Magazines aimed at the young teenage women market may give the impression of being a 'girl's best friend'. Of course, like everything, they have their strengths and weaknesses but do the strengths outweigh the weaknesses? It seems more likely for the negative effects of teenage magazines to be more prominent than the positive effects but is this really the case?
This response reviews the way teenage magazines address issues relevant to young women today, especially from the point of view of promoting healthy body image, safe sex and leading social justice issues. All these aspects are emphasised by techniques used in the composition of these magazines with article structure, visual collages and informal language being the most common. Are the issues they cover and the extent to which they cover them appropriate for their readers? Teenage magazines, such as Dolly and Girlfriend, are often the first place teenagers turn when they have a problem and that is when segments like Dolly Doctor are most commonly used.
This reinforces the need for the magazine's content to be appropriate for their readers; however, this is not always possible. Magazines, such as Cleo and Cosmopolitan, are in a difficult position; whilst they are aimed at the young adult market, 18 to 35-year-old women, a large proportion of their readers are between the age of 14 and 17. As reported in the respective magazines' readership profiles, 35.16 per cent of Cosmopolitan readers are aged between 14 and 17 and 29.11 per cent of Cleo readers. How does this effect the teens who read these magazines? It appears that these effects are positive, such as encouraging their readers to exercise, as well as negative, for instance lowering their self-esteem. Why are teenage magazines so popular?
Issues facing teenagers
Teenage magazines play an important...