I like you. I really do. I even waited until I was exactly 17 to subscribe to you. Silly, I know but naive little me thought it was the rule.
When I first started receiving your magazines, I was ecstatic – like, ballistic. I couldn’t wait to rip off the plastic and dig into the good stuff. Ever since my very first issue, my mom would hide it in her room and would surprise me with it once I got home (Yes, it was that serious). She also hid it because my little sisters would sneak into my room and beg me to read.
I absorb content pretty fast but it takes me a few hours to read you from front to back. I need to take evvvvvverything in. Everything. I would earnestly seek out Ann’s letter, scavenge through the table of contents (I never ever skip pages, though…EVER), revel at the stylish photos, get deep into thought with the sad but inspiring stories they usually put in the middle of the magazine, skim through the celeb features, and finally, chuckle my butt off at the “Traumarama”. Yeah, I’m rambling, I know. I just have to express my love of you…and to you. This is my love letter and my readers are my witness.
I’ve had you for 2 years now. That’s right, I’m 19. And let me just say with age comes…disillusionment. Don’t get me wrong, I still have feelings for you and all but it’s just…it’s you, not me.
I don’t know if you noticed, Seventeen, but I didn’t mention your beauty section. That’s where you and I have a tiny problem, my love. You would have topics like “What’s the Perfect Lipstick for Your Skin Tone?” and don’t even get me started on hair. I just don’t find it quite “fair” for you to showcase makeup styles for every shade of white and then do the light shade and an extreme dark for the African Americans. What about the colors in between? No, seriously, you would go from an alabaster white, pale, olive, caramel and then a dark ebony! I’m not expecting you to cover every spectrum but heck I’m a devoted reader and I can’t even see my own color on your page!
(Seventeen Makeup Tip)
(The many shades of brown – Photo via Iman)
That’s my main issue really. I’m not even upset that women of color (Asians & Latina included) are underrepresented on the cover of your magazine. Pretty much every magazine does that but I know you to be different. The only Black women I can even recall being on the cover is Whitney Houston back in 1981, Rihanna, Keri Hilson and Jordin Sparks. Since the age of 16, my best friend, Claire, and I have been wondering when the heck KeKe Palmer (who has been on the Seventeen radar for years) would grace the cover. You would include her in the magazine but never on. Oh, and I am just waiting for the day for the fabulous, upcoming style icon Zendaya Coleman to be given a proper feature.
(My favorite issue of Seventeen!)
I’m reaching out to you because you are my first love, Seventeen. I only recently started subscribing to other magazines. But, I adore how you earnestly do seek out to uplift the spirits of young girls around the world. With your glossy pages, pops of print and colorful images, you are have super appeal. I’m not breaking up with you nor am I saying we should take a break. We’ve been through so much for that. And besides, I still look forward to your visits (to my mailbox) and scoping out what you have to offer. I appreciate your campaigns such as “Body Peace” and your efforts in encouraging young women to love their size but…what about color?
To be blunt, Seventeen: if you need a Black girl for the beauty or style sections, I’m your girl. No, seriously, I would love to be styled by your fashion team and represent women of color in the beauty category. I love you and all but…show some love back!
Adorned in Armor – your faithful but frustrated reader.
* Please repost and share!!! I would love Seventeen to get ahold of this post. Could you imagine what could happen?! Our voice matters.
** All photos are from Seventeen magazine and online.