Magazine Madness and/or Mania: ‘Teen, June 1962

Not generally being actual teenagers, the editors of teen mags have the unenviable task of walking the line between being hip, but not trying so hard that they spin back around to being totally uncool. Try too hard and you end up with Sassy‘s creepy “Adults, aren’t they totally the worst? Let’s roll our eyes and do some club drugs!” vibe.

On the other hand, you should at least be trying hard enough that you don’t just write down a bunch of Twist puns (“That is a thing you kids are into, right?”) and call it a day. In June of 1962, the Petersen Publishing  Company was definitely leaning more towards the latter.

Teen June 1962

Still, maybe the model’s outfits spell out “Up Yours, Adults!” in semaphore or something.

Let’s go to the headlines:

Translation: Soupy Sales, What Is His Deal?

‘Teen is genuinely baffled by the popularity of Sales, the host of an after-school children’s show, with high school and college students:

The big guys around school are visiting their local barbers requesting Soupy haircuts, much to the pleasure of their favorite dates! Expressions like “Ki-A-Bonga” and “Oh-Blay-Oh” are heard at every event of the day. And all this because of a comic who heads up a TV Kiddie Show! What’s the big deal all about? Why has Soupy got teens spinning? What’s his magic secret for hypnotizing all groups?

Confession: I am completely indifferent to Soupy Sales, so I do not care if these questions are answered or not. Yes, I know, he pioneered kids’ programming that worked on two levels, so that adults could “get” the jokes jokes the kids missed… but people people have been telling me that about SpongeBob for years, and I still remain unswayed.

However, I am skeptical that his popularity with 1962-teenagers has something to do with the fact that “Frank Sinatra flipped over the slapstick funnyman” or that “Bob Hope immediately joined Soupy’s loyal fans”.  Teenagers! They just love following the middle-aged icons of their parents’ youth!

The secret to Beach Beauty is to always follow The Beach Code, which ‘Teen lays out for us in minute detail.

Now, some of the ‘Code is common sense, like how you should not litter or bother the on-duty lifeguards or pop your boyfriend’s blackheads while applying suntan oil to his back (aside: gross!)

But there are also a number of items that are both somewhat complicated and gender-specific:

If you must wear curlers while your sunning or surfing, cover them with a fancy hat or kookie scarf.

Smoking in public, especially for girls, is not only is poor taste, but looks affected and unsophisticated.

Gals, it takes a terrific figure and a model’s poise to wear a Bikini. Unless you’ve got them, stick to a flattering suit. An attractive swim cap is a must, too. Hair drenched with salt water is about as attractive as a piece of seaweed.

In other words: cover up, you strumpet!


Don’t invite strangers to join your crowd just because you like the looks of one guy. Your friends may give you a scalping if it turns into a situation.

I don’t even know what is being hinted at here. An odd number of gentleman for the afternoon quadrille?

And surely don’t forget:

No matter how sports-minded you may be, play it down. Guys don’t like athletic girls.

The article is helpfully illustrated with photographic “don’ts”, and I am particularly fond of this one:

Beach Don'ts

You know you want to say it in your best Bette Davis voice: “What a dump!”

Let me answer that for you:

George Maharis

(That reads “How They Spend Money”, but I didn’t want to rip off the Rural Route address label)

So how DO they spend their money?

Elvis, Tuesday Weld and Richard Chamberlain: sports cars.

Paul Anka: “bonds, real estate, hotels and apartment houses” Borr-ring.

Pamela Tiffin: “a complete suede wardrobe. Pamela believes in spending money on clothes that have staying power. She never buys fad clothes which might very well go out of style next season.” Dressing like a giant stick of jerky never goes out of style!

Ann-Margaret: “furniture and drapes from Sears” for her parents.

Also:  Hayley Mills receives an allowance of $5.60 a week.

There is a photo spread of stars at the 1962 Golden Globes, to which I say…

Sandra Dee


There is a column on Beauty Pageant Dos and Don’ts, penned by Miss Universe 1960 Linda Bement. Let’s go to the DON’TS:

Beauty Pageant Don'ts

To me the middle one says “get your fix beforehand so you don’t nod onstage”, but what do I know? That is what my posture looks like all of the time.

Readers can put these tips to use when they enter Miss ‘Teen 1962 Contest. Let’s meet our lovely contestants:

(Click to enlarge)

What I gather from the weight-and-height data is that girls in 1962 had hollow bones, like birds.

