In light of Teen Vogue announcing they are hosting an Acne Awards, I would like to take a moment to appreciate them! Their transformation from what I had when I was a teenager is astronomical. The articles were more centered on celebrating the same type of beauties. Not to say that they weren’t beautiful, but they looked nothing like I did and do. That was a lot to digest as a young impressionable teenager going through puberty in a predominately white school with thick “unruly” hair. My mom even stopped paying for the subscription because she didn’t like the comments I made in comparison to myself and the girls in the magazine!
But now? They feature all types of women. Women with big curly hair, women in hijabs, women of all shapes and hues. They highlight and appreciate life’s imperfections. Hello! Acne Awards! But the diversity doesn’t stop with appearances; it also takes form in their topics. They now have a section dedicated to news and politics; something Vogue doesn’t even cover. They praise young kids making a difference and inspire others to make a difference as well. They don’t shy away from content that would be “too sensitive to children” as these things are happening to children.
This isn’t to say that Teen Vogue is now super serious and shies away from the silly content that entices a teenager; it’s still there. But it blends in the reality of the world so that there isn’t a shock at how complicated our world is when they become adults. I can speak from personal experience on the shock I felt after being sheltered from disasters my whole life and first hearing about police brutality. I felt cheated and small. Now, these teenagers are in the know and figuring out ways to make changes. Just like my generation did before. We take things in stride and appreciate the progress, but we don’t slack off. Teen Vogue’s current editors are both Millennials. I wonder if as they read the old content of Teen Vogue, they decided there needed to be a change and became that change themselves. That is progress to be celebrated.