Good magazines for young teenage women?
February 8, 2013 1:09 PM   Subscribe

What to do when your daughter has outgrown New Moon Girls, but you don't want to buy her a subscription to Seventeen or Teen Vogue? What magazines would you recommend for young teenage women that have fun quizzes (and probably sell stuff) and that aren't too heavy on literature or academic rhetoric? (Not that she can't read them, it's just that I know that's not what she's looking for, and she's smart enough to know when I'm pushing "school" stuff towards her.)
posted by lpalmerpaton to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Rookie! Not a paper mag, but you can buy the yearbook.
posted by kickingthecrap at 1:15 PM on February 8, 2013 [8 favorites]

It's not a physical magazine, but what about Rookie?

From their 'about us' section...
Rookie is an online publication for teenage girls featuring writing, photography, illustrations, videos, and more from a lovely staff and our readers. The site features monthly “issues,” each revolving around a theme. We post just three times a day – after school, after dinner, and before bed.

I don't have a daughter, but I would have given anything for a resource like Rookie during my teenage years.
posted by divined by radio at 1:15 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I was tween-age, I was growing out of American Girl and Nickelodeon magazines, and really getting into my mom's old (ca. 1960s) copies of Mad. The family got Newsweek, and every once in a while I got a promotional or old-from-a-friend copy of Seventeen that I hid (because it embarrassed me that I had such a guilty love of what I knew was total schlock) but read cover to cover. I would have killed for a subscription to something like Discover or Mental Floss.

I don't know if it's too "school"-y for your daughter, but I'd recommend Mental Floss. Pop nerdery.
posted by phunniemee at 1:17 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

We got our 11 year old a subscription to Girls' Life.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:24 PM on February 8, 2013

Rookie is the best. THE BEST.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:26 PM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

I used to read Girls' Life when I was around that age (I think I found out about it through some affiliation they had with Girl Scouts), but that was 10-13 years ago, so I'm not sure how the magazine has changed. I really liked it, though and it was a good mixture of quizzes, stories that made me feel a little grownup by reading them (I remember one was about a girl who had done ecstasy and I felt so edgy reading about drug use), and stuff about fashion and makeup that seemed age appropriate.
posted by naturalog at 1:40 PM on February 8, 2013

Not sure if Shameless is too political/academic, but it might be on the right track...
posted by femmegrrr at 2:13 PM on February 8, 2013

Maybe get her a subscription to Australia's Frankie magazine? No quizzes or dating articles, but lots of beautiful photography with a bigger focus on design, craft and music. It's very feminine, and often comes with pull-out posters your daughter can put up on her wall.
posted by peripathetic at 2:15 PM on February 8, 2013

Rookie is great, but depending on how young a teenager we a talking about, it may be too advanced in terms of subject matter. To equate it to the US film rating system, Rookie is definitely an R, while Girls' Life is more PG-13.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:59 PM on February 8, 2013

Does she have hobbies? Odd as it sounds, I spent a lot of money on Equus and Horse Illustrated around that age....
posted by anaelith at 3:02 PM on February 8, 2013

How old is she? I'd love to give a teenager Shameless but I'm guessing she's not the target age.
posted by barnone at 3:23 PM on February 8, 2013

Teen Ink might be an option. National Geographic Kids says it's targeted at kids up to age 14, but based on the website, it seem a bit juvenile.

RIP Sassy :-(

What are her hobbies and interests?
posted by barnone at 3:30 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

My 12 year old has a subscription to Kiki Magazine. I think it's pretty good for the pre-teen. (no ads.) She also gets Nat Geo Kids and has no interest in it at all, definitely too juvenile.

My daughter got the Rookie yearbook at the library and reads the blog but it does have some mature subject matter (discussion of pornography for example.)
posted by vespabelle at 4:02 PM on February 8, 2013

Can you let us know how old a teenager she is and what her hobbies are? That might help us recommend things that aren't just "teen" magazines that she might like.

I came in to recommend Rookie, but depending on how mature she is and how comfortable you feel with her reading sexual material, you might consider Bust magazine when she gets to be 14-16. There's fashion and typical women's interest stuff from a feminist perspective, but it also has ads for sex toys, a sexual health/advice column, and a one-page erotica section in the back.

Like I said, depends on your comfort level with the material, but I think it could be a healthy source for sexual information during the teen years.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 4:04 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wish Bitch had been around when I was 15.
posted by brujita at 4:05 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the great responses. She's a very mature 14 year old with interests in music (especially folk music). She also has several older siblings so I don't delude myself into thinking she hasn't heard about a lot of adult topics. We're pretty good about discussing things in a straightforward way.

I'm just really hoping to expose her to more social and environmental issues, while not seeming preachy. So if it can walk the line between good content with enough fashion stuff to make it seem more like a traditional magazine that'd be great. Teen Ink looks great. Bust also seems like it might be a good fit. And I'll definitely tell her about Rookie, though she specifically asked about having a subscription to a physical magazine.

Just for reference we already get several magazines for our house including Smithsonian, Mother Jones, Bicycling, and Wired along with a few academic journals.
posted by lpalmerpaton at 7:46 AM on February 9, 2013

Bust is another good option. It's a bit borderline but since you say she's very mature/has older siblings I'd say go for it.
posted by bluloo at 6:24 PM on February 10, 2013

Bust does have some erotica writing in it each issue, and there are sometimes long articles about what having an abortion is like or navigating FWB relationships - it's obviously 100% better and less sexist bullshittery than the teen magazines that were around when I was 14-16, but you might want to check over the issue before handing it over if you feel she might not be ready for it.

Frankie is great, and there's also a UK magazine called Oh Comely which I really really wish had a digital subscription.
posted by mippy at 4:42 AM on February 11, 2013

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