Category Archives: Teen Vogue

Can’t a 40-Something Woman Read “Seventeen Magazine” in Peace?

My husband frequently tools on me for reading SEVENTEEN and TEEN VOGUE, even though he knows I do it for work.  As a young adult novelist and screenwriter who writes a lot of teen movies, it’s important to stay up to date with the teen culture and lingo.  Which, as I often remind my husband, makes my subscriptions tax deductable.

But the thing is, I’m secretly glad I have an excuse to read these magazines.  And not just because I like to keep up with the fashion trends for Prom season.  These magazines aren’t intended for me, but like unearthing a repressed traumatic memory, I believe they are healing the teen girl inside of me, the young me who flipped through their pages filled with self-loathing because she didn’t look like the models, no matter how much Clearisil and Noxema she slathered on, the girl who felt like a reject because didn’t have a boyfriend about which to fill out the ubiquitous Love Quiz at the end.  Or, at least a boyfriend who wasn’t gay.

I think there’s something very valuable in grown women  (and men!)  looking back on that time in our past when were first stepping (and mis-stepping) into our adult selves. As someone who writes about and for teenagers, I’m glad I’m able to use my own experiences to offer some wisdom to teenagers today.

And apparently, I’m not alone.

Below are some fun and entertaining resources for that rich and fascinating intersection of the adult and teenage worlds.   Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


Presented by and produced by the wonderful Janet Varney, this weekly, hour-long podcast features Janet interviewing popular actresses and comedians about their teen years.  Hilarious, wise, and absolutely addictive!


Dear Teen Me is a blog of letters, written by YA authors, to their teenage selves.  And now, it’s a book, too!  Read my Dear Teen Me post here, and peruse hundreds of others.  So heartening.  So 80’s.


If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s worth checking out.  Definitely the dark side of that strange phenomenon known as Grown-Ups Who Are Stuck in High School.

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, pop culture, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, teenage girls, writing, young adult

The Opposite of Prêt-à-Porter – Or – The Time I Almost Went To Fashion Week With A Giant Band-Aid On My Chin

In honor of today being the last day of Fashion Week in New York, I thought I’d share the story of the time I went to the runway shows.

It was the late 90’s and I was working as a producer for a nationally syndicated TV show called Wild Web (think of it as a pre-cursor to Tosh.0, minus the smut). I had just started dating the man who is now my husband, and we were still in what I will politely refer to as the amorous phase of our relationship.

If you know my husband, you know that he rocks the “stubble beard.”  And as much as I love the Don Johnson look, those wiry little hairs can wreak havoc on the face of the person making out with him, especially if you are engaging in this activity roughly 23 out of 24 hours of the day.  The resultant effect:  a chin that had been rubbed raw of its first two epidermal layers.

Maybe no one will notice, I thought as I went into the studio before flying off to New York later that day.  But having your skin shucked off by what amounts to a human cheese grater is the kind of wound that gets worse before it gets better.  The second my co-workers saw my face, their eyes grew wide with a mixture of sympathy and alarm. “Holy crap!” they all gasped. “Did you get into a fight with a belt-sander?”

Naturally, there was only one thing I could tell them.  “ I fell off my bike,” I said casually.  “But don’t worry.  I’ll be okay.”

Deciding what to wear when to New York Fashion Week is never an easy choice.  But in the end, my hardest decision was whether or not to sport a super-sized Band-Aid on my chin. Would it be considered gauche?  Or would my chin Band-Aid spark a trend—the  latest must-have accessory for the fashion-forward?

I interviewed supermodels that day, BCBG’s Max Azria, Donald Trump’s current wife.  And after I’d run through all my questions, they each had one for me.  “Biking accident,” I would nod and smile, wincing only slightly as my finger grazed my open wound.  I still don’t know if I made the right choice baring my disfigured chin at Fashion Week, but in the end I decided that having a jumbo Band-Aid on one’s face was definitely not “ready to wear.”

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, Fashion, pop culture, Teen Vogue

The Hook-Up Whisperer

Don’t get me wrong—I LOVE being a writer and feel immense gratitude every day that my dream job is also my reality.  But, if I could do anything else in the world (no matter how wildly unrealistic) I would like to help teenagers find love.

They’d call me The Hook-Up Whisperer.  Or maybe Yenta to the Young.

And I’m not talking about writing an advice column for TEEN VOGUE or SEVENTEEN, I’m talking about becoming a full-blown Superhero of Love.

Look!  Up in the bleachers at the middle school dance!  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s… a weird middle-aged lady advising me to forget about the fact that Liam McKeen has spent the night dancing with that Abercrombie & Bitch Carli Strasser and to ask dorky Hal Dunlap (that quiet kid who doodles on his hands and dips his French fries into mustard–eww!) to dance.  Is she INSANE?  Or, does her Been-There-Done-That Super Vision allow her to see things my 13-year-old self cannot?

Of course, this is just one scenario.  Wherever there is an insecure teenager pining over the wrong person or wanting to swap some spit but afraid to make the first move, the Hook-Up Whisperer will be there.


Filed under Seventeen, Teen Vogue, teenage girls, Uncategorized, yenta