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I love teenagers. I really do. OK, so 99% of them are total pains in the arse with their angsty "you don't understand me" and "everyone over the age of 25 should be, like, extinct" attitude, but you have to admire their capacity to be OTT self-obsessed. They are also incredibly amusing - although the fact that a 36 year old housewife thinks they are side-splittingly funny would probably be beyond mortifying for any self-respecting Inheritor of the Earth.

What is great about the current crop of teens is their glorious confidence and ability to put themselves out there. When I was a teen I just wanted to crawl under a rock most of the time. I was overwhelmed with self-doubt and paralysed by the fear that my mates would find out that I didn't have much of a clue about anything.

I became a consummate actor, cool on the outside and a nerd deep within. I recall many hours spent writing gloomy poetry about how shit my life was, in between climbing out on to the roof to smoke Marlboro Lights, dreaming about my crush of the moment and planning how great everything would be once I managed to escape from the clutches of my square parents (who had probably never been young and so totally didn't get it).

Whereas I had cider, Doc Marten's and self-doubt, modern teens have the world at their feet. Or at least, that's how they see it. Being able to explore the world through a computer screen in their bedroom must be a liberating experience, opening up all kinds of possibilities and dreams that we 80's kids couldn't have imagined.

The new site Lookbook is a good example, with global kids vying for peer endorsement of their style, simply through posting pics of themselves showing off their latest 'look'. Who needs Vogue? And what's more, some of the styling and photography these kids are posting is, to borrow a teen phrase, awesome. I'm loving the fact that there are sixteen year old kids on Lookbook describing themselves as photographers, dance teachers and designers.

Part of me wonders if  they're going to be bitterly disappointed when they get out there into the big world and realise that our generation has screwed the economy so badly that they'll be lucky to get a job at Burger King. Another part of me thinks that such unshakeable confidence will surely transform the world. Or is it that, like me, they're just great actors, riddled with angst but putting on a good show, and the only difference is that the internet gives them the ability to dance on a global stage?

Comments

Anonymous said…
I HATE tennagers - and also feel sorry for them. I was one myself once. So was everybody! The mind has a wonderful ability to lose memories of crass stupidity and cringe making selfishness. Parents - for their own sakes (the teenage mutts that is) keep them down and make sure they are scared of you - otherwise all is lost and you can look forward to a lifetime of endless demands, no payback and an old balding paunchy middle-aged teenager to cater to in your dotage. You have been warned! Do not be nice!
Anonymous said…
I find that when they are knocked back out there in the great big cruel world, they CRY!!! And run back to Mummy/Daddy/Significant Other (what's that!). They are just big spoilt crybabies. Don't feel sorry for them. Smack them and put them on the naughty step - if they really are hysterical, lock them in a cupboard!

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