LIPGLOSS: Seventeen magazine: I can’t even

Staff Blogger

LIPGLOSS is a weekly dating and humor blog. Check back every Thursday for anything from restaurant reviews to dating advice to eclectic lists.

Since starting this blog, I’ve made it a habit to peruse the web and see what other people are saying about the dating world. I’ll read pretty much anything on the subject of dating and romance, from Buzzfeed .gif-listicles to ridiculously long pieces in The New York Times. Sometimes I find really interesting, insightful, and hilarious things.

And sometimes I find nonsensical, sexist, steaming heaps of organic waste. Enter Seventeen magazine’s “Hot Guy Panel!”

Started by God-knows-who, the online exclusive “Hot Guy Panel” features a group of fresh-faced young men whose diverse identities range from “model” to “musician” to “from Wisconsin.”

They are all reasonably well-dressed, and, according to Seventeen magazine, Hot. This is their primary ethos. They are dating authorities solely by virtue of being Hot, so you’d best listen up.

This panel of Totally Qualified Men participates in instructional videos about how to be the best teenage girl around. One of their most recent efforts, “Texting Dos and Don’ts,” is actually even more cringeworthy than it sounds.

In this video, each of the guys (even “from Wisconsin!”) reveals what kinds of texts a girl should and shouldn’t send. To save you an uncomfortable and demeaning 1 minute and 49 seconds, I’ll paraphrase their argument here:

DO: Text boys to compliment them, or to distract them from their oh-so-hard work days as models, musicians, or Wisconsin residents.

DON’T: Text boys too often, or too little, or too nicely, or too tersely, or anticipate a response within 24 hours, or really expect them to give you the time of day at all.

I’m tempted to end this blog post right here. The problem should be obvious. The level of didacticism and casual misogyny in their almighty texting standards makes me want to take Jordan the Model’s fashionable scarf and stuff it in his mouth. The nit-picking and general stench of ego in this video only works to propagate unreasonable and paradoxical expectations of women. Way to go, Hot Guys!

Relationships at any stage are all about communication. Sure, there are some strategies that are proven to be more beneficial to a relationship, but there are as many different ways to communicate as there are people in this world. You can text however you damn well want to.

Seventeen magazine, I used to turn to you for cheap perfume samples and dreamy pictures of celebrities. You have failed me.

A small disclaimer: I will admit that I often specifically seek out teen magazines like Seventeen, since their perspectives on dating can be more vapid and ridiculous than that of other sources. But, to me, the fact that it’s younger people reading this drivel just makes the situation worse. Not to mention the fact that the videos highly objectify these guys and are sexist in their own right.