With a scary and uncertain back-to-school season just beginning this month in the wake of COVID, I wanted to share a lighthearted issue of Seventeen Magazine from August 1979- The back to school issue! This issue contains over 300 pages of back to school fashion and lifestyle tips, along with a crazy amount of 70s ads.
Seventeen magazine actually began in 1944 by Helen Valentine as a way to show teenage girls women role models in the working world. However, within the first few years, the publishers realized the potential cash-cow- data on the teenage market. The readers were surveyed about there interests, and that information was then sold to advertisers and manufacturers. Hence, the crazy amount of ads we see in this issue, along with most fashion magazines (Source).
Lucky for myself, and many others, the ads are one of the most interesting parts. The designs and products are so fascinating to view. There is some wild unheard-of products (looking at Body on Tap, a shampoo made with 1/3 beer… just why?). There are also some familiar brands that have stood the test of time- some have evolved over the years, while others have stayed classic.
Besides the striking amount of ads, the content throughout the issue is back-to-school themed. It focuses on both students in high school and college, featuring everything from being homesick, dorm decoration, to suggested school supplies and tips for sleeping better. And of course, it includes the hottest fall fashions. There are many areas that show how much things have changed in 41 years- like the story on Minority students that explains the new Affirmative Action and the recent de-segregation of schools, which is just normal for us today, and a piece on how “Oriental” girls can use hair and makeup to make their eyes look larger. There are also points that show that not much as changed over time- many fashions have come back into trend, along with the dorm room looking almost identical to a dorm today.
Overall, this massive issue is a great look into teenage life in the late 1970s. I highly recommend checking out my video of the full flip through- it may be long but there is some great vintage content in there!
Also on a side note- if you see anything in the video that you would like to see scanned (that I did not include in this post already), please reach out to me with the time stamp and description- in the comments on Youtube, on instagram, or via the contact page- and I will do my best to get it scanned for you!
4 thoughts on “Seventeen Magazine, August 1979”
Thank you so much for this!!
This brings back so many memories.
I had a small closet full of Seventeens, with some Vogues, Bazaars, and Mademoiselles.
This is so cool. Thanks!
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Thank you for your kind words- I am so glad you enjoyed! What an amazing collection- one of my favorite childhood memories is the excitement of getting the next issue in the mail!