JTT Tuesdays: Teen Magazine, Fall 2008

Our JTT Tuesdays feature is named after our favorite heartthrob of yesteryear, the one, the only (the only Tom Sawyer in our hearts that is), Jonathan Taylor Thomas.  In honor of JTT and the popular Tiger Beat-type publications of the early to mid 90s in which he was found, each week, we review a teen magazine to see what’s going on with kids these days, or rather, what/who is being pushed on kids these days. 

This week, I picked up a magazine called Teen, which apparently comes from the same publishers of Seventeen and seems to be published every 3-4 months.  I have never heard of or seen this magazine before, so I figured it had the potential to be somewhat original.  Having said that, and after having read this magazine, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have absolutely no idea what the fuck is going on with kids these days, much less what would or wouldn’t be more or less “different” for a teen magazine-I mean, aside from the obvious.  Because let me tell you, this was clearly no New Moon.

I’ll tell you what it is, however: a gigantic 112-page advertisement for the Disney Channel.  The cover girls were Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato-both 16 years old (born in 1992 for Christsakes!  I am so fucking old!!!)

The only reason I have heard of them is, funnily enough, because of something I saw in passing about Miley Cyrus on TV at the nail place while getting a pedicure.  Something about her talking shit on them because they’re the newer, younger Disney stars?  I’m not certain.  As laughably little I know about Miley Cyrus, I know even less about either of these two……UNTIL NOW.  Just kidding.  Their interviews and sound bytes were absolutely retarded.  For example, in a mostly pictorial section in which a variety of Disney stars (seriously, there are rare occasions in which anyone in this magazine aren’t affiliated with the Disney channel in some way) are asked what, if they had to change their name, to something, what would it be.  Demi answered the following:

Flabbergasted Conundrum because those are the two greatest words in the dictionary.  Wait.Flabbergasted Riboflavin Conundrum III!  I’ve gotta have a middle name.

It was after reading that passage that I knew that I was in for quite a whirlwind on this Mr. Teen’s wild ride.  Like, I get that she’s trying to be funny or whatever, but she just comes off sounding…um…moronic.  Riboflavin isn’t so much a “word” as it is a nutrient.  It’s like she just learned these 4the grade words at the age of 16.  Nevermind knowing what these words actually mean, perhaps that’s next year’s lesson for the trailer tutor.  These Disney kids and their education priorities!

Anyhow, on to the actual interviews.  First up is Selena Gomez.  She seems generally dull.  My first “ugh” moment was when they mentioned she was starring in something called The Princess Protection Program.  I don’t think I can bring myself to IMDB that.  Another one of Selena’s projects appears to be music.  This is how she describes her “sound”: 

…punk rockerish with a hint of pop retro’ she says enthusiastically. ‘It has cool, interesting, fun beats that you can totally jam to, but at the same time, it’s a rocker song.  So it’s a combination.

So, basically, Selena Gomez is Poochie.  I’m just waiting for her to bust out a surfboard while rapping. 

Anywho, Demi’s interview was a little more entertaining, mostly because she comes off kind like way more of a horrible human being…and she’s only 16.  Way to get a head-start!  She, like Selena is also in The Princess Protection Program.  Yay.  Some light is shed in this article, however, when it is revealed that apparently, Demi had to leave school when she was younger (it doesn’t say exactly how young) because of some “mean girls.”  It doesn’t get any more specific than that.  Seriously.  Though, yelling in Demi’s face was mentioned.  Then, Demi briefly talks about the alleged “feud” between her/Selena & Miley Cyrus.  According to my extensive internet research, I guess Miley mocked (via youtube) some mundane youtube video Selena and Demi had made.  It’s all too meta and retarded sounding…mostly because, if you’re Miley Cyrus, mocking Selena and Demi is pretty much like mocking yourself, but whatever.  I’m not really seeing the difference between these people. They’re all pretty bland, self-righteous, and disconnected from reality in similar ways.  But anyway, Demi tries to put the fued “rumor” to rest, and remarks that “[e]veryone on Disney Channel is really uplifting.”  Um, yeah right, mostly because that is such a bizarre compliment to assign to people.  But, also because the article, for some reason WON’T EVEN MENTION MILEY’S NAME.  Does that sound like everything’s peaches & cream?  I’m guessing that’s a no.

Another particularly stupid thing from Demi’s interview was this quote:

 …We’ve [Demi and Selena] been working at this for a really long time.  We met each other the day we started working on [our careers], so it’s pretty ironic how things turn out.  It’s been awesome.

