The other day I awoke to the birds chirping, the sun shining and my pup snuggling up in my bed. A seemingly beautiful morning until I started scrolling through my Twitter feed to find a photo of a gravestone that had "Teen Vogue" on it. Pause. My heart skipped a beat. I quickly clicked on this New York Times article and found to my devastation that Teen Vogue print will be discontinued by Conde Nast.
If you have been following my blog for the past year, you will know that my senior independent study project focused on Teen Vogue and their fearless pursuit to revolutionize women's pages. With the hiring of their current editor Elaine Welteroth, the magazine transformed from exclusively beauty and fashion to a #woke philosophy. People started to notice them after their article, "Donald Trump is Gaslighting America" went viral. You can read about all of this in my previous blog post.
Teen Vogue has now been about news, politics and social justice. It has featured women of all colors, shapes and sizes. Featured LGBTQ+ topics and ethnically diverse beauty tips. An overall shift to focusing on ALL women.
After school ended, my obsession with Teen Vogue grew as I started to follow them more closely and low-key stalk Elaine's social media every day, multiple times a day. I have never experienced a more brilliantly fearless, trendy and down to earth human. She embodies everything I believe women in journalism should be.
So, the news that Conde Nast was DISCONTINUING the print of Teen Vogue, aka the part Eliane is in charge of, has me SHOOK for so many reasons. Here are those reasons and questions I have surrounding them.
I am very confused why they would do this not only because of how popular the magazine has become over the past year but because of how amazing she has been at this job. It is baffling as to why they would want to stop any part of her team from producing this revolutionized magazine. Or in any way, shape or form possibly lose her and her image alongside the publication. Do they understand without her, this magazine is not as cool? This is disrespectful to her, and her team's fearless work! Another Times article reads, "Condé Nast is also considering an additional role for her." Considering?
Elaine, girl. If you ever bless me with a read, I am 100 percent down for a start-up.
IS PRINT REALLY DEAD?
We all have seen the massive shift publications are taking from print to digital, but when it comes to magazines this does not really make sense to me. I understand the shift for newspapers. I love the look of newspapers, I loved designing pages for a newspaper. But let's be honest, newspapers are very difficult and awkward to hold. Reading news does not have to be in physical print to get the point. But magazines are an entirely different beast. They are not just their content but the art and creativity that surrounds it. The look of a magazine is a huge factor in the experience of reading one. The creativity of their design is vital to their demographic and style. Print magazines are an ART.
Why can't they cancel some other print?
Why Teen Vogue? I don't know anything about the analytics of their magazines but I feel that if you put them all on a line chart with years on the x-axis and popularity on the y-axis, Teen Vogue would look something like a plane taking off while the others would be more like a hilly bike ride. Is it because of the controversy? What is going on? Also, there are definitely magazines with far less significant content that does not need a print addition. Let's take a look at our standards here people...
A question you may have for me -- Ok Allie, so why does it really matter if the publication is still online?
It matters to me because I believe that a movement like this deserves print documentation. I love the internet as much as any other millennial, but the internet and it's content is not tangible. Anyone can post something online and people's videos, photos, blog posts and so on go viral every day. But only a select few writers have the capacity to physically print their work. I feel like things disappear on the internet. They get covered by new stories every hour. Teen Vogue has created a platform for more young people to feel like they are in the know. Teen Vogue is a publication that WE own together as a collection of people who has never had this outlet before. It's finally a place where we own the discussion and our voices are heard. A place where we know the people making the magazine want to hear us because we are smart. They encourage our questions, curiosities, empowerment and empower us. AND give us tips on glitter nail polish. All of this combined is to help us prove and show the world that we are complex and we are smart. We are boss!
A publication changing the way we all see the importance of and open discussion on women's rights, LGBTQ+, people of color and politics deserves to be printed because of the significance of its history. It deserves to be printed for us.
Take a look at the most recent Teen Vogue cover. TELL ME THIS ISN'T REVOLUTIONARY? I am framing it.
IS NOTHING SACRED?