I learned the truth from Seventeen, part 2

IMG_4197Clearly I didn’t listen to you last year, dear readers, when you voted for me to coldly send my collection of 80’s-era Seventeen magazines to the garbage dump, like so many vegetables after weeks in my crisper.  Well, I’m going to review an additional issue (December 1985) and give you another chance to do the right thing.  Follow your heart, wink wink.

We begin our journey with an ad for FDS: Feminine Deodorant Spray.


The FDS Woman.  Always nice to be near.  Because she doesn’t smell like ass.  And look at how unflattering the hot pink balloon pants are on that gal in the front — no wonder people think she might stink, she could fit a colostomy bag in there!

Perhaps most offensive to me about this picture is that some rando in the crowd is holding pom poms.  Um, I don’t think so Biff: only the cheerleaders on the field would have them, because, hello, pom poms were officially issued to us.  Maintained by us, fluffed painstakingly by us.  They weren’t just handed out willy-nilly to any el stinko in the bleachers.


Whoa whoa whoa… this spray is made specifically for odor of the vag variety you say?  So… um… are we supposed to spray these deodorant chemicals directly on it?  That doesn’t make sense because stinging.


I’m sorry… which look is supposed to be sexy?


Here’s one of the things I love about the 80’s looking back — we wanted to be women. Sophisitcated women who may or may not be wearing wigs and who have confidence enough to cover every inch of skin with fabric.


Ah, yes, finally, the reason why we all read Seventeen: for it’s scientific factoids and info about international customs.


DIY baby bob bangs, okay Seventeen, there you are.


Okay, firstly, I’m sorry, but this isn’t real estate agent Bea Montague — it’s totally Kim Dickens. And secondly — again with the clean thing!  “I feel like I’ve just showered every time I tape in a Lightdays.  It’s a good thing, too, because for people to love us, we teenage girls need to maintain a near antiseptic-level of cleanliness, like we’re in a hospital prepping for surgery.”


Just, yes.




It’s okay that this is basically the haircut I have now, right?


I got my flats, I got my sparkly purse, I got my old lady comb… GLITZ, a-you been a-PUT ON!


This is a New Year’s Eve dry dip of parsley, egg whites, red peppers, egg yolks and olives.  I’m guessing you’re supposed to make this if you hate all of your friends.


“Soft” tampons?  Was that a thing?  I only use ones made out of steel wool.  And just look at that girl’s smug face, like she thinks she’s THE BEST at wearing soft tampons and only pretends to be humble when asked about it.

Ack!!!  But look at this in the fine print:


“I felt cleaner, cleaner than with a pad.”  Not just “cleaner,” no, “cleaner, cleaner” as if she’s pausing, really giving it some thought as to the level of clean she feels wearing these tampons.  Like, okay, there exists a passable level of clean, which is disgusting, but then there’s this level of clean above that, which is extreme and acceptable.

Is it me, or were advertisers trying to scare us into thinking we were filthy?  It so worked, I pretty much thought I was gross most of the time.  But I can laugh about it now ha ha?

Well, what do y’all think?  Have I made my argument for keeping these, or should I coldly throw these in recycling, like so many empty cartons of milk I barely rinse out beforehand?

9 Comments on “I learned the truth from Seventeen, part 2”

  1. Jami says:

    You are hysterically funny and I truly appreciate my old school mate keeping these mags to remind us of the “good ol days”!

    Thank you!

  2. Susie Geiser says:

    Don’t you DARE get rid of these. If you do, you will find yourself searching Ebay for them a year from now cursing your silly mistake. DON’T BE THAT GIRL!!

    • SannyD says:

      I need my caboodle.and yes I AM THAT GIRL. ive bought so much crap off ebay. my moms house burned down and i lost everything. the magazines i collected? dont get me started..SASSY!!! who remembers that?? i was going to pass that down to my future kids (girl or boy…my son could take page outta that magazine!)

  3. MizLit says:

    Thank you for the flashback! But now that you’ve documented this on the Internetz, you can let it go, right? Since it won’t really be gone…

    • You are so right! I think perhaps I will save just one. That way, I can take the trip down memory lane that helps me as a writer, but I’m not cluttering up my bedroom, because that’s where they are stacked now on a side table with my husband’s GQs.

  4. SannyD says:

    I need these magazines. i need to visionboard my youth. scrapbook my sadness. last time i was happy.


  5. Dena says:

    Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next write ups thank you once again.

  6. Cristina says:

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    so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
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    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, superb blog!

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