Sunday, June 20, 2010


If you have noticed the lack of posts for the past few days, it is because I have been busy celebrating my high school graduation. I thought it would have been a grave injustice to sacrifice actual teenage experiences in the name of keeping up with my blog that is supposed to document actual teenage experiences.

Paradoxes and catch-22s aside, graduating high school was great, if not anticlimactic. The event took place on my school's football field. The temperature was a sweltering 94 degrees, but in my ankle-length, polyester sweatbox it felt much warmer. Numerous anti-frizz serums and elixirs kept my my hair from mushrooming out from beneath my mortarboard. I have to admit that, temperature aside, I felt hotter in my academic regalia than I have felt in
any other outfit that I've worn during the duration of this project. How anti-Seventeen this is, especially since I was wearing an identical outfit as 275 other girls.

The ceremony itself was fairly boring. I pomped. I circumstanced. I listened to a bunch of adults who I didn't know address the class of 2010, but actually address our parents, using metaphors about butterflies and the like. I sweated. I waved to my grandparents. I asked kids sitting near me overly personal questions about their sex lives. I counted how many people in the stands brought umbrellas for sun protection. I sweated some more. I cheered really loud for my friends. I got my diploma. Then I was graduated.

Initially I was surprised how easy it was to graduate. The only two skills you need are walking and sitting. My seat mate kindly reminded me that I actually had to do 12 years of work to earn the right to walk and sit. This observation made me feel stupid, but also accomplished. I know that school is mostly compulsory, but it felt really great to complete an endeavor that took twelve years, especially when I sometimes fail to finish projects intended to last an afternoon.

In the spirit of closure and accomplishment, I'll acknowledge the fact that today is the technical last day of this project. I'll save conclusions, summaries, and lessons learned for a future post, but I just wanted to sort of frame out what the rest of this blog is going to look like for everyone. Today is the last official day of The Seventeen Magazine Project, as outlined by my initial post. I am going swimming at my cousins' house for Father's Day, so I'll dress bikini confident and blog about it tomorrow. That will be the last fashion/beauty post.

The week to come is going to include lots of stuff related to teens and media and fair portrayal, including a list of pro-teen media that seems to "get" the teenage experience. I'll also be putting together a short project, a little bit of a fuck you to Seventeen, that lots of people will have the opportunity to get involved with. This will run all week. Hopefully we can affect some change in the ladymag industry. It'll be fun/badass/a little subversive I think. I'll introduce it in detail tomorrow probably.

EDITED TO ADD: Fan me on Facebook, and then maybe delete my personal profile from your friends? I am trying to figure out an easier way to keep in touch with people. My real life friends find the current system to be REALLY annoying.


  1. Hey Jamie,

    Congratulations on your graduation, and the (official) end of your project! I really enjoyed reading all your posts and personally, I was pleasantly surprised by your keen insight and how you kept this project in good taste.

    Awesome job, I wish you good luck in your college career!


    P.S. I suppose I shouldn't be THAT surprised, seeing as I'm only a year older than you--soon to be two though, birthday in July--but it really is refreshing to be reminded that there (still) people like you out in the world. I hope you go on to do great things.

  2. Congratulations on graduating!
    I've been reading your blog for about a fortnight now and love it! Unfortunately, I'm addicted to procrastinating so never got around to leaving a comment. Anyhow, I love your original style of writing and agree with nearly all you opinions!
    Anyway, can't wait to read see the project- sounds exciting :-)

  3. Congratulations on your graduation! And how awesome to have a sunny day! It rained on my HS graduation day (way the F back in 1986!) and our ceremony was held in the gym. Major excitement FAIL. (Also adding to the sucktastic nature of the event: my boyfriend dumped me at our after-party with a dispassionate, "I don't want to go out with you anymore." to which I mentally replied -- cause he was already walking away -- "Later, sucker. I'm going to college and LIFE!")

    I've enjoyed your posts immensely and look forward to your insights and summaries this week. At work on Friday, my co-workers and I scared ourselves by discussing what it would be like to live Cosmopolitan or Glamour for a month. The horrors!

    Good on you for being brave enough to try the Seventeen lifestyle and skewer it for us so deliciously.

    You're totally kickass.

  4. Congratulations and a joy sharing your project.. looking forward to the afterward

  5. I've enjoyed reading about this, and definitely want to see whatever you do next. Congratulations, and best of luck in Chicago.

    (And if you want a recent UChicago alumna's input/advice on anything, feel free to get in touch.)

  6. Congratulations on your graduation. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experiences with the Seventeen Magazine Project. I was not nearly as mature, wise, or eloquent as you when I graduated from high school (2005). You are clearly going to go far in life and you will fit right in at UChicago (where sarcasm, wit, and brilliant cynicism thrive). Go find my brother... a senior econ/english major. Best of luck and thanks for sharing.

  7. Congrats Jamie! I only stumbled across your blog yesterday, but I found it so fascinating that I read the whole thing over the course of the last two evenings. As a recent college grad with a graphic design/liberal arts degree, I envy and admire your writing skills and ability to approach topics from an unbiased perspective. I look forward to seeing the conclusion to your experiment! Best of luck to you. You're going to kick ass in college (or whatever it is you do now).

