What It’s Like To Be Seventeen in 2014

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Recently, we published a somewhat... critical... story about the alternately hilarious and kinda scary advice in 1967's The Seventeen Book of Fashion and Beauty. Shortly thereafter, an email from a publicist for modern-day Seventeen magazine appeared in our inbox. Things have (obviously, thankfully) changed quite a lot since the '60s, and Seventeen wanted to set the record straight. Their current Editor in Chief, Ann Shoket, volunteered to update the magazine's advice for a new generation of girls, so now we're presenting her insights on selfies, girl power (the March issue theme), Snickers salads, and whether Bermuda shorts were or ever will be OK:

Seventeen's New Rules for Fashion and Beauty
In 1967, Seventeen said: "Do you get into cars head first? You’ll look prettier if you slide in sideways."
Now, Ann says: "Being so focused on how you appear to the rest of the world hasn't gone away. Really, the equivalent today is how girls are obsessed with looking good in their selfies—how it's all about angles and practicing. That really is the modern equivalent of looking good while sliding into a car. [Laughs]"

Then: "You would be right to wear Bermuda shorts shopping in Bermuda, and wrong, wrong, wrong to wear them shopping in New York."
Now: "I got a note from our fashion director saying that I had to say Bermuda shorts were still not OK, but I’m pro-Bermuda shorts! Girls should wear what they feel comfortable in."

Then: "Fresh as a daisy, neat as a pin, pretty as a picture—you could sum it all up in one word: Girl."
Now: "Be yourself, be authentic, carve your own path, and be ambitious."

Then: "Should you ever cut your own hair? No."
Now: "If you screw up your own hair, just clip in some extensions."

Then: "Be wary of blue shoes, unless they’re navy."
Now: "We don’t have such a strong opinion on blue shoes. In our April issue, there's a big shoe guide with, like, nine cute shoes...but I’m not sure if any of them are blue!"

Then: "Too much skin, too much leg, too much perfume, too much makeup labels you a girl to be whistled at rather than loved."
Now: "Nobody should feel like they have to look 'perfect' in order to be accepted. There's no longer just one way to get it right."

Then: "Meal at a friend’s house? Take a little of everything, but imagine you are a frail 19th century beauty and eat like a bird."
Now: "Food has become so much more fun for girls; it's become an [Instagram] inspiration, not a limitation. Girls want colorful food like stacks of rainbow pancakes, or foods like heart-shaped cake pops, or salad made out of Snickers."

Then:
"These are the basic foods you should eat every day:
1 egg
6 ounces of meat, poultry, fish, or cheese
2 servings of fruit
3 servings of vegetables, one of them a deep yellow or dark leafy green, one a small potato
3 glasses of milk
3 slices of bread
3 small pats of butter"
Now: "When we talk about nutrition, we never talk about fat or calories; we talk about how to help girls eat healthier. We're more likely to talk to a girl about protein and fiber than calorie counting and the size of your jeans."

Then: "If a girl slumps her shoulders, it’s a safe bet she hopes nobody will notice anything about her. Probably nobody will."
Now: "My mission in life is to make it so that girls can walk into any room and own it. But I’m not telling them to walk straight and make sure their shoulders are up and touching."

Photos courtesy Seventeen.

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  • alliekat

    Seventeen, where are my rainbow pancakes?

  • Dida Trendy Now

    at least they came up with a reply to your article!
    Besos from Ecuador,
    Daniela & Diana
    http://www.didatrendynow.blogspot.com

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com Clever Girl Reviews

    Other then the rainbow pancakes this seems like a positive vibe!

  • Leetoki

    I'm siding with the rainbow pancakes opinion. Instagram inspiration, ehhh. Maybe I'm old too at 23.

    But beyond that, this response was wonderful. They could have easily let it go, but to give this back makes me think very highly of the Seventeen team.

  • Katy

    Why ruin the delicious taste of pancakes with food coloring?

  • sara

    Honestly, when I get into a car head first, I always bump my head on the door, so maybe there is some merit in sliding in sideways lol, I'll have to try that next time.

  • thatreadinggrl1111

    I think what she meant is girls want food that screams "fun!" I get it, it`s harder to eat when I`ve had the same, normal meal two or three times in a row.

  • Neelam

    Girls should want whatever kind of food they want. Not all girls like artificially coloured crap to eat. The message should be along the lines of 'eat whatever you like, as long as it's part of a balanced diet' and 'everything in moderation'. How hard is that?

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