Intersectional Feminism and Social Justice in Teen Vogue

in Girlhood Studies
View More View Less
Restricted access

Abstract

In this article, we argue that Teen Vogue has evolved to encompass aspects of intersectional, feminist activism that is particularly evident in the 2017 “Voices” section of the magazine. This evolution challenges previous research that has found that, historically, teen magazines focus heavily on heteronormativity, ideals of beauty, and consumerism. Our analysis of the content of this section of Teen Vogue in 2017 demonstrates that teen magazines can be reimagined as legitimate sources of intersectional activist feminist information for readers. Despite these positive changes, however, Teen Vogue continues to advertise clothing brands that many adolescent girl readers are likely unable to afford, thereby reinforcing superficial postfeminist notions of empowerment.

Contributor Notes

Shara Crookston (ORCID: 0000-0001-9479-1226) is Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Toledo. Her research and teaching interests focus on depictions of adolescent girlhood in magazines and television, women and the body, and girls in sports. She is currently conducting research on contraception in Seventeen magazine. Email: shara.crookston@utoledo.edu

Monica Klonowski (ORCID: 0000-0002-5509-9787) is Associate Researcher for the University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute where she conducts qualitative research on human trafficking and community-based approaches to infant vitality. As a doctoral student, her research interests include the privatization of public K–12 education and structural violence in higher education. Email: monica.klonowski@utoledo.edu

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

  • Ballentine, Leslie Winfield, and Jennifer Paff Ogle. 2005. “The Making and Unmaking of Body Problems in Seventeen Magazine, 1992–2003.” Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal 33: 281307. https://doi.org/10.1177/107727X04274114.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barker, Martin. 1989. Comics: Ideology, Power, and the Critics. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

  • Brumberg, Joan J. 1997. The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls. New York: Random House.

  • Carr, David. 2003. “MEDIA; Coming Late, Fashionably, Teen Vogue Joins a Crowd.” The New York Times, 13 January. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/13/business/media-coming-late-fashionably-teen-vogue-joins-a-crowd.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carpenter, Laura. M. 1998. “From Girls into Women: Scripts for Sexuality and Romance in Seventeen magazine, 1974–1994.” Journal of Sex Research, 35 (2):158168. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499809551929.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carter, Patience. 2017. “Heart Beats.” Teen Vogue. April/May/June.

  • Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1989. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” University of Chicago Legal Forum 8. https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/uclf/vol1989/iss1/8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1991. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review 43 (6): 12411299. https://doi.org/:10.2307/1229039

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duca, Lauren. 2016. “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.” Teen Vogue, 10 December. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/donald-trump-is-gaslighting-america

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duca, Lauren. 2017. “Stand Your Ground.” Teen Vogue, January/February/March.

  • Duffy, Margaret, and J. Micheal Gotcher. 1996. Crucial Advice on how to Get the Guy: The Rhetorical Vision of Power and Seduction in the Teen Magazine YM. Journal of Communication Inquiry 20: 3248. https://doi.org/10.1177/019685999602000103.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duke, Lisa L., and Peggy J. Kreshel. 1998. “Negotiating Femininity: Girls in Early Adolescence Read Teen Magazines.” Journal of Communication Inquiry 22 (1): 4871. https://doi.org/:10.1177/0196859998022001005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Engle, Gigi. 2019. “Anal Sex: Safety, How To's, Tips, and More.” Teen Vogue, 12 November. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/anal-sex-what-you-need-to-know

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Evans, Ellis D., Judith Rutberg, Carmela Sather, and Charli Turner. 1991. “Content Analysis of Contemporary Teen Magazines for Adolescent Females.” Youth & Society 23 (1): 99120. https://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X91012001005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fernandez, Chantal. 2017. “Teen Vogue Digital Editorial Director Phillip Picardi to also Oversee Allure Digital.” Business of Fashion, 3 March. https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/bof-exclusive/teen-vogue-digital-director-phillip-picardi-to-also-oversee-allure-digital

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gill, Rosalind. 2008. “Empowerment/Sexism: Figuring Female Sexual Agency in Contemporary Advertising.” Feminism & Psychology 18 (1): 3560. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959353507084950

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Greene, Morgan. 2016. “Chance the Rapper: 5 Things to Know about His Growing Political Footprint.” The Chicago Tribune, 16 October. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-5-things-chance-rapper-politics-20181016-story.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hackley, Chris, and Rungpaka Amy Hackley. 2015. “Marketing and the Cultural Production of Celebrity in the Era of Media Convergence.” Journal of Marketing Management 31(5–6): 461477. http://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2014.1000940.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy, and Patricia Lina Leavy. 2007. Feminist Research Practice: A Primer. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

  • Joshi, Suchi P., Peter Jochen, and Patti M. Valkenburg. 2010. “Ambivalent Messages in Seventeen Magazine: A Content Analytic Comparison of 1997 and 2007.” Journal of Magazine and New Media Research 12 (1): 120.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Joy, Maya. 2017. “Beyond Borders.” Teen Vogue, January/February/March.

