September 28th, 2005

banned books by thespice

Don't forget to ban the magazines, too!

Hold on, everyone … I have shocking news:

Teenage girls often have embarrassing questions about their bodies.

I know! I was stunned, too.

In fact, they are often too embarrassed to ask anyone, let alone their mothers.

Enter Seventeen magazine.

The October issue contains an article called “Vagina 101,” which addresses in (exhaustive and graphic) detail everything you ever wanted to know about the vagina but were afraid to ask. It details the many mystifying emissions, and even includes a small photo of two different sets of labia, with the caption: “These are both normal.”

In a curiously-timed coincidence, I bought my first issue of Seventeen in probably twenty years last week. (I had no idea of the brewing scandal. The October issue is probably sold out by now.) I was having trouble picturing the two female main characters in my WIP, and wanted to see if any of the girls in a typical teen magazine looked like I imagine my girls.

Imagine my surprise when I came to the colorful, clinical article! But I wasn’t offended. On the contrary, I had two thoughts: “Wow, Seventeen has changed since I used to read it!” and “I would have loved an article like this when I was a teenager.” Then I turned the page.

It’s a good thing I didn’t try to buy my magazine at Albertsons (they omit the apostrophe, which causes me continual dismay), because the company pulled the issue from its shelves in Oregon.

I’ll be interested to see who else follows suit.

Very timely for Banned Book Week!
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