Forbes‘ James Brady Edges — Creepily — Into Teen Oblivion

brady_head_fbny.jpgReading Forbes‘ serial namedropping media columnist James Brady‘s columns has become one of FishbowlNY’s favorite weekly rituals. A guilty pleasure, if you will. So you can imagine our feverish excitement when we read the title of this week’s Brady gem:

Bimbos or Sweet 16

We, of course, were ready for a creepy cringefest of a column. We were almost disappointed. Almost:

In recent years, girls’ magazines have changed, with more stories about sex, abortion and drugs, and with glamorous “bimbos” as their cover-girl “role models.” Teen Vogue seems to suggest maybe, without being didactic about it, the teen books ought to clean up their acts. Its March issue cover lines featured “Sweet 16 parties,” “Should your school day start later?” and “Romantic white dresses,” as well as how to earn a summer internship. April’s issue includes a report on how more schools are cracking down on “dirty dancing” at the prom, and a cautionary feature on “Big spenders: Are you a shopaholic?” plus another titled, “I saw my friend die,” about “drunk driving’s deadly toll.”

Is squeaky-clean what kids want? Maybe they do. Teen Vogue‘s circulation figures seem to say so. As do their ad sales. I’m anxiously awaiting my granddaughter’s definitive take. So far, she thinks Sanders’ magazine is “cool.” And when I interviewed 16-year-old actress Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts‘ niece, who’s on the cover of Teen Vogue and plays the title role in a new flick, Nancy Drew, young Emma said the mag is her fave.