I always argue no.



When I was a teacher of high school English at a girls’ school I encountered a number of parents who purchased Dolly, Girlfriend and similarly image-obsessed/gossipy/consumerist magazines for their daughters because ‘at least she’s reading something’. And here’s what I wondered:

Had these parents read the magazines themselves?

Did they consider their daughters might be doing quite a bit of reading, just not from novels? (From general coursework, such as maths textbooks, the pop-up windows on games, from the barrage of advertising copy that is everywhere, from social media…) Teenagers are probably doing more reading than you think they are…

So if you want to supplement their reading material, curate carefully, because there are a lot of really nasty people out there shifting product to teenage girls by perpetuating a toxic culture of insecurity and nastiness. The share holders of these magazines are a prime example. Let’s not support their empires.

Also, just because literature-for-girls comes packaged like a novel doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be much different from the contents of these magazines. See: What Is YA Chick-lit Doing To Our Girls?