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 Dream...in 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