What are Magazines Really Doing to Us?

Magazines begin to target people as soon as they are old enough to read, maybe even before that magazines begin to target kids with bright pictures of toys. Magazines may seem like a dying art with new forms of media being introduced but even if you aren’t buying them they are still on the shelfs being seen by consumers.



Magazines such as Seventeen and Teen Vogue are targeted toward young girls, the pages of these magazines are plastered with beautiful models with expensive things promoting the idea that to be cool you need these things! These magazines use product placement with popular celebrities in order to sell the products AND the celebrities; here’s the problem: THE PRODUCTS THEY ARE PROMOTING ARE UNREALISTIC TO THE AVERAGE PERSON, so are the body types, life styles, and fashion these celebrities have, this however, is not common knowledge to the young girls reading the magazine which for them means something to strive for no matter the cost. The pages and pages of supermodels takes a toll on the minds of young girls, society has an unspoken definition of perfect that really doesn’t need words to describe it at all, it sprawled out everywhere….


Both these pictures show things that without the help of a computer you could not achieve:

  • Her skin is flawless. Like everywhere, no where is there a mark or un-smooth spot on her body and her skin is also clearly white washed.
  • Her hair is perfect and definitely created by multiple hair stylist and touch ups
  • Oh yeah and she is Beyonce.

These magazines portray an unrealistic message to teens that is not accurate to how teens behave or dress. The clothing in magazines can cost $100 of dollars for outfits that teens wouldn’t wear anyways.


Exhibit A 

This is from 2 years ago and in 2014 Ariana Grande was 21. So at 21 she was modelling for a back to school advertisement that was targeted at girls ages 12-14. On the front page of this article you can  read lines like “For your prettiest fist day” and “Clear up your skin now” titles that focus on superficial self improvement rather than positive titles with goals to make girls feel better about themselves right now and not in the future. At 12 these girls may not have even had acne yet, and you are showing this “teen” who has been through these thing already and no longer has to worry about them sure makes it easy for girls to think that they are not good enough.

Magazines don’t only have beauty standards for girls there are definitely beauty standards for guys too:

jeremy-rennerIn this magazine for men you see first off an actor famous for his roles in Marvel films, he is in good shape and obviously looking posed in a way that would make him more attractive looking and more fit. The magazine is covered in  headlines all appealing to men ” HI-DEF ABS”, “STRIP AWAY BELLY FAT!”. All headlines that have one goal truthfully in mind:



womens-healthLet’s take a look at this magazine, a women health issue that at first glance looks nothing like the mens health magazine. However, the magazine once the titles have been read could almost be interchangeable to the mens “Flat Stomach Finally” very similar to the “HI-DEF ABS” in the guys magazine. With closer analyzation you could pretty much swap the male and female rolls an still have the same magazines, but why is this? The male and female bodies are basically different planets and they certainly look different so why could the magazines be so much alike?

Because just like I stated earlier, the common goal of magazines is to be sexually attractive!

So do teenagers try to reach these standards? Of course they do! People often underestimate the power the media plays in the mind of a teenager. Teenagers see power, beauty and success as that gates of happiness and the key to everything. This is almost like a yin yang scenario, it’s good to have goal and something to strive for however, it can be challenging to strive for something that can be achieved or is going to take more then some early mornings in the gym. Teens fixate, a teenager with strong will power can be very dangerous, especially when motivated by the power of the media and the pressure of feeling not enough mostly because teens lack the ability to see in to the future ‘if it hurts right now it’s going to hurt forever’.

Magazines are a place where we see our dreams come true on other people, we see all these amazing things but we don’t see, the cost monetary and mentally and we also don’t see that everything in this magazine is probably funded by the brands you see advertised and they are probably not funding you.



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