My Interview with Seventeen Magazine

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This past fall I went for an interview at Seventeen Magazine and while I sat in the waiting room to meet with the editors I was stunned by the appearance of all these women walking in and out. They were perfect similar to the women in the magazines that are airbrushed and wearing extremely expensive clothing. How can these women afford this lifestyle I kept thinking to myself. During my interview it was an eye opening experience to be in New York City and not until now have I truly analyzed this interview.

The interview was for a fashion assistant intern and was very fashion forward. I applied for feature editorial assistant intern. When I kept asking about my writing and how I wanted to explore certain topics such as beauty tips, health style alternatives (organic vs. processed), and even successful teenagers I was turned down and told my only opportunity to intern would be working in the fashion closet and running around the city finding certain clothing for the models. These clothing items that teenage girls wouldn’t even be able to afford since they are high end clothing.

I was told I wouldn’t be writing at all. It is interesting how the company just was telling me what to do and told me straight forward that I was not going to be writing. The way the editors framed their language made me feel guilty for even asking to be a part of the features department (where I applied for in the first place.)

I was offered the position, but turned it down to accept a radio internship in the area. Where I can walk in with jeans and a sweatshirt and not feel like I am the ugliest duckling and my ideas are heard by the producer and radio show hosts. I am encouraged to develop feature content and not feeling guilty for wanting to follow my passions.

I am happy I made the decision to NOT live in New York City and go in even more debt to work in a fashion closet with clothing that is more expensive than my car.

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About jchambers12

Jackie is a junior at the University of Mass. Amherst. She is currently working towards her Journalism and Communications degrees. She is minoring in Woman Studies.Her plans for the future are to become a magazine writer for either People, Cosmo, or Vanity Fair. In her spare time Jackie enjoys hanging out with her friends, watching television, and traveling.

4 responses »

  1. I liked that this post started with a personal anecdote, possibly calling on all of us to be more critical of events in our everyday lives. It was a good point made about the high cost of clothes featured in these magazines targeted at young people as the financial burden is often incurred by the parents struggling as it is to find a way to put their kid through college, making long-term debt an inevitable burden. This point was a lot like the article we read concerning the Nag Factor and the way companies prey on youth in order to get to the parents so that social hostility and fear of not fitting in becomes the driving force for purchasing high cost goods—at grave and real-life social consequences when these things are not attained. I thought it was particularly ironic that these magazines are aimed at youth and yet youth are not allowed to write, as if adults know better than youth what we want to read and what issues we care most about.

  2. It’s crazy to me that a magazine that primarily has young teenage girls as their readers promotes a lifestyle beyond their reach. Most of their readers probably don’t have jobs, or if they do they are low paying ones where they work minimal hours. How can these girls expect to achieve the life that Seventeen promotes without putting themselves or their parents in debt?

    Also, many women’s magazines claim to be empowering their female readers, yet you had a very different experience during your interview. I like how you honestly felt like their world is full of unrealistic women. Whether it’s in their magazine or in their offices, Seventeen maintains this perfect world of women where what they wear is more important than what they write. How can we expect young women to use their brains when the media tells them to use their looks?

  3. Please. Those women aren’t perfect. Not sure what your definition of perfect is, but it’s definitely not mine. I like women who wear jeans and sneakers. Not $500 jeans either. I like simplicity. I don’t want a woman covered in make up. I want natural beauty. Why can’t all women feel the way I do ? Oh, I know why, because SOCIETY teaches women how to HATE their bodies. At an early age, women are taught to accept this hate and spend gross amounts of money on cosmetics trying to be loved and not hated. The media does terrible things to young ladies’ minds. I’m glad you had this experience Jackie. New York is overrated anyway. I wish all women knew they were beautiful no matter what size or shape they come in. I find it really interesting how you used a personal story. I learned a lot about you. I think you and all women like you, are the perfect women.

  4. This is a great post, honestly. The personal experience that you bring to this topic certainly provides lots of strength to the point you are trying to make. I also read above in your “about me” section that you are a Journalism and Communication major. This background helped me get a real good image of the points that you were presenting in this post. Your post highlights the economic squeeze of youth and the misrepresentation of this economic squeeze very well. Why do we continue to put these unrealistic images in front of our young girls but then expect that they won’t strive to be just like what they see and have confidence in the woman that they really are? From reading your blog thus far, I’d say you are on the right career path with Journalism. Visually, I also really enjoyed being on this blog. The layout of your images, the theme, and the overall vibes it gives, kept me reading.

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