Jerome Salinger, Anthony Burgess, Sylvia Plath – they were already mature when they wrote their most famous novels. A bunch of those cult American teenage movies of 80-90s with Alicia Silverstone, Ethan Hawke, Winona Rider and many other teen idols was written and directed by the people who were already in their forties. Teen magazines, proposing cute haircuts and new make-up and pick-up technics, are run by women with experience. If a teenager is not satisfied with the content (as it should be), he/she addresses to adult media, which is not always accessible or/and understandable. It seems strange that no teenager ever thought about running his/her own magazine. Oh, wait. One girl already does. Her name is Em Odesser and she runs The Teen Eye Magazine. 


By Teens Only. For Teens Only?

Teen Eye Magazine is an international online magazine created entirely by teens and for teens. The first issue of Teen Eye was released in Spring 2015. Today, Teen Eye has over 725,000 views. For now, Its editor in chief is a 16-years old girl Em Odesser. The rest of the team is seventeen years olds art, culture and web editors: Clara Scott, Téa Lindsey, and Jonah Solomon. Each Teen Eye issue has a unique theme. The next one is “Armor”: building strength through education, illumination, and truth through art and awareness. Anyone who is under 20 can submit the article or visual project.

The Magazine features teenage photographers, illustrators and writers. The articles cover such themes as art, culture, fashion and politics. Em Odesser is an activist herself, she often attends marches and protests and seems to be surprisingly mature for her age. Beyond helping to run a magazine and applying to college, Odesser is involved with Reprorights, a zine about reproductive rights, and Sad Girls Club, an online and real life club working to destigmatize depression for women of color. Odesser is still in school and she has just recently finished her paper about the history of birth control activist and sex educator Margaret Sanger. In each issue of Teen Eye, one would find not only stories about awkward age but also some wise thoughts about elections, minorities, American education and medical care systems.

Who’s their audience? Well, the Magazine seems to be mostly for girls. Looking through its pink pages, I found lots of articles about women identity, women style, brands, modeling. There are some works by boys, but they are (guess what?) almost all about girls. Is the reason a popularity of feminist movement or just a usual maximalism peculiar to girls? Probably, neither. It’s just that boys are less likely to speak about their feelings in a teenage.


What’s My Age Again?

Since the most young authors of the magazine (14 years old) succesfully cover not very teenage themes, should not we overthink our attitude towards teenagers, lowing voting age for example?  Today they are more latchkey than they seem. Yes, limitations exist to break them. Resistence is an essencial part of teen spirit, so there always should be something to resist. But should not we listen to teenagers more? Let’s just all think about it next time we speak to a teenager and notice a note of prejudice in our voice. I mean, the teen eye sometimes could be very far-seeing.


How To Be Featured?

To contribute to the Teen Eye all you need is to choose the topic you want to write on and… to be under 20. Keep in mind that your piece needs to somehow relate to the theme, each team is announced in the pitch guide.
Sending a snippet of a potential paragraph, an outline, anything would help you to interest the editors and to give them the idea of your style and way of thinking. In case you want to write for Teen Eye but a little unsure of what direction to head in, don’t be afraid to ask. The editors could give an idea. If you’re an artist, photographer, illustrator, or anything other than a writer, don’t hesitate to contact the team, because they also feature an editorial shot and styled by teens, which gives young creators an opportunity to become involved in the industry and have the funding to create something beautiful.


What’s My Age Again?

Now that I have more time, I want to start a lot of creative projects: to write more for Rookie, launch a new zine for feminist protest, and another zine called “Boys I Liked Until I Learned They Were Misogynists”, – Em tells The Vice Magazine.

As the main “thing” of Teen Eye Magazine is that only teens can work in it, some time Em Odesser will have to quit. She will enter the “adult” world with an impressive background in aditing and digital industry. Basically, the team of The Teen Eye gives all of those boys and girls who contribute to the magazine an apportunity to put something quite serious into their resume before graduation. If you a teenager, don’t miss it!

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