Teen Vogue recently informed its young readers about the coolest backpacks to buy before going back to school. One recommendation was a child-sized butterfly bag.
On Wednesday, Teen Vogue published an article that recommended 30 sex toys to its target audience: 13- to 19-year-olds.
The article, by Tess Garcia and Shauna Beni, sounds like a predator speaking to children. It is grooming children into sexual activity — not necessarily in order to abuse them directly, but to encourage them to take part in promiscuous sexual activities and, thus, make them more easily victimized.
Garcia and Beni tell their Teen Vogue readers that it’s no problem if they don’t know anything about sex toys. It will be easy to figure out, they write soothingly to their young readers. After all, “we … are here to help.”
“New to the world of sex toys? Don’t worry. Just a quick search on Google for the best vibrators on Amazon will help you understand the basics. There’s a huge array of options out there, which can feel overwhelming, but we (and the dedicated horde of Amazon reviewers) are here to help.”
The two reassure the children there is “absolutely nothing … shameful” about using sex toys.
“Though some people might find sex toys scandalous, there’s absolutely nothing illegal, wrong, or shameful about investing in your sexual pleasure in ways that make sense to you.”
The article disgustingly discusses with its minor readers using sex toys at school during class. In so doing, Teen Vogue connects concepts and topics familiar to children, like math class, to sexual experiences in order to accustom them to sexual activity.
Wednesday’s article is part of a long pattern from Teen Vogue of capturing the attention of a youthful audience with articles on celebrities and TV shows and then using that attention to encourage children to be sexually active.
It also provides the cheapest possible option, a vibrator for $7, so that even children who only have money from washing their parents’ cars can participate. After all, Teen Vogue has another incentive to attract even the youngest teens: Any children successfully hoodwinked into buying the products will give part of the profits over to Teen Vogue through an affiliate commission.
Moreover, by sexualizing teens, the magazine can sell their eyeballs to corporations by pushing further sexually graphic articles.
Wednesday’s article is part of a long pattern from Teen Vogue of capturing the attention of a youthful audience with articles on celebrities and TV shows and then using that attention to encourage children to be sexually active. Previous articles, as documented by the anti–child sex trafficking organization Enough is Enough, have included: “How to Sext Safely: When is it Safe to Send a Partner Nude Photos?”; “How To Have Queer Sex”; “How To Use Sex Magic To Manifest Your Best Self”; “How To Get An Abortion If You’re A Teen”; “Oral Sex 101: Tips and Tricks for ‘Going Down’ and Staying Safe”; “Having Sex When You’re Fat: Tips on Positions, Props, and Preparations”; and “Why Sex Work Is Real Work.”
One gets the feeling that the magazine’s editors will accomplish their mission if every teen who reads Teen Vogue has risky sexual experiences with a multitude of partners. Children are most healthy when they can explore their sexuality to the fullest extent possible, you can imagine the editors saying.
Last month, Teen Vogue published on its website an open letter signed by 49 progressive youth organizations intended to counter claims from the Right that they are grooming children through their vision of sex education.
The groups argue that critics on the right using the “terminology of ‘grooming’ and ‘pedophilia’” to attack sex education and classroom discussions on LGBTQ identity trivializes the suffering of abuse survivors and confuses children about when they are actually being harmed by abusers.
The letter, whose author is listed as “Teen Vogue,” counterintuitively argues that the very programs that the Right is arguing constitute grooming are the ones that “reduce children’s vulnerability to groomers and prevent child sexual abuse.” To evidence this, it linked to a 2020 study that concluded, “Sex Education Should Begin in Kindergarten.”
But no matter how much Teen Vogue goes on about how sex education decreases STDs and prevents negative outcomes, it doesn’t hide the reality that the “sex education” they advocate is just teaching children to mimic promiscuous adults.
The Right has tried to cancel Teen Vogue on many occasions. For instance, in 2020, Enough Is Enough started a petition to shut the magazine down, stating its “reckless content, evidenced by its countless sexually-exploitative articles encouraging its ‘teen’ demographic consisting of 13 – 19-year-olds to participate in dangerous, risky, and often illegal sexual activities, must be stopped immediately.” It has over 50,000 signatures.
So far, efforts have been unsuccessful. Teen Vogue’s editors continue to publish graphically sexual articles geared at children. Major corporations continue to partner with the magazine and give it advertising revenue. On Thursday, for instance, Teen Vogue “exclusively” revealed the LGBTQ organization GLAAD’s 20 Under 20 list, which is officially sponsored by Delta Air Lines. It also has advertising relationships with Nabisco, Best Buy, Amazon, and Coca-Cola, all of which make money off of the sexual material Teen Vogue markets to children.
There is hope, however, that growing disgust with the hypersexualization of children could help stop Teen Vogue’s grooming of children.
Many parents have caught on to what the Left is doing to their children. They are advocating against and protesting graphic sex education in schools. Parents are also calling for the removal of books in school libraries that groom children for sexual activity and sex changes.
These locally oriented efforts build opposition to the hypersexualization of children. With such loud parental outrage nationwide, Teen Vogue’s publisher, Condé Nast, should rethink its business model of selling sexual content to minors. In addition, advertisers should reconsider whether they should continue to profit off of Teen Vogue’s grooming of minors.