There's no denying girls are interested in makeup and boys, says Pam Nelson, who started L.A.'s Girl Press in 1997 when she could not find books for her young cousins. Girl Press recently published the bestseller "Girl Boss," which teaches girls how to start their own businesses. Nelson understands teen magazines' conundrum from a publishing perspective and believes tempering beauty and fashion with more meaty issues can be a tool for getting a positive message across.
"You have to package things in a way that draws girls in," she says.
The issues addressed by teen publications of today may not be as heady as birth control and equal rights, which graced the covers of many magazines in the 1970s, but Ms. Editor Marcia Ann Gillespie is still hopeful.