Vogue vs. Teen Vogue: Which is the Better Magazine? | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Vogue vs. Teen Vogue: Which is the Better Magazine?

Life&Style writer Natalie Welch debates whether Teen Vogue tops Vogue on being the better magazine

While Vogue falls under harsh criticism after the Karlie Kloss March “yellow face” March 2017 cover, Teen Vogue has been getting continuous praised for its “woke” content and coverage of the political events in America. Just this past week journalistic powerhouse The Guardian, and a plethora of people on the internet, have been applauded the teen magazine for its well written, researched and relevant pieces. Currently on the Teen Vogue website, the #1 Trending article is about Obama returning to politics, the second about a transgender child protesting against Transphobia in America – not forgetting their “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America” piece that was everywhere on social media since it was published. If you do the same for Vogue you’ll be met with fashion articles, and the odd, mediocre article that has something to do with current affairs. Teen Vogue seems to have mastered the balance of the lifestyle articles that you would expect and these well thought-out, inspiring pieces that Vogue hasn’t quite got at the moment. Teen Vogue is the publication that I’d want my twelve-year-old sister to read and grow up with.

Although, I don’t think it is time to cancel any Vogue subscriptions just yet. Vogue is good at what it does. Vogue is a fashion magazine, we expect haut couture and runways on every page. Fashion is synonymous with Vogue. Who on earth would go to Vogue for political coverage? As you get older you learn where to go for what information. I’d go to Vogue for a fashion week fill, Cosmo for some lifestyle tips then maybe the BBC, The Independent or The Guardian for my political news. Whilst we can criticise Vogue for a lot of things, I don’t think their lack coverage of current affairs is one of them.

Whilst we can criticise Vogue for a lot of things, I don’t think their lack coverage of current affairs is one of them
Teen Vogue has a different job to Vogue. Thirteen year olds probably don’t watch the news or have BBC news notifications like most of us do. My little sister doesn’t know how to assess the validity of a source, she just reads stuff and believes it most of the time. The responsibility of a Teen magazine should be to provide a holistic reading experience; this is what they are doing. Teen Vogue are doing a good job influencing and educating young minds on matters that are important, whilst simultaneously reporting on horoscopes and giving some top tips on how to apply glitter nail varnish. What Teen Vogue are doing is not extraordinary, it is what a teen magazine should be doing.

We can’t deny that Teen Vogue are doing a great job, but let us not underestimate the power of young people. They are growing up fast, faster than most of us grew up. The reason an article like “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America” or a personal essay by Hillary Clinton was approved is because Teen Vogue knew their audience would enjoy it. People are evolving quicker politically. Being political is so in right now and Teen Vogue are covering it for their audience. The most surprising things about the coverage in Teen Vogue is how well-written and thorough they are for a teen mag; it isn’t surprising that Teen Vogue want to cover stories like them.

The responsibility of a Teen magazine should be to provide a holistic reading experience
Vogue definitely have a few things to learn from their little-sister-publication. The Karlie Kloss, “yellow-face” controversy isn’t the first problematic situation Vogue has found themselves in. They are consistently criticised for their lack of diversity, even in an “all-inclusive spread” they didn’t have a woman past a certain colour on it, they ‘declared war on fashion bloggers’, and they never fail to undermine the ‘millennials’ that are probably half their readership. Whilst Vogue is infamous for their fashion coverage, their elitist mentality isn’t getting them far.

Both publications are influential, yet one is having a better influence than the other. From reading Teen Vogue I would feel empowered, from reading Vogue I would feel inadequate. Vogue doesn’t need a four-page article on how fashion can battle Trump, it just needs a little more inclusive and fair content.

Final year English Literature student and culture print editor. (@natwelxh)


22nd March 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

30th January 2018 at 3:35 pm

Images from

Teen Vogue