In 2002 I wrote an article about the messages in magazines for teenage girls. I said that they struck “an uneasy balance between being empowering and being trashy. This is the result of another uneasy balance between their two constituencies, readers and advertisers. Girls want to attract boys. Advertisers want to avoid controversy.”
Since that time, the internet has, for worse but mostly for better, opened up a new range of possibilities for teenagers to express themselves and explore different ideas about growing up. One of the best is Rookie, from Tavi Gevinson, an astonishingly accomplished teenaged writer/editor (with an assured movie debut in “Enough Said”). With monthly themes and topic categories that include music, fiction, tech, books and comics, style, eye candy, sex and love, “you said it,” “you asked it,” “live through this,” and “anything else” and a warm welcome for writing by its readers, it is both smart and wise, with interviews that meet or exceed the quality of any you will find in “Vanity Fair” or “Rolling Stone.” A second volume of the collected works, Rookie Yearbook Two is now available. Highly recommended.