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Old 05-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #16
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kids these days
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:55 AM   #17
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I clicked the link and didn't get farther than the three pics at the top. What the hell does that GUY know about being a teenage girl?

I am 25 so my teenage years are still fresh in my mind. Yes, there was some stress, some anxiety, but never anything that would scar me for life or even affect my mood more than a week or so. Maybe I was just lucky....but I was certainly not the star athlete or in the popular clique, for the most part I did my own thing. I went to school, did what I needed to do there (I was a good student but I didn't work that hard, it came easy to me), went to work or gymnastics, and then spent my free time hanging out with my close friends. My bubble was relatively small but my worldview and perception of myself was shaped by those close to me (family and friends), not by "culture" or "the media" or "celebrities" or any of those things commonly blamed for ruining the lives of teenage girls. I think I got by unscathed because I had a tight group of girlfriends - not without problems or drama - but we did not pressure each other about sex or looks or drugs or anything like that. To be honest most people I knew that had issues with "self-objectification" brought it upon themselves.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:50 AM   #18
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I would tend to think that self objectification is brought about by some parents too-by allowing all of the things and behaviors that lead to that, and just by inaction and lack of involvement. I'm out of touch with teen girls but the few I know and have observed, that does happen. I can never figure out how they allow it, it's as if they've given up and just surrendered to it. Or the kids are just calling the shots.

I do think this is definitely true for many girls:

We have girls who are now putting on a pretense of adult sexuality that they couldn’t possibly feel, and the danger of putting on a show is that you lose touch with your own sexuality. You’re wearing a mask, and when you take off the mask, there’s not a face there. Another thing that’s happening is the acceleration of the onset of puberty. Girls are losing what psychologists used to call middle childhood: eight to 12 years of age, which is the age of Pippi Longstocking and Harriet the Spy, the time for girls to have adventures and develop a sense of who they are as people without worrying about whether they’re hot.

It is so different for teen girls now than it was for me-with the looks/image/clothing issues to such an extreme (all teen girls have those issues and I still did ) and the online stuff and sexuality stuff and all of the related issues. I wouldn't want to be a teenage girl now, no way. I was allowed to have that middle childhood and to be a kid without worrying about being "hot". Even as a teen I had that. I do think that sexualization of preteen (and even younger) girls is very dangerous. So much of it is about parental involvement as well-articles like this make it seem as if parental influence is non-existent.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:36 AM   #19
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^ this i can agree with.

but the other issue is that, at least in my understanding, puberty hits earlier now than it did in the past. this isn't the media. kids' bodies are changing sooner. could this have something to do with it?

but then again, i remember being in 4th grade, 10 years old, and there was enormous amounts of curiosity about boyfriends/girlfriends, who might be "going out" and who dressed well, had the right shoes, etc. there did to be some girls who i remember at that age who seemed already aware of themselves as females/future women, as opposed to just kids, but they struck me as not being representative of the mainstream. they were into the music, the fashion, and they thought their lives were supposed to be all drama, like the "Pappa Don't Preach" video. though today i'm sure it's all about Twilight or whatever.

so i think it's been around for a while. i think some kids take the media more seriously than others. and i think the best thing you can do for your child is to continuously remind them, "it's only a movie/it's only a song/it's only a video," and that these things are not real life.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:53 AM   #20
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I don't know, 150 years ago I would have felt pressured to be married and having kids by the time I was 17..... I think there are ALWAYS pressures and that one is not necessarily worse than any other, it just changes over time... I for one am really glad I was a teenager in the 2000s and not 1900 or 1800. It's the same old debate, are we really worse off? Are there more "bad" kids now than 100, 200 years ago? I don't think so, not better/worse, just different. "The grass is always greener".....

