Teen Vogue Wins on Back-to-School

Photo Source:   周 康

Photo Source: 周 康

I used to read YM and Seventeen growing up. The most substance I got out of those magazines was product suggestions that were (unknowingly) marketed to me via advertising and sponsors and a realization that models don’t look like me. Yet I still LOVED reading them. They were an escape. I felt proud that I spent my own money on my subscriptions.

Enter Teen Vogue. Ok, they too (probably) push products via advertising and sponsors. But they also have surprisingly good content. Like this, this, and this. At the risk of sounding completely trite, they are “woke”. Ok, I take it back. They post way too many pieces about the Kardashians and Jenners. But I think it’s fair to say they are more woke than the ‘80s and 90’s teen mags like YM and Seventeen.

They recently posted a piece titled, “The Gender Neutral Words You Need To Know For Back to School”, and it is everything. I am surprisingly amazed that this is in a TEEN magazine. As a cisgender woman who goes by she/her/hers, I was 25 years old (admittedly late) when I began to synthesize gender-inclusive language into my consciousness. Until then, I didn’t cohere how damaging it could be to say phrases like, “Ladies and Gentlemen” (vs “folks”). Now, in 2018, I see elementary and middle school kids creating infographics and videos unpacking sex vs. gender, gender expression and sexuality. Amazing. #Kidsthesedays.

So three cheers to Teen Vogue for posting this content and for teaching me new terms like “nibling” and “pibling”.