Seventeen Magazine editor Ann Shoket (magazine)

(2014, August). Seventeen, 73(8), 1-144.

Genre: Magazine, Fashion, Beauty, Celebrities, Advice

Reading level/ interest age: 15+

Plot summary:

The August 2014 issue of Seventeen covers current fashion for the fall, end-of-the-summer beauty techniques, back-to-school trends, and much more. Readers can log in online to attempt to win a fantastic pair of jeans by entering in a daily code and are encouraged to read a short article on the Demi Lovato photo shoot for the cover. The magazine is rampant with helpful ads for back-to-school shopping ideas. Many of the ads feature lower priced brands which is great for a teenage girl on a budget. Hair bows have made a comeback and sleek locks are all the rage. Ombre is still the must-have dye job of the season with colorful nail art to match. Tone your thighs, lift your butt, and get rid of muffin top with simple exercises meant to sculpt from head to toe. Read advice from a fellow teen on cyber bullying and take a quiz on if it is the right time to start having sex in your relationship. Lastly, this issue also covers a lengthy article on smoking marijuana.

Reader’s annotation:

A fantastic go-to source for fashion, beauty, celebrity gossip, and advice. Learn the hottest new looks, who’s dating who in the celebrity world, and how to rock a new makeover.

Information about the author:

“‘There's no such thing as balance. You have to embrace the mess.’ Adopting such a refreshing and very real attitude toward the constantly debated issue of work-life balance is exactly why Seventeen's Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket has built both a family and a magazine she's immensely proud of. Over the past seven years, Ann has expanded the magazine's presence to more than just the monthly magazine you see on the newsstands–there are YouTube channels, numerous social media accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, and even iPhone apps! That natural ingenuity, ability to deliver thought-provoking content, and talent for connecting with her readership through all outlets can be traced back to her days as senior editor for React Magazine, where she discussed legal issues for teens, and CosmoGirl!, which she helped launch and grow for almost a decade. To say Ann has been fearless and ahead of the curve throughout her whole career is quite the understatement! 

Seventeen has been such an integral part of millions of young women’s lives–including ours. We have fond memories of waiting for each monthly issue to come in the mail and voraciously reading the articles after school with our girlfriends, so we're absolutely thrilled Ann agreed to take time out of her hectic, meeting-filled schedule to talk to us. Today, she shares with The Everygirl her journey from studying at NYU to becoming the powerhouse Editor-in-Chief of one of America's most influential magazines. So read all about Ann's start in journalism, be inspired by her drive, and embrace a mini-throwback to your teen years. Like Ann says, ‘Seventeen Everywhere, Seventeen Forever’" (Mathias, 2014). 

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       Although Seventeen’s title suggests that the readers are seventeen, what age do you actually think the readers are?
2.       What other groups would be interested in reading Seventeen?

Critical evaluation: 

Seventeen is the magazine many teenage girls grow up looking towards for advice. The writing is light and humorous, the styles are trendy and up-to-date, and the quizzes are fun to complete. A few drawbacks are the sheer amount of subscription postcards and advertising. Some of the ads are generally geared for adult women but perhaps their inclusion in this issue is meant to hook buyers young. Seventeen is also probably read mostly by girls younger than Seventeen seeking advice and fashion ideas. Because of this, the editors and authors need to be very careful in how they present the magazine. Shockingly, some of the articles contain slang and mild curse words. Seventeen also does not appear to cater to girls with different body types. The closest readers can get is a description of “curvy” in an article about jean types for different shapes. Also, most of the models chosen for the articles are generally several years older than seventeen.

Challenge issues:

·         Articles covering sex
·         Articles discussing drugs
·         Language

Defensive Maneuvers:

·         Have the library’s collection development policy memorized and on hand in case a situation arises.
·         Keep positive reviews on hand to refer to or hand out when needed.
·         If the book has won any awards, mention them to the patron and briefly explain the award.
·         Listen to the patron and practice good customer service skills when communicating. Let the customer know where or if he/she can escalate his/her complaint.
·         When necessary, cite sections of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights or refer to the ALA's Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials.

Why included:

Though the majority of the magazine contains articles on fashion, Seventeen is a good informational magazine for teens. It can serve to teach girls about safe sex when parents and teachers may not want to cover the topics in class and often covers bullying and drug use.

Mathaias, A. (2014). Seventeen Magazine Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket. Retrieved August 26, 2014

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