to something that can be solved formulaically in a column or a flowchart will never work.
- Kiley Roache, Nazareth Academy
No, Seventeen is very helpful
When the new issue of Seventeen magazine comes out, you'll find a lot of girls reading the magazine during class. The funniest part is when you see girls giggling and blushing over some of the pages they're reading.
When I receive mine in the mail, I always flip to the advice section and read every word on that page. I don't think that Seventeen is too forward with its advice for teenagers. The magazine is simply informing the reader about popular topics and questions every teen has.
Sometimes a teen doesn't have anyone to talk to about these types of situations. The magazine offers many different opinions, options and sources. If the topic is about when relationships turn from caring to obsessive and manipulative, the magazine will provide advice from girls who have experienced the same situation. Seventeen often offers experts' advice too.
Seventeen doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. Rather, it helps the readers without crossing any boundaries.
While reading through the responses you can sense a clear and caring tone. The articles always remind and encourage teens to have fun in a safe way. Each of their advice sections always offers websites, phone numbers you can call for help if you need it and tips on how to stay safe.
In the end, the magazine doesn't tell you to do something; it's your own decision whether you follow its advice. Seventeen simply provides some suggested advice so teens can find answers to questions they would never ask a parent about.
- Andrea Limon, Kenwood