Sunday, February 17, 2013

Talking Point Four (Argument) Hine

In the reading this week I think Hine is arguing the importance of being a teenager in not only our society but just being a teenager in general.  I know it's the very beginning of the article but after reading and going through the whole thing I felt that Hine made a really crucial point bringing up his 'misery of youth' yearbook story.  He used a quote he had written for his own yearbook story: 
"Maybe I'm something special, and maybe I'm not.  
Maybe I'm here for a reasonand I might be going somewhere after this, 
but then gain I might not.  I wonder where I fit in?"

I thought this was absolutely genius for describing the struggle youths face through their teenage years.  Hine is arguing that teens are struggling---their struggling to figure where exactly they belong and fit in.  He explains that every person has been a teenager and because of this we should be such experts on the way teenagers think/act but we're not.  We become "adults" and we all of a sudden forget what it was like to be a teenager.  Hine argues that this concept is really quite simple it is because "we don't remember ourselves as teenagers....we remember ourselves as ourselves." (2)  
I thought about this for a while.  Was Hine's argument right?  Of course it is.  I remember myself
as a teenager as clear as day but I don't remember being any different than I am now which is what I think Hine is talking about.

Hine is also arguing that the way teenagers grow up is influenced by the media and the people they are surrounded.  The media often portrays teenagers to be less capable of doing things and less competent than they really are.  Hine argues that because teenagers are portrayed as less capable we see the rise ans fall of the American several different ways.  One way we see it is by dropping out of school, becoming pregnant and joining gangs  Another way is by simply growing up, cutting their hair off, removing their tattoos, giving up their youth and just going with the flow into adulthood.
The removing tattoos part made me laugh.  I have tattoos and I love my tattoos, they're more than
 just ink on my body to me but that it neither here not there.  I had an argument (or strongly worded discussion if you will) with my grandmother(who is very open-minded I should add) about what mine and 
my cousins & my dad's tattoos are going to look like when we're older.  She told me that  maybe we should
look into tattoo removal when we became old adults  (like her age) because our tattoos wont be as good looking so I showed her this picture:
this is all I could think of while reading Hine's explanation of how the American Dream was falling.

Hine also argued that teenagers need the option and the freedom to become themselves.  Scary thought right?  Hine argues "we love the idea of youth but are prone to panic about the young." (11)  As adults we find the youth and youth qualities exciting and fresh and "new" again but at the same time they are also very unattractive.  They are unstable and lack substance and direction--no substance & no direction? Now what kind of future would that bring us?  As adults it wouldn't bring us much of a future at all but for a teenager, that's the exciting part having no direction to be able to find your direction; being able to make mistakes along the way to learn from them, to be able to choose the path that is going to be right for you and help you become the person you want to be.

The transition from "teenage-hood" to "adulthood" isn't so clear cut and simple.  It's not like passing Go in Monopoly and knowing you've made it; there's really no defining moment...I think it's personal.  My moment of what made me feel/know I was an adult may not be the same as someone else's.  And who is to say you'll fully transition to an adult?  'Cause I know at 20 I sure as hell don't feel like I could conquer the adult world. Is it age?  Is it thought process?  I'm interested to hear what the rest of the class thinks on Tuesday!

P.S. I spend tons of time on Pinterest, that's where my pictures are from. 
 Just figured I should give them some credit <3

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Talking Point Two (Reflection) Christensen

While reading this piece I couldn't help but relate it back to a piece I had read with Dr. Bogad last semester (Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein).  The two pieces were so similar and raised similar points; it was interesting to see a few of the same concepts come up again in Christensen's piece.

Christensen's section on Cinderella and the variations of it is what really made me stop and say to myself MIND BLOWN.  Cinderella is my favorite Disney movie, fairy tale, story etc. Why? Up until about seven years ago it was because it was the story of a girl who was thrown into an unfortunate situation--forced to live with an evil stepmother and wicked stepsisters.  This poor girl cooked for them, cleaned for them and had nothing for herself but yet never once felt sorry--that was what I loved about Cinderella.  Now Cinderella is exactly what Christensen and her students said it is: a story that implies happiness means you must first transform yourself (your clothes and your physical appearance) and get the man.  Cinderella couldn't even go to the ball without changing her clothes first...she had to get a beautiful gown first.

Cinderella & the Cindy Ellie version sends the message to young females that in order to "win" and get the man you must be beautiful.  This message/concept now puts young females in competition with their peers which leads me to Christensen's other point of sexual stereotyping and adoration of beauty in children's cartoons and movies.

Christensen and her students point out that these seemingly innocent stories teach us to look for our faults

So these seemingly innocent stories are turning this:

"as Tinkerbell inspects her tiny body in a mirror only to find that her miniature hips are simply too huge, she shows us how to turn the mirror into an enemy and this is scenario is repeated in girls locker rooms all over the world" 

Body Image is a huge deal to me.  These seemingly innocent stories are not as innocent as they seem; they have a much bigger impact than people realize.  Young girls are striving to be what they see represented in the media and let's face it---it's not so easily attainable.  Speaking from personal experience, I've seen how the media can warp a young girl's mind; for seven years I've watched my sister dislike her body and hate herself everyday for it.  Is the media completely to blame?  Oh god of course not!  It's just another added component that drives and feeds into what's already there. 

"Because we can never look like Cinderella we begin to hate ourselves.  The Barbie Syndrome starts as we begin a lifelong search for the perfect body."  
What I think people sometimes tend to forget is that young women are not the only ones suffering from this Barbie Syndrome.  Young males are starting to have an unattainable standard set by the media as well.  Young men and women are growing up in a society where they are trying not to give in but sometimes don't even realize that they are.

I realize my opinions may differ from everyone else's on this topic and that's okay.  The issue of body image and adoration of beauty in our society is so near and dear to me that whenever it comes up it just like...ignites this flame in me and I just like BOOM and go; I live it everyday.  I'm interested to see in class on Tuesday what this article represented to other people!