Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fast Foward

I thought that Lauren Greenfield's project was very interesting. However, it does not come as shocking to me. I do believe that teenagers grow up faster in L.A. because of Hollywood's close influence, however, I believe that teenagers across America grow up too fast in general. I went to a public school in Connecticut, within five minutes from Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwoods Casino. I grew up in a middle-class family in a quiet neighborhood. My school had a gang made up of kids who lived on the reservation. I went to a party once, and they broke in with pipes and crowbars and beats kids faces in. Groups of friends would get pregnant together. Kids smoked weed in the bathroom, came to lunch tripping on acid. One of my best friends was given a 2009 BMW for her birthday, and has four houses. My other best friend grew up with a single mom, in a tiny house, and spent a good portion of high school living with me because she was always being kicked out. We would tag bridges. I've had a friend get a breast reduction, while another is getting a boob job for graduation. A girl came up to my table at lunch one day and showed us her new damage to her arms. I eventually was able to get her help, however. I worked 30 hours a week. I've heard girls puking in the bathroom. None of Greenfield's work seems new to me. Yes, these are solely negative aspects of high school. I was also on the high honor roll all throughout high school, captain of my cross country team, and was active in volunteering. I feel as if many teenagers live a double life. Who they are with their friends is not who they are at home or in class. Maybe I was just involved in the "wrong crowd", but if I never went through everything, I don't think I'd be who I am today. I think that society focuses on the negative aspects of being a teenager. We hardly get rewarded for doing good things, but get constantly talked down on for acting out. I think it is sad that girls feel the pressure to be thin and beautiful. I also think it is sad that boys feel the need to be macho and thugs. However, most people outgrow these stages. They make them into stronger people. I also think that gang violence needs to be addressed as it takes too many young lives. I didn't understand what the 1992 riots were, and a few L.A. related things were in Greenfield's article. I wish I had more than a week to capture teenagers in my town, because this seems to be a fun project.