Not to be too TMI but I went through puberty at age 11 and I don't really think it had much influence on anything other than just having to deal with that aspect of being a girl. I had friends who had it younger than I did, and some not until age 16. I was self conscious about it at first but what girl isn't? It didn't effect how I felt about whether or not I wanted to have sex or how I looked at myself in the mirror. If anything, I felt lucky to have started early, so that I was totally used to it by the time I started highschool (age 13) and also basically full grown. I've not grown more than a half inch since I started high school and fall back to the same weight/condition when I'm active.

But you guys are probably right about parental involvement. My parents were not concerned with how we looked or dressed or whether we had boyfriends/girlfriends. They just kind of let things happen and went with the flow. I am very different from both my siblings so the rules and interactions with each child were different.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:11 AM   #21
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i think some kids take the media more seriously than others. and i think the best thing you can do for your child is to continuously remind them, "it's only a movie/it's only a song/it's only a video," and that these things are not real life.
This is so true. I can see that my daughter takes some of the images out there very seriously. I was just talking about this with my mom the other day. I remember, even when I was sixteen, that the videos we saw on tv and the songs we heard on the radio seemed more as being part of the adult world rather than being anything that had to do with me. I didn't expect to be in nightclubs or drive flashy cars or wear short skirts or whatever until I was older. Sure, it looked neat but it wasn't something my friends and I tried to emulate.

These days I worry about the impact of shows like The Kardashians and The Hills and Girls Next Door are having on my teen and her friends. My daughter's seventeen year old best friend has a Playboy bunny tattooed to her foot. They want to be like those girls. They want the smart phones and the tans and the three hundred dollar sunglasses. They're fed the idea that none of this has to be worked for. I worry about the messages in the music my daughter hears on the radio. There's a song out right now by Rhianna that I don't even allow my daughter to listen to while I'm in the car and I'm the last person you would consider any kind of prude. It isn't empowering. It's shocking.

Every day, all around me, I am fighting these outside forces that are much sleeker and much more exciting than my old-fashioned values. Sometimes it feels like I can't possibly win. She recently debated whether to take the lifeguard position she was offered or the job in a casino restaurant. One is full of self-enrichment and community involvement, the other is ripe with tips. I prayed she would take the lifeguard job, and she did, but I wasn't sure there for a while because the money was so tempting to her. I just have to hope that with time and maturity she will come to understand why I keep on her so much. And I guess that's the most important thing, that I do keep on her.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:22 AM   #22
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I didn't read the article so I don't know if this was mentioned, but the first thing that headline brought to mind is the recent (just became big in the last 2 to 4 years, I think) obsession that American teenage girls have with their goddamn cell phones. I have a bunch of cousins that are in the 13 to 17 age range, and I see them three of four times a year for family reunions, get togethers, what not. They're (for the most part) well-adjusted, nice and intelligent girls, but NONE of them can put down their cell phone. Ever. Constantly texting, constantly looking at that screen, doing whatever. It's sad, really. I'm 24, so it wasn't very long ago that I was in high school. Girls, or guys, in my day (ha!) had cell phones, yeah, but we weren't obsessed with them and constantly texting or playing with them. I have a few friends who are teaching now at the high school and middle school levels, and they say it's gotten out of hand. Kids don't even pay attention in class because of the preoccupation with the phones. And I don't want to oversimplify it, I might be wrong, but I think the cell phone obsession is worse with girls than it is with boys.

One of my uncles (of the aforementioned texting cousins) actually took away her phone for a while, because her behavior in social situations becoming completely disrespectful and inappropriate - if family or friends were over, she would just sit on the couch staring at her phone, with her thumbs flying away on the keypad.

I don't know if that has anything to do with the discussion or whatever, but it's something I've noticed. Cell phones are great for a lot of reasons, but they're also bad news when they start negatively affecting young kids school work and social skills, etc.

I think our man Bono said something once about cell phones being "dangerous." And then asked us all to donate $1000 to his AIDS foundation or something.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:31 AM   #23
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I agree with everything you said about the cell phones, GAF, and as a mother of a teenager who has the latest Sidekick, I suppose I am guilty of encouraging it to some degree.

