Are You Following The Seventeen Magazine Project Yet?

by Debbie Stoller

Last month, 18 year-old Jamie Keiles caught the attention of several women’s Web sites when she announced her plans to embark on an unprecedented experiment into the female adolescent experience: The Seventeen Magazine Project

For her final month of high school, Jamie would live her life strictly adhering to the tips and advice in the June/July issue of Seventeen then blog about her daily endeavors and  experiences. 

It’s now Day 28 of the experiment and if you haven’t been following along with her, I encourage you to spend the day catching up. 

By the time I got to Day 3, I was completely enamored with Jamie. In fact, I want to adopt her as my little sister. 


Her posts are as insightful as they are humorous. So far she’s probed and tackled several poignant topics such as the magazine’s complete disregard for LGBT girls and the cultural insensitivity of their “tribal” fashion trend as well as the general ridiculousness of their editorial content. 

Here’s an excerpt from her May 29th post:

“To go with my ‘Bright Prints’ look, I also got my nails done to follow the ‘Bright Colors’ trend that Danielle, age 15, from Minneapolis speaks so highly of. She writes, ‘Whenever I’m feeling down, I can just look at my nails and feel peppy!’ This is bleak. I wish Seventeen would suggest a hobby for Danielle so she didn’t have to look to idle nail-gazing as her only source of joy.”

I also throughly enjoyed reading her comments about the “Free Hot Guy Mag” that came with the issue.   

“The hotties are repetitively asked about their go-to moves, their relationship habits, and their theories on romance,” Jamie writes. “When Taylor Lautner is asked to describe his ideal girlfriend, three out of the four traits end up being things that glorify him, and the odd fourth is one that makes the girl in question look bad.” 

She even included this cute little pie chart to show the celeb/vampire ratio of the Seventeen-approved hunks…


So what exactly inspired Jamie to put herself through 30+ days of torture? 

Here’s what she said in an interview with

Seventeen is marketed as a lifestyle magazine, but the lifestyle they appear to be selling is one that mostly includes clothes and makeup. By offering young girls this limited set of interests, I think that we are setting the bar very low for who we believe they are. Let’s give girls a little more credit, and something a little better to strive for.”

Today was Jamie’s last day of high school and her graduation on June 21 will mark the end of her project. 

In the fall she’ll be heading to the University of Chicago where she plans on studying economics, gender studies, and sociology.



Think Jamie is as awesome as I do? Befriend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and check out her personal Web site





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