  8. Just saw this through a post on facebook -- it's nice to see a good idea done well. You could work through school writing feature pieces for magazines. Heck, why not pitch the people at Seventeen and offer book reviews? Talent and smarts might just win them over.

  9. Hey I love your blog and I just wanted to tell you about another form of positive media for us girls.The magazine is called New Moon (not about the movie) and it's for girls 8-12. I haven't read it in a couple of years but it's still around and the issues i have read are really good.

    P.S. great job! I'm really going to miss reading your blog.

  10. Mazal Tov! It sounds like you have had a great run in high school. For all the comedic cynicism in your posts (and I like it, don't get me wrong!) this particular one is refreshingly positive about an otherwise eye-roll-worthy topic.

    Good luck at UChicago! The midwest is the perfect place to soften up some of that cynicism. As a (semi-)recent alum of another heartland university, my unsolicited advice would be to leave the bubble of intellectual coddling while you're there, and get involved with the community beyond your college experience, and even beyond Chicago. I'm not talking about community service, which does have its place, but rather a personal involvement and investment in your surroundings separate from the university.

    All the best! Can't wait to

  11. Congratulations on graduating! Hope you enjoyed it, and had a Seventeen Magazine worthy after-party or just lots of fun,
    I really love your blog, and hope you continue it forever and ever, to be honest! Ha
    I find your writing to be both eloquent and relevant, I enjoy the fact I have found someone who shares my disenfranchised views on teenage magazines. I think you're wicked, to be honest <3

  12. Congrats on graduating! You know, technically it was 13 years (K-12) to get there, don't short change yourself!

    I look forward to your posts this next week. I'm sure that they'll be awesome!

  13. Congratulations! I just caught your interview on NPR's All Things Considered and had to check out your site. I can see there's a lot of great material to go through and I'm looking forward to it. You sounded amazing in the interview and I'm sure you'll do great things. Best of wishes for your future!

  14. hello and like octopus gallery i heard you on NPR.

    many congrats and (though a much MUCH older chickee here) thoroughly enjoyed your posts. what a great creative fun (snarky!) project.

    and what a great testament you are to young women everywhere. all the best to you in college and whatever amazing things you do with your life.

    fuflans and grendel.

    PS you inspired me to start a project of my own. don't know what it is, but thanks.

  15. Jordan CloudbusterJune 21, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    Hi Jamie,
    I got to hand it to you - you give me hope for the future of generation Z. Thank you for questioning your surroundings with sensitivity and sensibility. Never stop!

  16. I heard you on NPR this evening, and just wanted to say that you are absolutely awesome for representing the large segment of young women who actually have brains and confidence. Good luck to you in your future endeavors! I hope you make a huge impact on society.

  17. Jamie, I found your blog via some article somewhere a few days ago, and over the last two days, read it start to finish. I love how you've managed to take a project that has great potential to be silly and unimportant and write about it in a way that is intelligent. Your writing and tone makes you appear much older and more mature then you are.

    Congratulations on graduating!

  18. You, my lovely talented lady, have a bright and glorious future ahead of you. My husband and I spent a fun evening reading your blog from end to end. Thanks for your humor and bad ass insight.

  19. Thank you for swearing. And congratulations on everything.

  20. Hello Jamie
    I heard your profile on NPR and was inspired to write. I am a 43 year old woman, a full time artist (painter) and classical pianist. I applaud you for your Seventeen project. Women can help other women by lending permission to reach their greatest potential, live fully, follow their talents and interests. Do not misspend your greatest years concerned with the mediocre expectations of media. Prettiness is fleeting, but beauty resides in a deep life lived. I encourage all young women to develop something you and you alone are good at. Thanks for your innovative project. Well done!

  21. In a recent commencement speech, Meryl Streep talks about how she intentionally played the role of the "generically pretty teenage girl" in high school and studied Seventeen Magazine and other magazines to do this. She talks this at the 11:30 mark in this video:
    I think you'll enjoy it.

    Congratulations on your graduation and thanks for this cool blog.

  22. I ate fried chicken in the stands!! It was wonderful!

  23. what the **** does your graduation have to do with seventeen magazine? this started off as a interesting blog and now i don't know what the **** it is.

  24. oh my god, person up above me, what a bitch.
    i mean just for saying that it feels likemany are going to agree with ms. anonymous but i think it's rude ( not to sound to old lady-ish but really rude...)
    and gosh it is her blog, she decides what she writes and if you enjoy the seventeen-part then i don't know how you still can be sooo ugh.

    and jamie- sorry for writing all that, i'm sure that if i were you i wouldn't want a badly written and defending text from a mini-fan. but i can only hope that you understand it.
    i for one love your blog, it is a big hope of mine that you will continue writing it. and also, it would be great to read more about collage, like where your friends are going and wich classes you're taking and why chicago etc,etc,etc.
    have a great summer, lovisa