Dear Seventeen

Dear Seventeen Magazine,

Last week I purchased your magazine for the first time in over 30 years. Let me offer my congratulations to your continued success. I am also in a kind of shock that I purchased a magazine for my teen that my mom purchased for me.  It seems that as much as the world has changed since my teenage years the more it has stayed the same within teen stardom land.

It is because the world has indeed changed that I writing to you. I bought the current issue because my teen is currently obsessed with all things Sabrina Carpenter.  This photo is how I won best mom of the day award.

What the photo doesn’t show, but the article inside does, is that your cover girl also suffers from anxiety. Something most teenage girls grapple with as they enter high school (and beyond). Reading the article, I’m sure, your writer reached a lot of young woman who struggle with anxiety and issues that involve social media.

Two days after I won #momoftheyear I received a text from my daughter that another one of her idols, Demi Lovato, had overdosed. She was knew of Ms. Lovato’s struggles thanks to Ms. Lovato’s open and honest interaction with her fans.  This allowed the two of us to have a frank discussion about how difficult drugs are to live with and how addiction affects not just the person, but their family, friends and in Ms. Lovato’s case a legion of fans.

I ask you to please, should (or when) Demi Lovato decides to share her story that you feature her on the cover. That in the interim you have serious and frank articles of other teens who struggle with addiction and assist in providing them with the tools they need to resist the urge to try “just once”.  Instead of glamorizing or normalizing substance abuse, use the Star power in your magazine to educate our children in their own words. Just as their songs touch our girls, so do how they explain their struggles and triumphs.

My daughter was, of course, upset when she heard that Demi Lovato had overdosed. She wasn’t angry and never felt let down. Instead she felt this woman’s struggles were real and important, a lesson to a young teen who will get asked, “don’t you want to just try”. When these Teen Idols take their fans seriously and responsibly, they teach teens how to stay safe and how to be the best they can be.

Being an Idol doesn’t mean you are without flaws, just that you triumph over them.

Yes, the world has changed since I was a teen. But Seventeen has evolved.   In 1984, a cover of Seventeen Magazine would ask about grades, rush  and skin care routines. In 2018 Seventeen Magazine has the opportunity to still have fun and beauty articles while also depicting teens who struggle with anxiety, depression and, sadly, addiction.

While I wish the world could go back to fluff, I’m happy to know this staple of a teen girls life gives this mom the tools to broach subjects, with Star power to back up my mom wisdom.

I’ll be ordering my teen a subscription

******

This is how I Finished the Sentence this Friday, with the prompt: “Photo Friday” brought to you by Kristi and Kenya.

5 thoughts on “Dear Seventeen

  1. Kristi Campbell

    BOOM #momoftheday! You’re right – it’s wonderful that they’re talking about teenage anxiety and I hope they take your advice about addiction.

    PS I saw this in my inbox but didn’t know it was for FTSF until the end because it wasn’t linked up. I just added it to the linkup now 🙂

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  2. sarah9188

    Oh I remember pouring over Seventeen as a teenager! I would have been thrilled if my mom had gotten me a subscription. 😄😄 I am so glad they are using their platform to talk to girls about serious issues. I wish they had talked more about that when I was younger, as I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was 9 or 10 and didn’t know what was going on until the last few years. I also think they should definitely feature Demi once she’s ready to talk about it; I’m a fan and my heart hurts for her and what she must be suffering right now.

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  3. Kenya G. Johnson

    I think that’s great when celebs share their struggles especially these young ones when they have young fans who idolize them. I’ve lost loved celebs and it is a letdown when it’s suicide or an overdose and you had no idea they were in such a dark place.

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  4. Pat B

    What a great FTSF post! I remember reading Seventeen way back when, and that has been many years ago. It is good that they are addressing some of the problems today’s teens are facing.

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