If I posted how many texts she sends in a month per my itemized phone bill you guys would be shocked. We have unlimited texting so money isn't the issue, it's the idea that it's habit-forming to the point of addiction.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:43 AM   #24
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i can't believe most teacher's don't have rules banning cell phones from class. like, were i a teacher, if a phone were visible then it would be confiscated until the end of class.

then again, i spend most of my day on my crackberry, but it's for real work, i swear.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:45 AM   #25
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Teachers do have those rules.

I've had to go to the office to pick up my daughter's phone many times.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:35 PM   #26
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They will eventually grow up when their last meal comes out of a vending machine.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:49 PM   #27
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I didn't read the article so I don't know if this was mentioned, but the first thing that headline brought to mind is the recent (just became big in the last 2 to 4 years, I think) obsession that American teenage girls have with their goddamn cell phones. I have a bunch of cousins that are in the 13 to 17 age range, and I see them three of four times a year for family reunions, get togethers, what not. They're (for the most part) well-adjusted, nice and intelligent girls, but NONE of them can put down their cell phone. Ever. Constantly texting, constantly looking at that screen, doing whatever. It's sad, really. I'm 24, so it wasn't very long ago that I was in high school. Girls, or guys, in my day (ha!) had cell phones, yeah, but we weren't obsessed with them and constantly texting or playing with them. I have a few friends who are teaching now at the high school and middle school levels, and they say it's gotten out of hand. Kids don't even pay attention in class because of the preoccupation with the phones. And I don't want to oversimplify it, I might be wrong, but I think the cell phone obsession is worse with girls than it is with boys.

One of my uncles (of the aforementioned texting cousins) actually took away her phone for a while, because her behavior in social situations becoming completely disrespectful and inappropriate - if family or friends were over, she would just sit on the couch staring at her phone, with her thumbs flying away on the keypad.

I don't know if that has anything to do with the discussion or whatever, but it's something I've noticed. Cell phones are great for a lot of reasons, but they're also bad news when they start negatively affecting young kids school work and social skills, etc.

I think our man Bono said something once about cell phones being "dangerous." And then asked us all to donate $1000 to his AIDS foundation or something.
It's insane. When I was in school, no one really had a cell phone, except the rich kids. Even in college no one I knew had a cell phone. Now everyone does. I really think this has made things harder for kids as bullying has now gone online. It used to be kids were just mean at school, now they can be mean via cell phone and internet.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:28 PM   #28
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come on

don't you think you are over reacting

it's not like some kid is going to kill himself/herself over this silly crap.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:02 PM   #29
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Last year I was on the beach w/ my mom and she commented on how every single one of the girls walking by (this was during high school spring break week, so these girls were like 11-18) had a phone in their hand and if they weren't actually talking to someone, they were tapping at the phone, or many times tapping at the phone even though they were walking together. It really did seem like the phone was some sort of crutch, like people can't even walk alone down the beach anymore and just daydream without feeling so insecure they have to have the phone to poke at. I have no problem walking down the beach alone with nothing in my hand or anyone to talk to or text at, but after watching for a while, it did seem my mom was right. I don't have a phone or PDA myself but don't mind them as long as I'm not disrespected. For example if someone asks me a question and then starts answering their phone as I'm responding, I'll just stop talking and walk away. I do think that the phones are challenging our manners but that is not limited to teenagers, I know plenty of adults who I want to slap in the face with their damn phones.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:13 PM   #30
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I have honestly found it a lot harder to be a woman than a teenager. Maybe I was just ignorant back then, but adulthood is hard work, ambition really is a drug, and navigating this world is both exhilarating and heartbreaking.

I do find the cutting statistics to be shocking, and they really ring totally untrue to me.

I also tend to agree with financeguy about the use of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, etc. The easiest thing is to say that they are overprescribed, but I think there is an underlying problem there that we fail to address when we just write it off like that.
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