Saturday, May 22, 2010

Moderation and Limitations

So today was Day 1 of normal teen-ing it. I was supposed to work today, so I got dressed with the intention of punching the clock. I have to wear a white oxford and a bowtie to work, so fashion options were limited. The magazine provided no tips on how to "spice up a tux", and searching "bowtie" on yielded nothing but a few worst dressed lists.

I had difficulty determining whether or not Seventeen even expects me to work at all. This month's issue does include an article on turning your passion into cash, however, the potential jobs they profiled were more typical of romantic comedy protagonists than actual teens. (Think: baker, artist, animal shelter volunteer) Certainly no bussing tables or McDonald's drive thru. I guess it is positive that they are encouraging girls and young women to pursue entrepreneurship, but I couldn't help but think that the premise of the article sort of marginalized women into Women's Jobs, not just Jobs.

I decided hair and makeup would be the best way to add a Seventeen touch to my uniform. The 7 Days of Beauty weekly hair calendar didn't offer a hairstyle for any day that included working a job. They did, however, offer a hairstyle for a "Mall Run." Presumably the Seventeen reader has money, and from the magazine's lack of an offered hairdo for working, we can assume that she does not earn it herself.

Anyway, I decided to go with the "Internship" hairdo since it was the style that veered closest to Practical Work Hairdo. Apparently, a low knotted pony tells people that I'm "sophisticated and creative." Pity me for thinking that just being sophisticated and creative was indicator enough; now my hair must allude to this fact as well. I also tried to replicate the makeup, and the model's pearl earrings. I will count the earrings as my "fashion" tip for the day, since working severely limited applicable tips.

I also had my nails done today. A tip from Lydia, age 19, in Arlington, Virginia suggested that I paint my nails lavender, a color which she describes as, "a grown-up pink [that reminds her] of all things sophisticated and girly." Something that is beyond me is the notion of conflating sophistication with girlhood. Something that is further beyond me is the association of colors with age and gender. Despite this fact, I now have lavender nails (and I quite like them.)

To top off the entire outfit, I used a vanilla body mist, which Lindsey from Franklin, Tennessee described as "perfect for every day" because "they're not as expensive as perfume, but you can still get the same great scent, so you can use more of it!" (Italics Seventeen's, not mine.) From what I am gathering, the idea of moderation is not a pervasive principle in the teenage beauty/hygiene repertoire.
I am not working tomorrow, so tomorrow will be my first real fashion day.


  1. I love this and will share

  2. you've got a point, I don't think they expect teens to work

  3. leave your 17 magazine at home when you go to Turkey!

  4. The Seventeen Magazine Project is attempt...

    You might wanna change that

  5. Hello there, blog-Jamie!

    I did not realize that the state of Virginia as a whole really liked the color Lavender.

    I am, however, digging the hair, although its practicality is severely limited. I enjoy the pictures...they really accent the posts well. :)

    Where do you work that requires a bow tie, and can I visit you there?

  6. So I stumbled across your blog today and I think your project is really interesting! I haven't read Seventeen in a couple of years but always wondered the same things about how their suggestions reflected/worked in real life while I was thumbing through the articles.

    I remembered a lot of articles about jobs in their magazines, especially when summer rolled around and I definitely agree that the readers were pushed more towards doing "pink collar labor." I think it's important that you point out a lot of those jobs aren't totally realistic for teenage girls, or at all profitable. I feel like seventeen could learn a lot from your blog (like maybe fashion articles should include suggestions for work, and maybe suggestions for jobs that aren't particularly glamourous since that's the reality of the teeenage job).

    Definitely adding you to my blogroll and looking forward to reading more!

  7. I have to admit, I'm a little surprised to hear a 19 describe a color as "a grown-up pink [that reminds her] of all things sophisticated and girly." That sounds more like something a Lucky magazine editor would say. Actually she'd probably say "subtly girly" and maybe "chic."

  8. This blog is great. I think it's hilarious that the actual experiments of someone in the stated demographic are told with such critical intelligence and dry humour.

    As a 22 year old, I look at the magazine racks in the UK every so often, and never see a mag that caters for my actual interests. Yes, I have a marginal interest in fashion, but no, I do not give a crap about celebrities. I like free stuff, but not when it's produced for 2p a day. I like bikes, but not to the extent or the machismo of Mountain Bike UK.

    I love that you've pointed out the lack of job ideas, or actual stuff to do other than making yourself look pretty. Actually, we have Seventeen magazine in the UK as well, and though the stated demographic may be 12-19, I always assumed it's the aspirational tweenies they were really after.

    Oh, props on the Sociological Images reference.

  9. I am really enjoying your blog. Your writing is entertaining, tongue-in-cheek, and very intelligent. Thanks for this experiment.

  10. I Love this entire project!