A Trip Down Teen Vogue Lane

I believe that when I was fourteen years old I purchased my first copy of a Cosmopolitan magazine.

The only thing that would have been more thrilling than buying it would possibly have been stealing it.

I spent $5.00 to explore the world of being a woman while I was returning home on a vacation with my grandmother.

I thought I was quite badass possessing something my mother would have been appalled to see me reading.

It turned out that Cosmo was not for me, although it took a couple years for me to realize and accept that.

When I was young, the same old recycled sex tips were new and exciting to me, but I know that reading them was my primary motive to begin with.

I never spent much time thinking about the rest of the magazine till recently.


I have spent some time considering what outside sources and influences affected me as a child that caused me to become a young woman with an eating disorder.

I am aware that nature and nurture both played their part in my strange aversion to the very thing that keeps me alive.

It’s almost like deciding to stop breathing then wondering why I’m choking.

Food is the core of my existence, yet it is my dearest adversary.

A lot of it is my own warped thinking, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also think about society and the message it sent to me as a young girl, and how that compares to what it is telling me today.

Owl Post

I’ve gotten a couple of Seventeen magazine and Teen Vogues addressed to me in the mail while I’ve been back for the past few months. I believe it is a marketing ploy.

Before recycling a couple of these I saw on the cover of a Teen Vogue a feature titled “Scared Skinny”.

I ended up flipping through the entire magazine to find the article, which detailed a trend in social media that has been females in high school.

Increasingly I’ve been seeing more of these talked about, where girls will be posting photos of the gaps between their thighs or similar, bragging about how thin they are.

An Analysis

Upon reading the piece, it was apparent it was actually uplifting at the end, talking about how two girls had started a charity for recovery from Anorexia.

Yet simply taking a cursory look at the article, the feature title, picture, or summary, a reader might never know that.

Is this article increasing awareness of an issue or furthering the trend, I wondered.

Comparing it to the pictures of underweight and most likely airbrushed females that are spread across the pages, I was inclined to say it was simply going to trigger those who are skimming through the magazine, already feeling bad about themselves.

When I Googled the magazine a social media widget on the side of the page is told me that the magazine recently debunked the “myth” that ballet dancers don’t eat. I found it hard to believe it was a myth before Teen Vogue decided to call it one.

Practical Application

I’ve decided some people in Teen Vogue have the right idea buried in the content, but nothing on the surface of the magazine is about taking care of oneself in a self-fulfilling way.

In my opinion, no magazine will ever be able to tell anyone what their worth is as a human being.

Especially when that magazine includes a celebrity giving beauty advice to not wear makeup in one page, while her photo-shoot picture features the opposite look and is covering the next page.

I, for one, will be staying far away from these magazines, and encourage anyone who values themselves to do the same.

One thought on “A Trip Down Teen Vogue Lane

  1. Elizabeth –
    One of my favorite people is John Lennon. The reason I like him so much, and always have is for two reasons: 1). I really like his art, and him as an artist. much respect. And 2). He was real. He kept it real, especially after the Beatles broke up. He could of done anything, and gone anywhere with his fame, followings and money. He chose to come to America, become an American citizen, start a Family and become a family man, and most importantly – to be a human being first. much respect.

    So, it’s in this context that i leave you this comment. John Lennon was many things, but he also was a person who struggled with food his whole life. Just look at how skinny he was in 1979-1980. not normal, nor healthy. he often referred to himself as ‘the fat beatle’. Look at some pictures of him from 1966 – not exactly skinny, but not ‘fat’ either

    I think in an earlier email I sent you, a while back maybe in April, or May, i talked about how chemical/alcohol addiction and also all food addictions, are very similar, and are very hard to distinguish the symptoms of when analyzing when the catalyst [ food or chemicals ] is removed from the equation to the person treating. The thoughts inside a person suffering from the addictions are very similar too. This is all paraphrased scientific fact that i’ve learned since i began my own hearings from mental health/addiction issues starting in March 1997.

    Learn all you can about your ‘best friend’ and ‘demon enemy’ [food] that you can. You’re doing great Liz – keep it up!


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