That time I subscribed the SEVENTEEN … at 29

Fellow Apocalypsie Hilary Graham posted today about her subscription to SEVENTEEN magazine. It’s a cute, funny post that had memories of my teenage years flooding back.

I totally remember reading this one after seeing Clueless with my friend in the sixth grade.

In middle school, we’d do this fundraiser where we sold magazine subscriptions. There were of course prizes for hitting certain bench marks, and though no memory of what any of the prizes were, I remember that I just HAD. TO. HAVE. THEM. My mom usually renewed her People Magazine subscription, maybe Ladies Home Journal, and that was about the end of that. I would always beg herto let me subscribe to Seventeen, and she’d always reply with the same answer, “But you’re not seventeen.” True, I was 12, but I didn’t care. “Gosh, mom, you don’t understaaaaaaand!” I’d whine, to no avail. Mom never could come up with as snappy a line for banning a subscription to YM,  but I didn’t get one of those either (R.I.P., YM).

YM, which was a little more fluffy than Seventeen, but also had slightly more, shall we say, graphic content? Yeah, there were more articles about sex.

That’s not to say I wasn’t reading Seventeen. I’d save my pennies to buy a copy every once in a while, or I’d read it at a friend’s house (one whose mother didn’t take the title quite so literally). Everything I know about makeup? Seventeen magazine and one Mary Kay party with my Girl Scout troop. How to style my greasy, fine, boring brown hair for prom? Seventeen magazine. Endless hours spent lusting after Dawson, Pacey, Noel, Lance Bass (hey, we didn’t know then what we know now), and Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Seventeen magazine. It played a role in my teenage years, all of ‘em.

AAAANNNNGGGEEELLLLL!!!!!!

So I gotta say, the teenage Lauren that still lives inside me was freaking giddy to whip out my credit card and purchase my very own subscription (and a year of Teen Vogue for only $10 more!) without even having to ask my mother’s permission (though I’m pretty sure she’d still say no …).

Remember when you’d finally see the September issue, just before summer ended, and you could start planning your rockin’ back to school outfits? I always thought that maybe THIS would be the year that I’d finally be super cool (spoiler alert, that year never actually came). But maybe this is why my mom wasn’t too keen on those subscriptions … they never quite got your actual life right. It was like watching 90210 and thinking your life was ever going to resemble that. Just total fantasy.

Oh Felicity, how I so desperately wanted to be you, with your sweaters and your Noel Crane…

But still, it was something to aspire to, it was escapist and gave me hope, and I imagine that’s still true for teens today. So even though I’m still not seventeen (and haven’t been for more than a decade!), I’m now officially a Seventeen subscriber. See, your teenage dreams DO eventually come true. Publish a book and subscribe to Seventeen … all at the age of 29!

There is one last teenage dream livin’ inside me … I always wanted to write for Seventeen. I’d always enter all their fiction contests, and I even pitched them a story about teen sex when I was a junior (I never heard back). But maybe some day …

13 thoughts on “That time I subscribed the SEVENTEEN … at 29

  1. I was OBSESSED with YM and Seventeen! One of my fave covers from YM had Tiffani Amber-Thiessen on the cover rocking a pair of combat boots (which I still covet to this day). I’m 29, so maybe I should subscribe? lol

  2. Oh my gosh, the memories! I read my friends’ copies of Seventeen and looked at them stealthily at the library, as my mom wouldn’t let me get a subscription either. Now I want a subscription too. Totally gonna call it research! :)

  3. I still proudly have my 50th anniversary special issue from September ’94, with a look back at their cover models, letters to the editor, celebrity crushes, fashions, and personal advice over the decades. How far we’ve come from the era when the magazine had china patterns and engagement ring ads for all their readers who were getting married fresh out of high school and were already junior versions of their moms! I was rather disappointed I wasn’t able to get my hands on their future landmark anniversary issues when I was older.

    I had a subscription to YM for a long time too, though I was very disappointed when the content started going down the tubes and getting more sensationalistic and focused on sex. From time to time, I also bought Teen magazine. My favorite teen magazine was probably Sassy (RIP). That magazine was for girls like me, who didn’t really take an active part in the mainstream pop culture being pimped to teen girls, didn’t really wear makeup, didn’t date, and didn’t have 100 best friends.

  4. I actually read two entire issues years ago while waiting on a friend in the hospital. There was nothing else to read after reading the hospital signs a gazillion times. lol

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