Seventeen is an American magazine for teenagers. It was the first teen magazine established in the United States. The magazine's reader base is 10–19 year-old females. It began as a publication geared towards inspiring teen girls to become role models in work and citizenship. Soon after its debut, Seventeen took a more fashion and romance-oriented approach in presenting their material, while still maintaining their model of promoting self-confidence in young women. It was first published in September 1944 by Walter Annenberg's Triangle Publications.
Seventeen's early history
Seventeen 's first editor, Helen Valentine, believed it was necessary for the teenage girl to gain some respect in the real world by providing her with a source that would help her acquire understanding of the ways she could make a name for herself in society. Soon enough, it became evident that Seventeen would become a major catalyst in the role that teens have played and continue to play in the consumer market and pop culture. The concept of "teenager" as a distinct demographic segment of the population was a relatively new idea at that time. In July 1944, King Features Syndicate began running the comic strip Teena, created by cartoonist Hilda Terry, in which the trials and tribulations of a typical teenager's life were portrayed, and Teena ran in newspapers all over the world for 20 years.
After Seventeen was launched in September 1944, Estelle Ellis Rubenstein, the magazine's promotion director, used Teena as a marketing tool to introduce advertisers to the life of teenage girls and to encourage advertisers to buy space in Seventeen. The magazine surveyed teen girls in 1945 and 1946 to establish a set of demographics that could help them understand how a girl could benefit most from the articles. Its ability to act as a major source of advice for many different aspects of a teenage girl's life helped promote Seventeen's stance in the business world, as well as in the world of a teenage girl. Today, it is equally as evident that the magazine serves a greater purpose than simply being a form of literary entertainment, for it also promotes self-confidence and success in young women.
Sylvia Plath submitted 45 pieces to Seventeen before her first short story, "And Summer Will Not Come Again", was published in the August 1950 issue.
In the early 1980s, Whitney Houston appeared in Seventeen and became one of the first black women to appear on the cover of the magazine.
News Corporation bought Triangle in 1988, and sold Seventeen to K-III Communications (later Primedia) in 1991. Primedia sold the magazine to Hearst in 2003. It is still in the forefront of newsstand popularity among growing competition.
In 2010, writer Jamie Keiles conducted The Seventeen Magazine Project, a social experiment in which she followed the advice of Seventeen magazine for 30 days.
In 2012, in response to reader protests against the magazine's altering of model photos, Seventeen pledged not to Photoshop model photos.