The subjects of Reader’s Letters are kind of all over the place:

I hope other teenagers are with me when I say Colonel John Glenn is a true American. (Frieda Cunningham, Tullahoma, Tenn.)

Recently my friends and I have been reading quite a few articles on how parents feel about the new dance craze The Twist. Many are against it for no good reason! We, the teenagers, represent the new generation and we have our likes and dislikes, just like our parents did when they were our age. (Terry Assetta, Malden, Mass.)

Apparently in a previous issue, ‘Teen made out Surfers to be the Bikers of the Sea

Everyone thinks that surfers are dirty, stealing bums, but but they have mistaken hodads with surfers. Most real surfers attend school, hold jobs, belong to surfers clubs and have been taught to surf by someone who really knows how to surf. (32 Surfers of Corona, Calif.)

Still, I do enjoy a nice basket of hodads, especially with drawn butter.

I would like to know why ‘Teen readers don’t like Martin Milner. (An Angry Fan, Magnolia, Miss.)

It’s not they don’t like him, it’s that they’re distracted by George Maharis.

I would like anyone who has some real cute pictures of kittens, in color, to send them to me. (Janet Basthemer, Mt. Horeb, Wisc.)

I WANT TO LOOK AT CATS! SEND THEM TO ME! How else is the Readers’ Letters page like internet? Well, I may have found the origin of this Facebook favorite…

The plaintive cry of teenagers is all too familiar to adults everywhere: “what can we do? where can one go?”

Go home! Hang the windows, paint the woodwork, rake the leaves, mow the lawn, shovel the snow, wash the car, learn to cook, scrub he floor, repair the sink, build a boat, get a job.

Your parents do not owe you entertainment. Nor does your city or village owe you recreational facilities. The world does not owe you a living. Grow up; develop a backbone and start acting like a man or a woman. In plain simple words: go home and grow up. (Carol Hall, Waukegan,  Ill.)

And finally, this one, which seems to have both traveled through time and been misdirected on its way to the desk of Penthouse Forum:

I agree whole-heartedly with spankings for teenagers, but would rather die than let me family know.

I am 16 and live with my five older brothers- my parents are dead. I can’t count the times I’ve been hauled across my brothers’ knees and soundly walloped on my backside.

Last week I came home from a forbidden date and got caught. Ricky greeted me coldly on the porch and said good night to my date and marched me upstairs into my room. Realizing what was coming, I made a  dash for the door and flew into David’s arms. Brother, was I sore the next day! I had gotten two spankings that night.

Ricky is 20 and David is 21. They have strong young hands and don’t need hairbrushes.

All my girlfriends come from families strict in discipline and they tell me I’m lucky to get walloped by such handsome boys. Well, I think I’m lucky to get walloped, period. (W.B. New York, NY)

Yeah. So…. let’s look at some ads!

Maidenform’s “Dream” campaign is still going strong in 1962:


Although they have some competition from this noir-ish campaign from TeenForm:


“Last night I dreamed I double-crossed Robert Mitchum in my TeenForm girdle!”


I’m calling it: “Whiff” is the grossest word in the English language.


(With apologies to Peggy Olson) “Brand Your Man!”


Make your hair fat with spider-eggs!


Two days a month I am totally gay for Midol.

Finally, ‘Teen also quaintly includes a section of pen-pal requests:


More like Bobby Hubba-hubbard, amirite?

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11 Responses to Magazine Madness and/or Mania: ‘Teen, June 1962

  1. Pingback: Magazine Madness and/or Mania: Star (1973) | Lost Classics of Teen Lit, 1939-1989

  2. grace says:

    The blackhead thing at the beach! Is it really necessary to include that, ‘Teen?

  3. grace says:

    PS: I totally agree with your comment about Sassy. Creepy. And I’m not 35 years old and going around like, “Jane Pratt! My hero!”

  4. Pingback: Magazine Madness and/or Mania: 16 Magazine, August 1966 | Lost Classics of Teen Lit, 1939-1989

  5. Moon says:

    Where did that spanking stuff come from? The Penthouse letters from readers?

    (Kay Daly –sister of you-know-who — created the “I dreamed” Maidenform ads)

  6. Fran says:

    Love the magazine and the write up! I looked up Janet Basthemer and she passed away a few years ago aged 70 😦 I hope she enjoyed the internet and was able to find so many pictures of kittens, in color.

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