By Stephanie Salas-Vega
Associate Layout Editor
Teen Vogue, the magazine known for beauty tips and celebrity gossip, has recently impressed many news publications with passionate political coverage, rivaling that of traditional news outlets.
Teen Vogue changed its news style in May 2016 when Amy Astley, former editor-in-chief, left the magazine’s staff under the care of new leadership. The new team, composed of Elaine Welteroth, editor-in-chief; Phillip Picardi, digital editorial director and Marie Suter, creative director, has steered Teen Vogue in a different direction.
“Elaine, Marie and Phil are fearlessly at the forefront, inspiring young trendsetters with their sophisticated take on emerging fashion, beauty and pop culture, and they will lead Teen Vogue to the next phase of its success,” Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, said, according to nbcnews.com.
Teen Vogue began covering hard news, taking a step back from its stereotypical teenage topics. Under the new leadership, the magazine has provided more coverage of Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, the LGBT community, religion and politics. To say the least, it emphasizes activism, feminism and anti-racism.
A quick look through the magazine’s social media posts will reveal how angry and involved the staff is with society.
The days after the election were crucial to Teen Vogue, and everyone quickly noticed.
On Dec. 10, 2016, Teen Vogue published an op-ed by Lauren Duca, its weekend editor, titled “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.” Duca compared Trump’s method of winning the presidency to a 1938 Victorian thriller film. In her article, Duca said Trump psychologically manipulated America the way abusive spouses psychologically manipulate their partners.
She continued talking about how unbelievable it was for Trump to achieve so much success despite his bad reputation.
“He gained traction in the election by swearing off the lies of politicians, while constantly contradicting himself, often without bothering to conceal the conflicts within his own sound bites,” Duca said.
Duca’s article caught the attention of many journalists who were surprised at the teen-oriented magazine’s change in tone.
“It was a scathing piece that, for some, came as a surprise, feeding off the stereotype that the magazine’s pages are too full of makeup tips and celebrity gossip to have room for serious and thoughtful political commentary,” Katie Mettler, staff writer for The Washington Post, said in her article.
Others took to Twitter to share their views.
“Who would have guessed @TeenVogue might be the future of political news. Unreal coverage of the election,” Rahul Sood, Unikrn CEO, said in a tweet to Duca.
When a fashion magazine for teenagers is doing better journalism than other publications, there is definitely something going on that no one else is seeing.
Duca’s opinion piece was ranked No. 1 on Teen Vogue’s top five most-read pieces of last year, according to the The Atlantic. Others included “How to Apply Glitter Nail Polish the Right Way,” a full list of October 2016 Netflix arrivals, Mike Pence’s concerning record on reproductive and LGBT rights and an article about how to get rid of acne scars.
“Teen Vogue is simply doing what a fashion magazine does best: observing trends and disseminating them,” Sophie Gilbert, staff writer at The Atlantic, said in her article.
Attention-grabbing headlines are what caused me to read Teen Vogue rather than The New York Times or The Washington Post. A quick scan of the political sections of those two publications shows all they report on is Trump’s every move.
Teen Vogue has taken a different perspective.
It includes stories on topics young people want to hear about – politics and how their lives will be affected. Some stories include Trump’s executive order and women’s marches. Teen Vogue digs deep into the effects of the new administration, while providing thought-worthy analyses.
They created a safe place where young people can be educated on what is going on around them, defeat patriarchy and still have cute painted nails.