So what have I learned from reading several issues of Seventeen magazine circa 1960-61?
It seems if you were a teenage girl then that you were obsessed with:
your hair (and the proper way to roll it),
your skin (and underarm odor)
and, of course, boys.
And maybe, if you could get your hair to behave and your skin to clear up, you might be able to achieve the ultimate goal: marriage.
Of couse there was fashion and you could certainly see the influence of First Lady Jackie Kennedy. Some of the pieces were so timeless that you could wear them today.
And some are best retired to a box of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix.
There were some pleasant surprises for the vintage lovers among us:
An ad for decorating with Dennison crepe paper. (See the large hanging skeleton that probably was 50 cents in 1961?)
Writing a letter on a typewriter, which wasn't a novelty then. And neither was actually putting a pen to paper.
To compare the Seventeen of then to the Seventeen of now, I paged through the current issue when I was at the grocery store the other day. Some things haven't changed. You can still find many pages devoted to fashion and products aimed at teenagers (makeup and skin care). But it seems that something was missing.
Innocence. Which is actually a bit ironic because I was struck by how much "older" teens of the early 1960s looked. Maybe that's because of those bouffant hairstyles and the more formal clothing.
But teens of 50 years ago weren't reading about "Hookup Do-overs." In fact, there was no reference to the opposite sex other than how to get a boy to call you (and eventually marry you). Nor were there fashion tips from the Kardashian little sisters as well as a promo encouraging you to watch their show on E!.
And I think that's kind of sad. Surely, life wasn't perfect in the early 1960s. But sometimes I miss what was good about the era, mostly the simpler approach. We didn't move so fast and so furious back then.
What do you think?