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Heather Dillaway


The term “tween” is rather new and has become widely used in mainstream culture. In terms of how this term is constructed, today’s tween is overwhelmingly female rather than male. Girls are expected to look and act a certain way because of societal beauty norms, which they can learn about via mainstream media, parents, teachers, peers, and other sources of socialization. So far, little research has focused on magazines whose target audience is the younger teen and tween; that is, girls who are roughly 8 to 14 years of age. This research consisted of a content analysis of advertisements found in Girls’ Life, a popular magazine for tween girls. Results indicate that tween girls are exposed to feminine beauty norms and the culture of appearance via the media. Common themes identified in advertisements included an emphasis on appearance, feminine hygiene, and actions and behaviors.

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