Seventeen Website Poster Image

Seventeen

Fashion, gossip, and sex talk with a hint of advice.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Look past the strong messages about dating, fashion, and shopping, and there is an underlying theme of finding camaraderie, building strong friendships, and having a healthy lifestyle above all.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Boy talk – and its counterpart, sex talk – is prevalent. Hooking up, making out and one’s "hotness" are common points of discussion. A section called "Sex Quizzes for Teens" features a single quiz that gauges whether teens are "emotionally ready for sex." The quiz assessment is thoughtful and gentle and in all cases recommends that teens talk to a parent or friend and not "rush into things."

Language

Unmoderated Q&A advice forums have the potential for offensive language.

Consumerism

There’s no disguising the advertising here. Pop ups, coupons, giveaways, featured products, Google ads, and banner ads are everywhere. Fragrance, fashion, and cosmetic brands – as well as retailers – set their sights on the highly coveted teen shopper. And, of course, the website also acts as one large ad for its printed companion magazine.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Seventeen.com -- the online companion to the best-selling teen print magazine -- provides a highly interactive forum for young teens. Capitalizing on universal topics that capture the attention of teen girls – boys, clothes, makeup, and gossip – the site offers advice, tips, quizzes, polls, trends, videos, contests, and blogs. It also features an abundance of advertising, coupons, offers, and outside links. Though it does have some useful information related to health and college, it’s mostly comprised of lightweight fluff such as celebrity gossip, makeup trends, finding the perfect prom dress, and the hottest guys in Hollywood. There is frank and honest advice (from experts, editors, and real-life visitors to the site) about serious topics such as how to flirt and kiss, great pick-up lines, and knowing when you’re ready to have sex.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Teen girls typically begin to pick up Seventeen magazine well before they’re actually 17. This is also probably true of its companion website, which is easily accessible, instantly engaging and bursting with entertaining activities with universal girl appeal. Boy talk, fashion, celebrities, gossip, quizzes and contests will not only draw them in, but keep them riveted for a while. Mixed in with the fluff about beauty products and fashion makeovers are some relationship topics that might be better suited to the older teen, including a “hook-up handbook,” “flirty text message ideas,” and “30 days to making him yours.” There’s no shortage of Q&A. Users over 13 can create a free account in order to post questions or provide advice. Topics run the gamut from “Do boys care about chest size” to “What should I wear to my winter formal." Though advertising is rampant (and often cleverly disguised as contests, fashion finds and featured products), the website masterfully speaks to teens in a relatable voice and touches on the subjects that are top-of-mind for girls. But once they’re here, pulling them away may prove tricky.

Online interaction: Questions posed typically are about topics that teens can easily relate to and cover the basic issues, from dating and sexual relations to fashion and friend troubles. Those who post answers are frequently supportive and encouraging, but because the Q&A forums are unmoderated, there is strong potential for inappropriate language and offensive posts.

Families can talk about...

  • How magazines and their online counterparts are both entertaining and sales tools. How does a website draw you in, keep you there and try to convince you to shop? How can you be a savvy Internet user and be smart about the many marketing messages you encounter.

  • Why it’s often easier to seek counsel and advice anonymously. Why is that? And do you trust the responses and advice you find online? Why or why not?

  • How magazines – both in print and online -- often portray girls and women? Why do magazines put super skinny models and celebrities on their covers? How does this imagery make you think about your own body? Do you think magazines would sell as many copies or attract as many website visitors if they showed people who look more like you or your friends?

Website details

Genre:Fashion/Beauty
Pricing structure:Free

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old October 18, 2011

Great magazine

Honestly, my parents won't let me get the magazine but I don't understand why. I have read almost everything on the website. Thy have really good fashion advice, or any type of advice. There are some articles about sex and stuff but you cannot be protected form it you whole life. You will have to find out sometime.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old July 8, 2009

oK

I love it it gives mre great advice even though I dont use the sex and dating advice ever
What other families should know
Too much sex
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byPunkchic May 18, 2009

Well... talk to your parents first.

Well Seventeen magazine and website is probably for 14 and up or if you have had the talk. I made the mistake of subscribing and have learned some things I really was intended on learning. The fashion section is cool but watchout when you come to the health-sex-fitness section. As a catholic, we do not believe in any sexual things before marriage. In Seventeen, they talk about sex before marriage possibly at age 17 and up. In one issue they said you don't need your parents permission to start the pill, whereas the pill is reffering to birth control. So if you wanna go to seventeen website or read seventeen, skip the sex section or talk to your parents first before reading it. But the fashion tips and makeup is cool!!