Youth Is For The Young
6

When We Were "Seventeen": A History In 47 Covers

The conclusion to a series about youth. Here, that's Whitney Houston modeling, on the far right, for the November 1981 issue.

By WWII, movie magazines were falling from style. To maintain readership, many publications turned from a tight focus on screen celebrities to address women's fashion more generally. It was around this time, for example, that Glamour of Hollywood dropped "of Hollywood" from its title. Keeping up with trends, publisher Walter Annenberg sought to revamp his movie magazine Stardom. The advice he kept gettig from friends: Talk to Helen Valentine, who, after starting out at Vogue, had gone on to Mademoiselle: The Magazine for Smart Young Women. So, [...]

12

The Cost Of Being A Kid In A Classic Adventure Novel

A special after-school installment of Adjusted for Inflation, as part of this series about youth.

You probably haven't been a kid for some years now. Maybe five years, or maybe many more. But whatever your age, there comes the moment of nostalgia sneaking up on you, and you remember that treehouse you had, or that clearing in the woods where all the kids played, which maybe you called something fanciful like Terabithia, or that playground with the monkey bars that served as the spaceship that everyone would compete to captain. Or maybe even bigger ventures, the running away from home, like Claudia and Nick in From The Mixed-Up [...]

13

What Did You Want To Accomplish When You Grew Up?

The first in a series about youth.

When you're a kid, there are no limits on the world—everything seems possible. When he was seven, my brother truly believed that one day he'd wake up to see a T-Rex peering at him through his bedroom. (Yes, he had just watched Jurassic Park.) He also talked about inventing a plane that could withstand the strength of a tornado enough to fly within its wind currents, for a real bird's-eye view of the storm. To find out other would-be inventions and asked an assorted group of tech- and science-minded folks, "When you were young, what did you want to invent, discover or [...]

19

Wisdom Teeth

I found the oral surgeon in the Yellow Pages. There wasn’t yet a website that rated medical professionals in a Useful, Funny, or Cool way, so that was how you made important decisions: alphabetically and arbitrarily. I was 22 and I didn’t have a lot of practice making important decisions, but this much I knew.

He was ancient and unsteady, his hands a little wobbly as he snapped on his Latex gloves. But he had offered me a deal: a hundred dollars a tooth, Novocaine included. I was uninsured, a holiday retail temp, and I knew a bargain when I found one.

“I’ll tell you what,” the doctor said, peering [...]

5

"Dear Abby, When I Was A Young Man"

Part of a series about youth.

How exactly I came to write a "Dear Abby" letter from Dick Diver, the protagonist of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, I don't know. When exactly I did it, I can't say. I discovered this overwrought, clicheful, usage-challenged soliloquy—for though it's addressed to an advice columnist, no question is posed, and no advice is sought—when I pulled the book off the shelf the other month, and I would really like to pretend that it's something I jotted down at, say, the age of ten. But I first read the book at fourteen, and it was my favorite novel on and off [...]

11

Acne Cures Through The Ages

Part of a series about youth.

1. Urine has been used as an acne cure and everyday cleanser since at least the 17th century. The Encyclopedia of Folk Medicine reports that "rubbing [a] baby's face with a recently wet nappy was practiced in the Highlands of Scotland to prevent the child developing acne later and give it a good complexion." And in an article on natural remedies used by Kansan pioneers, Amy Lathrop quotes a seventy-year-old woman who claimed: "None of the girls in the family ever had acne. All retained fine skins until their deaths—complexions outstanding for their beauty and smoothness. My mother had the rosy skin of [...]

39

Twenty-Seven

Part of a series about youth.

When you turn twenty-seven you start noticing the number, everywhere. Suddenly everyone else is twenty-seven, too: Every athlete and actor, all of the dead people who ever did anything. Your age is everywhere because you, at twenty-seven, are perfect. Just there. Just where you are right now: educated, but no longer preachy; fuckable, without being whiny; mature, and not yet fat. Never change.

At least, that's what you feel like America keeps telling you.

An old Esquire article, randomly stumbled across, only confirms that you weren't imagining things. This ode to "The 27-Year-Old Woman" is a love-letter to your agesake, [...]