Your Daughters Age
First, the magazine is called Seventeen because it’s marketed to teenagers. There is a distinct shift in psychology from teen years which resemble the princess / prince charming model of dating to the hormone, fashion, and status driven world of teen life. Don’t think of your daughter’s age as a number, but which stage in life she most identifies with. Trying to hold her back (or move her forward) will not seem to work, and leave her searching for relevant material somewhere else.
Social Awareness Of Your Teenager
This magazine can be a great conversation starter at a phase when most children shut off communication or openly rebel against their un-cool parents. Offering your teen this information source gives a guide to the teenage experience and keeps her recent on the latest trends and news that her friends care about. You need to use caution if she is not mature enough to understand body image and advertising issues. An overriding feature of great tween magazines like Bop is the absence of objectionable or adult oriented advertising such as supermodels and parties. Teen magazines introduce fashion in a mainstream way with skinny models and the mainstream idea of beauty. This can be a great boost for your daughter when she is learning how to express herself through a fun wardrobe or wear makeup in the hottest new ways. Some parents find this objectionable, but your teen is already seeing these messages on TV. You need to make sure that in return for access to such material you have assurances that she can talk to you about body image or other ways that she might feel inadequate. Slowly exposing your teen to mainstream conceptions of beauty and fashion is important, but you need to protect her self-image at the same time. Make sure that you have an open door to any issues and this magazine can be a great learning tool or conversation starter.
Also Seventeen acknowledges sex and provides advice on using the safest practices. It’s not like Cosmo with “Sex tips for… ” but does address the dangerous side of partying and taking risks. Your teen is going to have questions, and if she’s not finding answers from media then she will be getting it somewhere else that might not be as reliable. If your daughter is mature enough to acknowledge dating and knows that she doesn’t need to be as skinny as the models to be a beautiful and fashionable girl then she is definitely mature enough for a Seventeen magazine subscription. Having the latest tips and news she cares about will far outweigh risks that she might face in such a situation.
Her Expressed Interest
Most importantly your daughter will know when a seventeen magazine subscription is right for her. Perhaps you are at this page because your teenager asked you to sign them up as a present. Just because a girl is in her teenage years doesn’t mean you should force a teen magazine in their hands. If she would be happier with a great tween magazine try Bop. Really focus on what she wants, and what she is interested in. Some girls are not interested in fashion and instead may want a subscription to Popular science or some other hobby that she is ready to explore. Encourage whatever interest she may have that empowers her to explore and grow as a person. The best interests are those that let her make social connections or even might have career possibilities down the road. The largest benefit that Seventeen can provide is confidence in how she looks and the social connections that can come from sharing interests with her friends.
Take Everything Into Consideration
You cannot force your girl ahead or hold her back. Buy her a subscription to open a dialogue with notoriously closed teens. Talk to her about body image and make sure she uses the magazine to understand and connect with what girls her age are thinking, not that she needs to copy her favorite stars exactly. Encourage her to follow her interests, especially those that are social, creative, or have career potential. A Seventeen magazine subscription can be a great source for connecting with her peer group, but might not be right for everyone. The best advice is to take a hard look at who your daughter is, what she’s looking for in a magazine, and most importantly what her interests are. If you are undecided about advertising or adult content then grab a copy and leaf through it before you take the plunge and sign up for a subscription.