I spent some time on my yearly work report today. Gosh! It’s been ages for me to write Chinese composition–and this time I wrote almost 3000 wds. I was amazed at my bullsh#t skill. With great effort, I finally completed the work report. I printed it nicely and ready for tomorrow’s hand-in although the deadline is on the 6th. (Ha! How come so familiar with "On the 6th"? Oh, J.Lo’s first album is "On the 6", ha, close enough!) I have promised my mentor to complete a book report about American teen mags. First of all, I am terribly sorry that I haven’t done that for months because of my busy work and lazy nature on the weekend. Then I am writing about my impression of American teen mags here now. Please check it out!
My mentor sent me six different teen mags–GL(Girl’s Life Magazine), Teen, Teen People, Cosmo Girl, Seventeen and Bop. My first impression of all these glossy mags is Colorful! Yes, every page is very colorful, none is less than two colors. Then I read carefully. It seems the teenager mags tend to cater for girls–many pages are about fashion, cosmetic and dating guys. That’s a big difference from the teen mag I am working for. Well, these subjects are too mature even to many Chinese teen mags. I remember there is an article on body piercing on our current teen mag. Guess what? Nine out of ten readers who write to us all reflect that article is the most disgusting and aweful piece. Ha! You are telling me. Chinese kids may be outdated compared to the western kids’ fashion style, but generally speaking, Chinese teenagers are healthy and grow unsullily.
Now comes to the comment on each mag in my hand. Bop emphasizes on entertainment. It chooses the most controversial gossips in Hollywood or super teen stars as its selling point. It sends big poster of the current big hit stars to the readers who buy the mag. This idea always works, especially to teenagers who take all their hearts out for their idols. You could find all sort of gossips in Bop. It even tells teen readers how to follow the clothings and make-up as their idols, set up quizzes on the superstars, too. Um…completely crazy! But for CE:Teens, we can make use of those big posters and pop news from the mag.
Cosmo Girl is a quite girly mag. Basically the whole mag is talk about how to make yourself look beautiful by introducing clothing, make-ups, perfume etc. Not too many content to read but many colorful photos though. I guess this mag has very good sources of sponsors since so many fashion ads I can find in this mag. I finished this mag most quickly because the articles are trivial. I like smelling the perfume between pages though. Ha!
Teen People is not bad. I particularly like the teen stories, just the same as those in Seventeen. Those are real stories which I can make use of in "Teen Life" column. But quite a few of them are sad. I appreciated the quizzes in this mag too. Not so cliched like those in Bop and you gotta think before finish the quiz.
Teen is more suitable for early teens coz it has lots of games. The whole mag is so sunshiny, probably because the issue I have is the summer issue, so I can see intros about swimming suits, sandles, beaches stuff like that. For CE:Teens, we make use of the game part. All teenagers like playing games. It’s universally common, I guess.
GL should be the one with most words among the mags I have. I can see words instead of pictures in almost every page. The pictures in this mag are mostly cartoon, very characteristic. The articles seem to me are girls chat kind of writings. And the expressions are special too, they are definitely teenagers’ language, say BF, BFF etc. If you don’t understand kid’s talk, you won’t understand the language in this mag. I believe the editors of this mag don’t make many changes in the original writings.
Seventeen is the oldest friend to me among all the mags here. Why do I say so? Because I got to know this mag when I started working for CE:Teens. And our company has subscribed this mag this year, so basically I can read it every month. This is the first teen mag that I’ve got to know. As the same as other American teen mags, Seventeen is very open to subjects on sex, dating, boys and girls matters. This is really quite different from Chinese teenager mags. The sex topic seems to have become a fobidden issue to mention in Chinese teen mag. Even we talk about dating stuff like that, we’d use implicit words and cut out those details on intimacy. Well, once those details are deleted, the taste of the entire article has changed. So I try not to choose article on sensitive subject like that. I don’t know what makes American teenagers so open about sex, it’s almost like the teen stars all dress like a vamp after they obtain success. And their fans all follow suit without thinking twice. I don’t know what makes the whole western society believe sex open is the criterion to look up to, and young people learn that since they are just pre-teen. That’s really pathetic.
So this is my overall impression of American teen magazines. If I have any thought about it, I will update this entry. I wish I had more issues of these mags so that I can compare with. Alas! I cannot purchase them online, plus I have to borrow my friend’s credit card to do so. Not a good idea. Thanks for reading!