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Teen Magazines By Euphrates
Teen magazines led teen-aged girls through puberty to that magical place where romance and possibility meets pop culture. Every issue, every picture, every advertisement and every article was aimed directly at the budding female's curiosity about dating and love, using the faces and personalities of pop and television stars.
Ironically, many of the stars were twice or even three times the age of their adoring fans. For example, Jonathan Frid was nearing 50 when he made regular appearances in these magazines on the popularity of Dark Shadows. Mike Cole was in his mid-20s during the Mod Squad heyday and David Selby was in his late 20s. Not old men but twice the age of many Tiger Beat readers. I remember someone commenting on the 11 and 12-year olds screaming and clutching at The Beatles, who were well into their 20s at the time: "What would they do if they caught one? They were teddy boys, not teddy bears." On the other hand, stars like Donny Osmond and Jack Wild were still children when their faces were pasted under suggestive headlines about dating and kissing.
There were occasional appearances by non-threatening female personalities (Susan Dey, Maureen McCormick, Sally Field, Marie Osmond) but they were generally featured in articles with advice about dating or taking care of your skin.
The covers of these magazines are very colorful and are generally peppered with head shots of the boy du jour and enticing teases like:
John Schneider - "Bo! In The Hot Seat!"
Other television shows and stars frequently featured in teen magazines from the '60s-'80s:
Tiger Beat and 16 were the most popular titles but there were other contenders. A few titles:
Through the '60s and '70s most of these magazines were 25-75 cents each.
Nearly every magazine came with multiple color posters with dreamy salutations like "Luv, Bobby" or, inexplicably, "Thanks for everything!" The pinups could either be found in the center of the magazine, on the inside and/or outside back covers or, on occasion, the inside of both covers would create one large poster. It's not uncommon for these centerfolds to be removed from vintage copies found today.
Also occasionally missing are coupons for mail-in offers like "Win A Raider Outfit!", "Biggest Beatles Poster In Existence!", "1,001 Secrets Of Your Fav Stars!" or "Now! Learn What Boys Want Most In Girls!" Most of these campaigns were after one dollar.
Today, the supply of vintage teen magazines are plentiful. You can pick up a well-read copy for 3 or 4 dollars on sales sites. Clean copies with no cut-outs, posters intact and the right face on the cover can bring a lot more. The "Special" issues are also desirable. The Specials were put out a few times a year and would generally be larger (and cost more!) than the normal issues and would sometimes focus on one group, one star or one TV show.