Access and exposure to education are equally as important as education itself.
With conversations becoming larger and louder about race, gender and women’s rights, it’s important the public has access to information to fulfill their moments of curiosity, to properly answer their questions and allow them to form their own opinions based upon truth.
It is only then when people gain the confidence they need to have educated and civil conversations.
Thanks to Elaine Welterworth, Teen Vogue’s former editor-in-chief, the Condé Nast owned former print magazine turned online publication is not only recognized for its fashion and lifestyle pieces but has earned recognition and respect as a publication that presents social issues and politics in an easily- digestible, thought-provoking and powerful way.
While some criticize a lifestyle magazine for publishing stories about the hard-hitting, difficult and the sometimes considered “taboo” topics of society, especially for younger audiences, I applaud Teen Vogue for its efforts and accomplishments.
With gender, identity, race, immigration and feminism being complicated topics to tackle, and sometimes, conversations that are shied away from, it’s important that people, especially young men and women, have a way of informing themselves.
Although people can “just Google it” when it comes to answering questions they may have about these topics, those who are young are most likely unaware of what sources to trust on the Internet and have a hard time identifying truth, bias or over- exaggeration.
The controversy that many highlight in regards to a publication focused on a younger crowd introducing mature topics is this: that young men and women should not be introduced to topics such as gender, race or sexuality at an impressionable age.
But isn’t it better that young readers are reading in-depth articles that have been studied by, edited and fact-checked by writers and editors before being published?
Yes, Teen Vogue has had a reputation of a fashion and lifestyle magazine, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as reputable as a source of social issues and politics.
We shouldn’t disagree with outlets such as Teen Vogue for publishing articles that others can’t or which are too scared. As a journalist, there is a responsibility to our public and part of that responsibility is publishing the truth and teaching the audiences for whome we write.
If we want future generations to be well-educated and well-versed, then we have to encourage publications to post well-thought out stories that can be read and trusted.
It’s going to take publications such as Teen Vogue to change the way people learn — to educate people to make them feel confident, to speak in a way that strengthens the voice of movements, that encourages those in communities who are being oppressed and to be civil enough to stand up for those whose voices have been diminished and whose rights are not being upheld.