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Seventeen Says The Darnest Things: Flirting Edition

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This month’s Seventeen is extra bright and peppy and I find myself unable to turn away.   Maybe it’s the presence of the word “FREE” on the cover, or maybe it has more to do with the promise of perfect hair all summer. Hell, maybe the cover is such an assault on my eyeballs because its cover girl, Lucy Hale (who is actually totally cute and cool and has amazing style!) is decked out in some seriously neon colors, complete with an attention-grabbing feather earring.  And I’m not gonna lie – I totally want to see if I can rock that single feather earring myself.

The cover story was predictable sap, a famous star insisting that she’s really just a big dork who, in this case, loves to sing Taylor Swift songs in her car.  Twenty-one-year-old Lucy also makes a rather unfortunate comparison between the character she plays in her newest movie and Miley Cyrus, and pulls out some sermon about what it takes to be a role model.  But she plays the best character on one of the most addictive TV shows out there (Pretty Little Liars), and has really pretty eyes and a surprisingly beautiful singing voice, so I’ll her forgettable interview slide.

This issue kept going with the whole bright theme – from urging readers to wear hot pink matte lipstick (try it, it’s actually really fun) to pimping out some crazy neon hair accessories.  The not so bright spot in all this?  Their fashion section, which tells girls everywhere that it’s cool to wear flat oxfords with a nice dress, accompanied by a picture of Kendall Jenner looking totally leggy and gorgeous in her ensemble.  Like, HELLO?  We don’t wear heels because we love the way they feel; some of us need a little stiletto so that our legs don’t look like little stubs.  Every bone in my five-foot–tall body burned at this.  But hey, if you can get away with this look (or have a body like Kendall Freaking Jenner), more power to you.

But enough of that, let’s get on to the juicy stuff, shall we?  Seventeen runs a piece on sex trafficking in Thailand and Hong Kong, which features Shay Mitchell (also of Pretty Little Liars fame) talking about her work to bring justice to victims.  Way to go, Seventeen! Those are the kind of celebrity role models you should focus on – not girls who claim they’ll never touch a drop of alcohol.

Strangely enough, this issue is lacking in a “sex-ed” type column, which is too bad because those are usually the easiest (and most fun) to tear apart.  Luckily, my second favorite type of column appears: a how-to guide to flirting.  It’s called “Get Flirting Confidence” and it’s….well, see for yourself.

Seventeen says: “Try your move on a guy who doesn’t really matter to you so that you have a non-scary way to figure out what works…a cute waiter is the perfect test run because it’s his job to pay attention to you!
Zara says:  So basically if you sense a “real connection” with the guy who always waits your table at your favorite happy hour spot, it’s all a lie.  He’s just paying attention to you because he wants a good tip.  Great.  And also – since when do waiters have the time to hang around and listen to a girl who’s practicing her flirting technique? And do we have to pay more for that kind of service?

Seventeen says: “When you’re acting as the sidekick for a flirt friend, you get to be part of the action without any pressure.  Seeing how she talks to guys will rub off on you – soon you’ll be ready to jump right in.”
Zara says: What happened to “just by yourself and guys will like you?”  Come ON, Seventeen!

Seventeen says: “When you’re hanging out with guy friends, pay attention to what they talk about and what cracks them up.  Being totally comfortable in a guy world helps you hold your own around a cutie you like and may even give you a few jokes to steal.”
Zara says: If you’re gonna go this route, just be prepared to talk about farting.  And boobs.  A lot. But not too much. No matter what Seventeen says, there’s nothing sexy about a girl telling a personal fart story. Just trust me on this.

Seventeen says: “It’s easier to say something bold to your crush over text.  But when you get in the habit of throwing out those lines (and realize that most of the time they actually work!), you’ll get up the guts to try it in person.  Just hit send already!
Zara says: …And this is where you consult a previous issue for a guide to sexting….err, I mean “flirty texting.”

For even more bad advice for today’s youth, click here!

COLLEGECANDY Writer
I'm a Chicago-based writer and graduate of the Medill School of Journalism who has written for sites like Cosmopolitan.com, Seventeen.com, MarieClaire.com, Glamour.com, Parents.com, Racked, Thrillist and The Huffington Post.