Seventeen Says The Darnest Things: Footwear Edition


At first glance, this month’s Seventeen is a winner.  The cover girl is Victoria Justice, who is totally cute and, from what I can tell, actually somewhat talented.  I was slightly less excited about her presence on its glossy cover spread, though, when I saw the excerpt quote “In high school I felt alone and isolated.” Like, seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I heard some hot, famous girl say that….

Oh, and it’s even more annoying when said celebrity SHOULD STILL BE IN HIGH SCHOOL.

But I’ll V. Justice props –  after reading her interview, I like her way, way more.  For one thing, she actually admitted to having tried alcohol in the past. (Gasp! Shock! Horror!!) She didn’t pull some Taylor Swift-esque “all that stuff just isn’t for me, I just sit at home and bake cookies” excuse.  Unlike the girls Seventeen generally chooses, she seems real.  I applaud for discussing a controversial issue openly, just as I applaud Seventeen for publishing that quote.  A true role model isn’t someone who is perfect, but someone who is relatable.  By that standard, this girl is well ahead of her peers.

But back to Seventeen… The cover also included the question, “Are you addicted to food?”  And not going to lie, my hand totally flew up in the air when I read that one.  Luckily, the fact that I’ve never picked food over partying led me to determine that I don’t have Binge Eating Disorder – just an unhealthy obsession with Coldstone.

Seventeen was kind of low on ridiculous articles this month.  In place of the usual “I had a drink and made a mistake” story that they usually run to scare the crap out of their young and impressionable readers, this month’s real life read was a touching account of one girl’s struggle with cheering for a basketball-playing rapist.  I expected the Teen Mom article to be full of quotable gems, but the truth is, it was a really useful article. Like, it actually addressed the fact that teenagers are going to have sex and helped them understand the realities of it, like the fact that pulling out is not the most reliable method.

But, just as I suspected, there was one blip in this month’s issue. You see, Seventeen is a bit contradictory. The mag is always telling girls to “be themselves,” and that guys will like them the most if they’re natural.  But if that’s really the case, then why does the mag go so far out of its way to tell the young ladies how guys interpret their every action? Like this month’s “What Shoes Would You Wear On A Date?”article, which was about what your first-date shoe choice says about you.

Look, I’m a big fan of all shoes and I support a girl’s decision to wear even the most ridiculous pair, but if you’re going to tell girls what all the judgmental boys will deduce from their footwear choices, you should probably be fair and brutally honest, otherwise, what’s the point?  Seventeen was way too forgiving in their descriptions of the thoughts that go through guys’ minds when they see certain shoes.

Disclaimer: These do not in any way reflect my personal views. Rather, I’m just providing the more realistic views of a dude.

Booties – pictured are a pair of tall, black leather stiletto-heeled boots.

Seventeen says: “You’re fun! You love a good party and always know where the hottest one is happening.  Even guys who don’t follow trends get that this rocker-girl style oozes cool.
Zara says: “You’re easy and seeing you in those hooker shoes is a clear indication that I’m gonna get some front seat nookie before I drop you off at your parents’ house at curfew.”

Heels – a picture of really cute snakeskin pumps.

Seventeen says: “You’re confident!  Stepping out in a pair of heels instantly makes you feel more put-together, so he’ll immediately see you as sexy and self-assured.”
Zara says: “You’re high-maintenance.  I’m going to spend the whole effing night walking slowly just to accommodate you. I may even have to carry you at some point.  And the worst part is, you’ll NEVER watch a game with me.”

Ballet Flats – a pair of pale yellow, round-toe flats.

Seventeen says: “You’re sweet! These shoes have an innocent good-girl vibe – until you gently slide one off and run your foot against his leg.  It’s a move that he’ll never see coming!”
Zara says:  “I’m totally not getting any tonight.  But on the plus side, you could probably tutor me in English.”

Flip Flops – a pair of pink rubber cheapie sandals.

Seventeen says: “You’re chill!  The beachy vibe makes you seem low-maintenance, which helps him relax, too.  Plus, he’ll get a peek at your pedi – one of those girly touches guys love!”
Zara says: Well besides the whole pedi thing (what young guy that these girls would be dating would even notice that?), this one is sorta right. Flip flops=low-maintenance, and what guy doesn’t love that?

Oh, and by the way. Does anyone else feel the slightest bit uncomfortable at the idea of a Seventeen reader (i.e. a 14-year-old girl) “sliding one shoe off and running her foot against his leg?” I seriously need a shower right now.

I'm a Chicago-based writer and graduate of the Medill School of Journalism who has written for sites like,,,,, Racked, Thrillist and The Huffington Post.
  • 10614935101348454
    • You Might Like