A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
The site may encourage star-struck tweens and young teens to try to emulate celebrities that might not be the best role models.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are some general comments about the sexual appeal of certain celebrities, but nothing explicit (think school-girl-crush talk).
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Message board features the word "damn" -- and could let other swear words through.
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Products & Purchases
The site contains ads for celeb Web sites and some major pushes for the print magazine. There's also a Pop Shop to purchase the magazine.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the unmonitored message boards are the biggest draw for this tween/teen celeb magazine site. They operate on a trust system -- users are asked not to post any vulgar, defamatory, hateful, or sexually oriented material, and a disclaimer warns that the site may remove messages although the messages and their content "are not responsibility of this forum." Members can email the site to report any offenses, and the site passively informs users that, due to COPPA regulations, users age 13 and under are not allowed to register -- but doesn't prevent them from doing so. The result: A cleaner board than you might expect, but invites to even more unregulated sites like MySpace are common. The rest of the lean site is innocuous.
Is It Any Good?
Aside from some gimmicky features, the site's heavy on the print promotion and light on activities. Plugs for the current issue are everywhere -- self-promotional ads reference (but don't offer any content from) articles; the Juicy Stuff section is almost all issue teasers. One of the only sections offering substantial reading is a series of outtakes from a band interview appearing in -- of course -- the current issue. PopStarOnline.com's other offerings aren't much more engrossing. Users can download a free teen star poster or chat with other celeb-centric users on message boards filled with debates about which boys are cuter and users gently pushing the conversation over to MySpace. And if all that talk about the current issue just makes you want to read the magazine ASAP, there's the chance to subscribe for 12 issues for $19 ($35 outside the U.S.) and order back issues through 1999.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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