An issue of Seventeen arrived for my daughter recently, wrapped in plastic with an "URGENT WARNING" renewal notice. Apparently, her subscription was drawing to its end and if we didn't "RENEW IMMEDIATELY," she might miss something.
My daughter is no longer seventeen. In fact, I left her half a birthday card yesterday to celebrate her turning eighteen-and-a-half. A very cute gesture, if I do say so myself. I was on a business trip, so I was spared her reaction, whatever that might have been.
But, I digress.
Seventeen actually seems to appeal more to younger teens and tweens than its eponymous target audience. So, for the first time in four years or so, I'm not going to write a check for another issue filled with "Best Prom Looks," "Dating Disasters" or even the oh-so-popular (unless, you're a parent, then it's oh-so-horrifying) "Be His Best Hook-Up Ever." Then, of course, there are the stories on celebrity crush heartthrobs of the moment, like "Zayne Malick Just Got a New Tattoo," "Is Brooklyn Beckham About to Launch a Rap Career?" and "A Shirtless Justin Bieber Shows Off His Newest Accessory." (Can I assume it's not a shirt?)
Audible sigh. Not.
Seventeen certainly isn't what it was when I was growing up. But, it nevertheless takes me back — if I don't look too closely — to my youth (Frye boots, Gunny Sack skirts, Dorothy Hamill haircut and Sweet & Sassy shampoo). And, of course, I remember some of the other magazines we all read back then.
Like Tiger Beat.
You see, we had heartthrobs too. Did we ever!
Here's a list of the hotties we crushed on (although we wouldn't have used those exact words) back in the 1970s, along with the hard-boiled journalistic headlines that appeared with their cover photos.
"GIANT DAVID CASSIDY WALL-SIZE-LOVING COLOR POSTER FILL YOUR ROOM! BIGGEST SIZE EVER!"
"GETTING HOOKED ON ROBBY BENSON — IT'S EASY & TERRIFIC!"
"BAY CITY ROLLERS: REALLY READY FOR ROMANCE!"
"MONKEE SECRET HIDEOUTS! DAVY JONES TALKS: HIS PAST LOVES"
"SCOTT BAIO: MAKE HIM NOTICE, LIKE & LOVE YOU!"
"THE REAL DONNY OSMOND: SWEET OR SEXY?"
"SHAUN CASSIDY ON TOUR: WHEN AND WHERE"
"WHY BARRY WILLIAMS HATES FANS"
"JOHN "BARBARINO" TRAVOLTA WANTS YOUR PHONE NUMBER (WILL YOU GIVE IT TO HIM?)"
"THE REAL PARKER STEVENSON: DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ!"
"BOBBY SHERMAN QUITS! LET'S CHANGE HIS MIND!"
"JACKSON 5 GROOVY LIFE LINES!" (What does that even mean?)
Those were the days, my friends.
A quick Google search confirms that Tiger Beat still exists! And, for a mere $19 (in the U.S.; it's more in Canada, sorry) I can receive eight glorious issues a year. I'm tempted ...
But, somehow, it just wouldn't be the same.
If you've enjoyed this post, I invite you to order the book Lovin' the Alien here.