I live in New York. I am a comedian, writer and actor. My day job is blogging for VH1.com. I write about the silly things celebrities and pop stars do, so you know...God's work.
You may have seen my writing on many other reputable websites (McSweeney's, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, xojane.com, The Hairpin, Splitsider, The FW, etc.). I also write crazy blogs about Game of Thrones, Magneto and Jeff Goldblum.
Life's weird, right?
The finalists are here and I can applaud what they are trying to do in theory.
In theory, they are trying to do what Sassy did. They are trying to put real girls on the cover.
In theory, they are also trying to do what they were known for in yesteryear: providing scholarship funds and early publication opportunities to young female writers.
In theory, both of these editorial decisions should be applauded.
Still, in theory, I don’t think editorial looks and editorial content should be so expressly intertwined. I mean, yes, in reality, guess what? They are. Editors select content for their magazine. That content has to appeal to readers and advertisers. Ann Shoket needs to project a specific brand image in her magazine.
I’m just galled that she had the idiocy to expressly say “yes you have to be pretty to be on the cover”. There’s so much to unpack in that statement that I can’t even begin. Hence my initial reaction of “Blargh Garg Flames a;jdflkajsfl;asjf”.
It’s like she’s missing the point of everything that a teen magazine should be. A teen magazine should be encouraging and inspiring to young women. It should teach them to revel in their individuality and embolden them to take risks.
I never submitted to the Seventeen Magazine fiction contest because I was terrified I wasn’t as good a writer as Sylvia Plath. If sixteen year old me was told by an editor that she not only had to be as good a writer as Sylvia Plath, but “pretty” according to Ann Shoket’s hazy guidelines, then I would have been walking around with two massive inferiority complexes. I mean, I was already flipping through Seventeen and comparing the angles of my face to Natalie Portman’s. A contest like this would have had me not only doubting my nascent abilities as a writer, but my ability to ever be loved or successful based on looks.
“Blargh Garg Flames a;jdflkajsfl;asjf”