by MIKE CHAIKEN
Reality struck readers of venerable teenage girl magazine Seventeen this past weekend.
Rather than the magazine, which was launched in 1944, subscribers received substitute issues from Hearst Magazines along with a letter explaining what was happening.
“Seventeen will focus on its vibrant digital platforms… and will publish several special issues each year, pegged to news events and key moments in readers’ life,” said the letter. “Seventeen will no longer be available by subscription.”
The news that Seventeen’s subscription print edition broke late last year. But the reality of change didn’t set in until the mail arrived for subscribers this past week.
For older readers who subscribed to the magazine when they were teens, the news brought back dismay, memories, and resignation.
“I loved Seventeen,” said Jennifer Hill of Farmington.
Jessica Schiopucie of Naugatuck said, “Man that sucks. I still get it. I’m 36.”
“End of an era,” said Wallingford, Conn.’s Linda Marie Colon whose daughter is one of the current subscribers. “They offered (my daughter) Good Housekeeping for the remainder of her subscription. She’s 12.”
“This is definitely a shock,” said Nicole Marie of West Haven. “It was a huge part of my youth. So sad.”
“Why?!,” said Meriden’s Evie Cherie. “I loved their cute tips, tricks. The love column was always cool. I also love the crazy stories you’d find towards the back. The hairstyles for the week were iconic.”
“I’m flabbergasted,” said Cherie.
“I felt the same when Newsweek did that and was then gone,” said Margaret Vu Ennis of Massachusetts. “I like keeping old magazines and newspapers and believe that photography is artwork.”
“I was a teen in the ’90s, and loved Seventeen,” said Groton’s Tia Hrusa. “My favorite section was ‘Embarrassing Moments,’ where girls would write in their most embarrassing times concerning dating, clothing mishaps, periods, etc. It made me laugh and realize I wasn’t the only awkward teen out there.”
Kellie Lambert of Watertown said, “I based many of my high school back-to-school shopping choices on that annual issue.”
Phalla Touch of Stratford said, “It was one of the first magazines my parents allowed me to read and get a subscription to. I waited every month for the next edition.”
“I was actually in Seventeen when I was 16, I think,” said Darci McHenry of Middletown, Conn. “It’s such an iconic part of growing up for girls. I remember buying (my daughter) Cassidy her very first one when we were getting on a plane to go to a pageant. She was 13, I think. Prom issue- it was a milestone.”
“I’ve been waiting to buy Devin (my youngest daughter) her first one – was thinking next year some time,” said McHenry. “Now that will be impossible, I guess.”
Martha Kyler of Colorado, formerly of Connecticut said, “I loved Seventeen as a young lady. I actually ended up interning for Atoosa Rubenstein when I was a senior in high school, after she left her position as editor in chief (of Seventeen).”
“Change is inevitable,” Anne Cutting of West Hartford said. “I have very fond memories of Seventeen magazine when I was a teenager. I loved the advice dealing with boys, friends, parents, pimples, makeup, clothes ‑ on and on. It really helped in exploring youth culture and the trials and joys of growing up within the comfort level of age appropriateness.”
“I have been reading Seventeen magazine since before high school,” said Karla Aponte Roque of Branford. “It was a great source to look at fashion and beauty tips. Once I got a Facebook, I started to follow their page and saw a shift of content.”
“Due to this shift,” said Roque, “I understand why they decided to become an online only magazine. This says a lot about where our society is moving.”
North Haven, Conn.’s Karlene Lindsay-Worrell said, “It’s understandable. Kids are online. They are not buying magazines.”
“(It) just goes to show the internet is taking over,” said Brian Gallo of Derby. “The value of print is losing its ground, sadly. A magazine, a newspaper, a hand-written letter or even greeting cards ‑ they will all be in the grave alongside the eight-track, cassette tape, and CDs.”
“Economic and environmental issues with the cost of printing, manufacturing and publishing on paper and cost effectiveness and ease of distribution on line may be the real reasons [behind the change],” said Darrell Fitzgerald of Glastonbury.
“To be honest,” said Catherine Halliday of Kent in the U.K, “I thought it shut down years ago.”