Our fourth Teen Vogue homework assignment comes from SPARK blogger Ria, who analyzed the March 2008 issue of Teen Vogue. Seem kind of in the distant past? NAH–when we met with them, they gave us issues dating back to 2008 to study up on, so we figure this is fair game! Here’s what she found, in handy graphic form:
417 thin white girls vs 65 girls of color maps out to about an 87% rate of thin, white girls. How does this stack up chronologically? The October 2011 issue was about 85% white and thin, the August 2012 issue was about 81% white and thin, and the September 2012 issue was about 77% white and thin (and that’s with Selena Gomez as a cover girl). Pretty much every image we analyzed seemed retouched, but again, we can’t say for sure until Teen Vogue comes out and tells us that they do or don’t alter the faces and bodies of the girls in their pages. And you know, we’re still waiting! Wanna help us get an answer? Alice explains how:
If you have scissors, access to a printer, a local newsstand, and super stealth skills you’re a key part of this action. Here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it:
- Print out our Teen Vogue action slips, filled with facts on how magazines like Teen Vogue affect teen girls. Cut them out. Customize them if you want, a little glitter never hurt anybody!
- Keep these slips with you, in your wallet or purse.
- Next time you’re in a place with a newsstand (Walmart, Target, the grocery store, or good old Barnes and Noble) creep into the magazine aisle. Find the little magazine with (chances are) a white girl with windblown hair on the cover. This is your target, Teen Vogue.
- Tuck a Teen Vogue action slip into the binding. Repeat as desired. But make sure you don’t damage any copies of Teen Vogue, that’s illegal and generally uncool.
- Make your escape and enjoy the rush that comes from feminist mischief making.
- Repeat! Print out copies for your friends. Go bookstore hopping. Give out an award to the person who infiltrates the most copies of Teen Vogue. Dedicate a Beyonce dance party to the winner.
You can also tweet us your stealth images or your Teen Vogue analysis at @SPARKsummit, or post it on our Facebook page. Get at us–we can’t SPARK change alone!