First, I’m not really sure how she means it’s ironic with regards to how “things turned out.”  Unless she’s mocking herself, because I don’t see how it is possible that a sixteen-year-old could have even been working on her career “for a really long time.”  What, since you were 10?  11?  Ten years TOPS she’s been working on her career.  It’s sort of a huge slap in the face to people, ADULT people who have been seriously working on an actual serious career in acting or music for twenty, thirty years.  So, in that case, yes I guess it would be ironic then, that you put in such little effort (in comparison) into your career and that you are now apparently, really big with the kids. 

Other people who are famous for retarded reasons include the band Metro Station, found in Teen’s music page.  According to their profile here, one of the guitar/vocal guys (Trace) is Miley Cyrus’s brother.  The other singer/guitarist, Mason, has a brother that plays someone on Hannah Montana.  So basically, they’re famous because of nepotism.  My roommate just informed me that the label that they’re on, Fueled By Ramen, is owned by Pete Wetz.  Just ew, all around. 

Also humorous in this music section is the profile on Tokio Hotel {“Move over Benji and Joel Madden!” Teen says).  These clearly forign dudes are from Germany.  It seems like their band was sort of a random idea (“‘Where does [your band’s] name come from?’…’We love big cities, so we picked Tokio [“Tokyo” in German]'”.)  When asked about the favorite city they’ve visited in the U.S. so far, they mentioned L.A. and New York, mostly because “[y]ou have good girls in New York and Los Angeles, that’s the most important thing.”  Um, what?  On various levels. 

Aside from all the inane sound bytes offered by these teen stars, one major component to this magazine, which is pretty much a component of every mainstream magazine, is the push for consumerism.  I guess I just found it more disturbing because it’s aimed at kids who don’t really have their own money yet, or are just beginning to earn their own money.  In almost every feature (including, obviously, the official ads themselves)- the more obvious makeup & hair sections do this, but even in the horoscopes, they divide in 3 sections or categories: life, cuties (boys), and treat.  The latter tells you what item/s or haircut you should buy.  Gross. 

Also, Teen is sorta racist!  Or at least promotes racist shows/ideas.  On their TV page, they feature a show called Samurai Girl on ABC Family (owned by Disney, surprise!), starring Jamie Chung, who, if I’m not mistaken, was on The Real World: San Diego.  So, it’s nice that there is an Asian American girl visible on TV, but how fucking lame and obvious to is that she’s “kicking butt” performing martial arts on this show.  Because that’s all Asian women do, there need to be multiple shows, movies, etc. displaying this.  Another TV show (produced by TYRA BANKS!  AHHH) called The Clique has a Latina character named Alicia, played by an actress named Samantha Boscarino.  Not that I know for sure, but, just judging from her last name, it seems that she’s Italian American.  Either way, though, the following comment should really not have been printed with no consciousness.  Not that I expect anything less of Tyra Banks:  ” Tyra…agreed Alicia should be more spicy and fiery.  She has a little Spanish flair to her.  She sticks out because of the way she puts things together and her color palette.”  Wow, that was like textbook.  Those “Spanish” people, they’re so “spicy,” hot-tempered and colorful!  And brown.  You know, the color.  Brown. Color.  Brown.  Did I mention that?  UGHHH.

Anyway, that’s it in a very large nutshell-though I’d like to expand on how gross it is that they not only promote irresponsible consumerism and general idiocy, but that they also really push compulsory heterosexuality, surprise surprise.  The amount of “boy”-related items are pretty gross.  Oh, and also, when they’re talking about the new 90210, they mention checking out the “old” series for more background.  Oh no, they d’i’in’t.  The ORIGINAL 90210 is not something to be “checked out” for “background.”  It is the beginning and end of that show as far as I or anyone with half a brain over the age of 12 is concerned, ok?  It, in fact IS 9021 fucking 0.  How dare they.  Anyway….

So, yeah, basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m old and out-of-touch, especially when it comes to Disney stars.  Hopefully next time I won’t pick up another Disney Teen Today Magazine.  In conclusion, these contemporary teen & tween stars make Jonathan Taylor Thomas look like fucking River Pheonix. 

One last note-I did learn that my Gossip Girl perfect match is Nate Archibald. 

FIN.

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2 Comments

Filed under JTT Tuesdays

2 responses to “JTT Tuesdays: Teen Magazine, Fall 2008

  1. Lacroix

    And to foil the Tigerbeat dream, JTT likes members of the same team ( heart is breaking and oozing Lisa Frank rainbows).

    On another note, have you noticed on the new 90210 that the sole persian guy on the show is infact a caucasian/south american actor?

  2. cocobuchanan

    I refuse to watch the new 90210, but that doesn’t surprise me.

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