Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jackie Days

My goodness, Thursday already! Where has the week gone?

On Monday I watched a documentary on tele about Jackie magazine. I used to have it delivered every week, along with hundreds of thousands of other teenaged girls. It was something I looked forward to as the highlight of my week. Life was different then!

The programme started with a modern teen, surrounded by all her modern teen paraphenalia: iPod, mobile phone, computer, television. Then they took all that away, and the teen was left on her bed, reading a book. Being a teenager was more boring then, said the narrator. Yes, but we didn't realise it, because we didn't know any different.

It was normal to be bored, perhaps it was even a good thing to be bored. We had to rely on ourselves to find entertainment, not have it thrown in our faces and coming from all angles like it is now.

I used to hide my Jackie magazine from my elder brother, who I'm sure when he found it would read it avidly. I didn't want him finding out about periods and other such embarrassing female afflictions. It was bad enough going through it without one's brother taking the piss out of me too.

I don't remember the craft section, but apparently the magazine showed us how to make accessories. I can't have taken much notice, and certainly not of the fried egg beret which must have been before my time. Anyway, I couldn't knit!

Donny Osmond and David Cassidy were the heart throbs of the time, except with me. I preferred Starsky & Hutch. David Cassidy's shoulders were much too narrow for my liking. He resembled a girl with his long hair, and Donny Osmond's teeth and goody goody demeanor killed him in my opinion. Girls adored them because they seemed safe. I just thought they were wimps.

When I wasn't engrossed in Jackie, which frankly didn't take long to read, I read books. I went through stacks, including my father's science fiction collection, enjoying the CS Lewis trilogy in particular.

The opportunities girls have now are extraordinary, but so are the stresses of having information overload. I'm glad I grew up when I did. Although I would have loved some of the creative possibilites at my fingertips that computers offer, I think, in general, it was easier to grow up at a moderate pace. We were protected, had boundaries, and knew where we were. It might have been boring, but at least we didn't have to cope with a continual bombardment on our image from the media.

I don't think we had an image, did we?


  1. Each era offers new challenges and new opportunities; it's never easy, I don't think. But then, neither is being an adult.

    Meilleurs voeux!!

  2. I love being an adult. Instead of doing what I'm told, I can do as I see fit. It's what I always wanted when I was young!

  3. Even in little old New Zealand my mum was able to buy UK magazines for me every week. I graduated from Little Twinkle to The Beano, Whizzer & Chips, to Jackie and Diana mags, then Oh Boy! and Fab 2000 (pop music mag).

    Donny was my first love. My taste in men hasn't changed much, sadly...

    How I would have loved to see that documentary! How I wish I had kept my old mags!

  4. Anti, there was a BBC radio 4 programme on Jackie Magazine too back in 2005, which you can listen to on Listen Again on your computer. I have a link to Radio 4 in my links.
    Or it's here

  5. Sarah - haven't you got "The Best of Jackie" annual? I got it last Christmas and it's absolutely wonderful...yes, there are photos of David Cassidy and Donny Osmond...but also David Essex (yum) and Bryan Ferry (yummy yummy)...and there's the Cathy and Claire page (ooh - my boyfriend held my hand am I pregnant?) and instructions for making a magazine rack from orange boxes. There are quizzes - eg "Could you get an A-level in boys?" and those wonderful fashion drawings, rather than photos. My 14-year-old daughter reads it and actually enjoys it (especially the Beauty Tips).

    If I were you, I'd buy it - it's published by Prion at £16.99 (worth every penny).

    Today's magazines for girls are horrific - in England, at least. All sex, sex and more sex and completely shallow.

    I wish I could have seen the programme. Never mind - I think I'll snuggle up in bed tonight with the annual. There's a really interesting article about problem boys called "What makes you love them?". I'd really, really like to know the answer...:-)

  6. You know what? My mother threw out my old Jackie magazines only a few months ago. She kept bugging me about them, so I looked on Ebay and found no one was the least interested, so advised her to chuck them if she wanted them out of the house.

    I could hardly take them home on a Ryanair weight restriction!

    Ah well...


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