Seventeen Magazine and Me

Ever since my teen years, I’ve been a devoted magazine reader. Tiger Beat and 16 magazine were my faves to keep up with my idols, The Monkees, Herman’s Hermits, Dino, Desi and Billy and Paul Revere and the Raiders. But Seventeen magazine was the bible when it came to teen fashion and beauty.  I would pore over each (10.50″ x 13.50″) glossy page, looking for the newest fashion trends and beauty tips. It also had a lot of great editorial content and even the ads were pretty darn fab.

My vintage 60s/70s Seventeen magazine stashSeveral years ago I came across the stash of Seventeen magazines in my girlhood home that I had saved. The issues range from 1968 to 1975, which covered my entire teen years and are basically a documentary of that time for me. I took them home and started poring over them. Looking at the pictures generated the same feelings as when I looked at them for the first time. I’ve used a lot of the pictures here in my blog, and am having such a blast being able to recount my personal experiences with such a cool vintage medium at hand.

Seventeen magazine - December 1973The December 1973 issue of Seventeen has to be my favorite one. I have a personal interest in this as I was actually published in it! Seventeen had a “Free For All” section, “where our readers take over”.  I submitted a short essay on a “body language” project that I did for my high school psychology class, and they accepted it for publication. I was positively thrilled! I think I got paid $20.00 for it, which would be about $105.00 in today’s currency. Considering I was making 50 cents an hour babysitting, I thought I had struck gold.

Image (439)Here’s my article – you can click on the image to enlarge.  I remember that they edited it quite nicely since that’s when they had actual editors to clean up any errors. My original submission was handwritten on notebook paper and sent via snail mail. They in turn sent me a check and a nice letter. After it was published I received a big envelope containing 5 “tear sheets”, which were pages from the magazine that had my article. Just a really nice touch.

I am so glad that I saved all those magazines. Maybe I had an inkling all those years ago that I would someday need them for my blog. As if I could have even imagined such a thing possible! It is nice to have hard evidence of what I was interested in then, and am still interested in now. The next project on my agenda is to go collect and go through my Mademoiselle magazines from the 70s. I saved those too. 🙂


5 Responses to “Seventeen Magazine and Me”

  1. Catherine

    Just found your site! Thanks so much for sharing all the wonderful old pics of 1970s fashion (Betsy Johnson Alley Cat?? I had forgotten about her but boy did those photos take me back). Like you said above, I too got the same feeling looking at the photos now as I had when I was a teen. Great memories…thanks again for sharing! (Hey, and kudos on your article :)) Best, Catherine

  2. finnfemme

    Thank you, Catherine! It is so much fun for me to be able to go through my old magazines and report on it.
    ~Marilyn 🙂

  3. Diane Laag

    Dear Marilyn, Once again I am truly delighted by your blog about Seventeen magazine and all it’s contents.
    Everything you write about brings back so many special memories for me. I remember in Summer lying on the lawn combing through the pages of Seventeen, Ingenue, and probably Teen. Wishing to have all of the clothing for the start of the new school year.
    I remember when Biba came out. There were some really fun stores in Philly who carried Biba .
    One store was called Paraphenalia(sp)…… Another store “Sweet FannyAdams” carried all the Betsey Johnson Alley Cat clothes.
    These were really nice little boutiques which I find very hard to come by these days.
    It’s fun to reminisce about that whole era especially with someone who appreciates it just as much as I do.
    Thanks again. Diane

  4. finnfemme

    Hi Diane,
    It’s always great to hear your comments! That is so true about boutiques – there used to be so many of them, catering to specific styles. Now it all seems to be malls and marts, with very little differentiation. In Seattle we had Jay Jacobs, and there were a bunch of little boutiques even at the mall.

  5. Kitti Carriker

    Dear Marilyn,

    Many years ago — I’m guessing December 1973 or 1974 — I read a story in”Seventeen” magazine called “The Girl Who Just Loved Christmas,” about a romantic teen-aged girl who is upset the first time that her older sister brings her fiance home for Christmas because it is going to change some of the family customs, such as who gets to put the star on top of the tree. Unfortunately, I do not recall the author’s name; and sadly, though I kept it for many years, I no longer have my copy of the magazine.

    As you can see, I have never forgotten this favorite old story, and every year at Christmastime I always long to read it once again! I have tried searching on google, but without any luck. I see that the cover you have featured above lists “2 Christmas Stories You’ll Love.” Could you possibly peek inside and see if it is the story that I remember? I would be so grateful!

    Happy New Year & thanks for sharing your magazine collection and so many happy memories from my girlhood!

    Yours, Kitti Carriker

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