  • Keller, Jessalyn. 2011. “Feminist Editors and the New Girls Glossies: Fashionable Feminism or Just Another Sexist Rag?Women's Studies International Forum 34: 112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2010.07.004.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keller, Jessalyn. 2020. “A Politics of Snap: Teen Vogue's Public Feminism.” Signs: A Journal of Women in Culture and Society 45 (4): 817843. https://doi.org/10.1086/707797

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kenny, Kath. 2018. “Sisters in a Fashion: Martha Ansara and Elaine Welteroth.” Australian Feminist Studies 33 (98): 548562. https://doi.org/10.1080/08164649.2019.1567253

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lindlof, Thomas R., and Bryan C. Taylor. 2002. Qualitative Communication Research Methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

  • Marsh, Ariana. 2017a. “Raise Your Voice.” Teen Vogue, April/May/June.

  • Marsh, Ariana. 2017b. “Character Study.” Teen Vogue, July/August/September.

  • Marshall, Catherine, and Gretchen B Rossman. 2006. Designing Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication.

  • Massoni, Kelley. 2004. “Modeling Work: Occupational Messages in Seventeen Magazine.” Gender & Society 18 (1): 4765. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243203259133

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McClearen, Jennifer. 2018. “Don't be a Do-nothing-bitch: Popular Feminism and Women's Physical Empowerment in the UFC.” In New Sporting Femininities, ed. Kim Toffoletti, Jessica Francombe-Webb and Holly Thorpe, 4362. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McKesson, DeRay. 2017. “Dear Jordan.” Teen Vogue, July/August/September.

  • McRobbie, Angela. 1991. Feminism and Youth Culture: From Jackie to Just Seventeen. London: Macmillan.

  • Mignucci, Melanie. 2017. “Moon Man.” Teen Vogue, January/February/March.

  • Murray, Laura Rena. 2017. “Drag Scene.” Teen Vogue, July/August/September.

  • North, Anna. 2016. “The Teen's Guide to the Trump Presidency.” The New York Times, 19 December. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/opinion/the-teens-guide-to-the-trump-presidency.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parkinson, Hannah Jane. 2016. “Who Will Take on Donald Trump? Teen Vogue.” The Guardian, 12 December. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/12/who-take-on-donald-trump-teen-vogue

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pelly, Jenn. 2017. “The Sound of a Movement.” Teen Vogue, April/May/June.

  • Pierce, Katie. 1990. “A Feminist Theoretical Perspective on the Socialization of Teenage Girls through Seventeen Magazine.” Sex Roles 23 (9): 491500. https://doi.org/12.1007/BF00289764

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pierce, Katie. 1993. “Socialization of Teenage Girls through Teen Magazines: The Making of a New Woman or an Old Lady?Sex Roles 29 (1): 5968. https://doi.org/10.10076/BF00289996

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Roberts, Deborah, Michelle Kessel, Durrell Dawson, Ashley Louszko and Alexa Valiente. 2018. “Teen Vogue's evolution from high-fashion magazine to community activism.” ABC News, 2 January. https://abcnews.go.com/Business/teen-vogues-evolution-high-fashion-magazine-community-activism/story?id=52104594

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Salam, Maya. (2018). “Elaine Welteroth, Who Shook Up Teen Vogue, Says Diverse Newsrooms Are Vital.” The New York Times, 14 May. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/14/arts/elaine-welteroth-teen-vogue.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spiegelman, Nadja. 2017. “Frame of Mind.” Teen Vogue, July/August/September.

  • Stern, Mark Joseph. 2016. “Teen Vogue's Fiery Trump Takedown Shouldn't Be a Surprise. Teen Vogue Rocks.” Slate, 12 December. https://slate.com/human-interest/2016/12/teen-vogues-trump-takedown-is-not-a-surprise-because-the-magazine-rocks.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Teen Vogue media kit 2020. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dxpsnb9a12ndor1/AADIySvMX7uLLXUuHurPI5Qma/TeenVogue2020MediaKit.pdf?dl=0

  • Warrington, Ruby. 2017. “Inside Teen Vogue: ’Our Readers Consider Themselves Activists’.” The Guardian, 25. February. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/feb/25/teen-vogue-readers-consider-themselves-activists

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitney, Sarah. 2017. “Kisses, Bitches: Pretty Little Liars Frames Postfeminism's Adolescent Girl.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 36 (2): 353377. https://doi.org/10.1353/tsw.2017.0026

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woods, Amanda. 2017. Parents are Freaking Out over Teen Vogue's Anal Sex Guide. The New York Post, 21 July. https://nypost.com/2017/07/21/parents-are-freaking-out-over-teen-vogues-anal-sex-guide/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zeisler, Andi. 2017. “Fast Feminism, Cheap Talk.” Bitch Magazine, 13 April. https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/marketplace-feminism-fragility

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 702 702 18
Full Text Views 244 244 6
PDF Downloads 237 237 9