Hot flash! Totally cool new mags. They’re, like, for young people--ya’ know--kids, teens and college students. And, big surprise, they tell you how to flirt, look absolutely the best and know who’s hot and who’s not.
They also take some serious looks at major issues--really.
Sounds like teen-speak? Several new magazines are attempting not only to sound and look like today’s teens but to address many of the pressing issues young adults face.
Teens have always had their own ways of speaking, dressing and exploring their identities. And the more than 28 million Americans 12 to 19 spend nearly $90 billion a year, thus the large attraction of magazines aimed at that age group.
Three new magazines aimed at teens--Quake, Mouth 2 Mouth and Tell--have joined the increasingly competitive teen magazine market.
Seventeen, owned by K-III Communications Corp., leads the female teen magazine market with a circulation of about 1.85 million. YM, formerly known as Young and Modern, also for girls, has boomed in past years and has a monthly circulation of 1.8 million copies.
But publishers believe there are an awful lot of teen readers yet to tap and many teen dollars yet to be spent on magazines and the products they advertise.
There are few, if any, magazines that target teen-age boys, save sports or music fan magazines. Sports Illustrated, one of the nation’s largest magazines in terms of circulation, has a large teen readership.
The latest teen magazines try to appeal to both boys and girls, almost as a way of demystifying gender differences that often make the teen years so difficult, publishers say.
In other differences, some older readers, used to the fashion-oriented magazines of their teen years, may be surprised at the frank discussions of sexuality and family relations.
Mouth 2 Mouth, which previewed in mid-March, is celebrity driven--calling itself “a general-interest magazine for a new generation of teen-agers weaned on MTV and careening toward the 21st Century.”
Published by Time Inc. Ventures, Mouth 2 Mouth plans to cover sports, fashion, technology, blockbuster movies--all the latest stuff for male and female readers, its publishers say.
While high on the hip scale, Mouth 2 Mouth plans some highbrow stuff, too, such as an ideal English class syllabus by Thomas Harris, author of “Silence of the Lambs.”
The premiere issue also has a first-person narrative by Amy Fisher, from the prison cell where she’s serving time for shooting the wife of the man she contends was her ex-boyfriend.
Its second issue is due in August. Each issue sells for $2.50 at newsstands.
Quake, aimed at 13- to 19-year-olds but which seems to have mid-teen girls in mind, is devoted to fashion, trends, entertainment, media and youth style in general.
April’s edition probes such issues as what to wear to the prom, how to get great legs, the dish on chewing gum and a deep, probing (not!) interview with Evan Dando, singer with the band, Lemonheads.
Published by Cowles Magazines and Welsh Publishing Group, Quake plans to put out six magazines a year.
The April issue sells for $1.95 in the United States, $2.50 in Canada.
Tell, which began as a quarterly last September and hopes eventually to go monthly, is aimed at girls but hopes boys, too, will decide to read the magazine.
While it has the line of features on fashion, dating and sexuality, The second issue also contains more serious articles on two sons who killed their father and on young inner-city actors and the real-life troubles they face.
And, for possibly the first time in a teen magazine, Tell has an article by an overweight teen, who says, “Losing ain’t everything.”
Published by Hachette Magazines and NBC television, Tell has a cover price of $1.95 and an initial newsstand circulation of 500,000.
The premier issue of Link, for college students, hit campus mailboxes in March. It features student news, lifestyle and entertainment in an interactive format. Readers can access information through an on-line computer service, the publishers say.
Link’s premiere issue looks at college sexuality in the age of AIDS, date rape and sexual consent codes. It has an interview with Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulous as well as an article on the Generation X-targeted film, “Reality Bites.”
Published by Creative Media Generations, Link will be published six times a year and distributed free to one million students on more than 360 campuses. But if the student moves from the original address, a Link subscription costs $15 a year, managing editor Ty Wenger said.
Preteens also have a new magazine, and it doesn’t have a word about sex, drugs or rock ‘n’ roll.
Crayola Kids, published six times a year by Meredith Corp. in conjunction with Crayola crayon maker Binney & Smith, has stories, articles about pets, games and things to make for children age 3 to 8 and their parents.
It sells for $2.95 an issue and will premiere in April.