#FeministFriday No. 32

The Teenage Girl is possibly the absolute stupidest, most materialistic, and shallow kind of human there is, and by definition the easiest to make money off of.

The Average Teenage Girl wears a general uniform that included leggings, Uggs, NorthFace fleece jackets in winter; extremely whorish costumes (police, nurse, cheerleader, school girl, etc.) on Halloween; and in summer, extremely tiny shorts and skirts with sunglasses wide enough to hide her entire face. Of course, all of these outfits must come from a wide variety of different brands which also provide a wide variety of accessories that she clearly doesn’t need.

Teenage Girls tend to travel in herds of 5 or 6 as they have nothing resembling independent thought or character and are totally subservient to the herd mentality, which decides who they can date, what they eat, where they go, what they wear, and what they do.

In her free time, The Average Teenage Girl likes to listen to mass produced idiotic music by the likes of One Direction or Five Seconds of Summer. Within the herds, this is usually accompanied by screaming the lyrics very obnoxiously to make sure everybody knows what idiots they are.

The Average Teenage Girl is of very low intelligence. She talks in a very high pitched voice and if she is literate, her favorite book is Twilight. Movie preferences include the “rom-com” or “chick flick” genre, which any idiot with basic writing skills could make.

The Average Teenage Girl is an idiot and will probably amount to nothing more than trophy wives, models, or actresses in really bad movies, assuming they remember how to breathe.

The above, vomit-inducing description is the definition of “teenage girl” provided by Urban Dictionary. Incidentally, it’s the second thing that comes up if you Google “teenage girl”; other search results included diet and exercise pages, and blogs dedicated to making fun of things like leggings. By comparison, Googling “teenage boy” brings up links for parental advice columns, news stories about academic and athletic excellence, and medical research about the effects of (cis) male puberty.

Teenage girls (and even preteen girls to a large extent) have long been the punchline of society. They are reduced to simplistic, stereotypical beings whose thoughts, interests, habits, and emotions are endlessly and needlessly mocked. We trivialize their mental health, laugh at their pain, and minimize their behaviors as illegitimate angst, ridiculous overreactions, or PMS.

teenage girls1

It’s not easy, being teens. Nearly all teenage girls suffer from poor body image, or think they need to lose weight. It’s estimated that one in every 200 girls aged 13-19 regularly cut themselves, but estimated that one in twelve will self-harm in some way before they turn 18. Suicides among U.S. females between 10 and 24 years old have nearly quadrupled since 1994, but it’s socially acceptable to belittle them because, why? They’re wearing riding boots and scarves, and drinking pumpkin spice lattes?

Grow the hell up.

It seems like every other week there’s some news story or breaking article that revolves around the “fact” that teenage girls lack self-esteem: “As their teen years approach, many confident girls turn into sullen shells.”

It’s almost like it’s stressful to have all of society constantly telling them exactly what perfect mold they need to fit into, and are then told they’re unacceptable if they don’t fit, but told they’re shallow if they do. Everything that teenage girls do is meticulously criticized, from the way they speak, to the way they style their hair, to they way they act in groups of their peers. Regardless of what it is, there is always someone, somewhere commenting that they should do it differently.

All the while, teenage boys are just sort of expected to behave the way that they do. Teenage boys eat a lot, they think about sex a lot, they wear basketball shorts and flat billed baseball caps, and make homophobic comments on Xbox Live. That’s just teenage boys, that’s just what they do. Nothing they do is ever really addressed as an issue, and I’ve never read an article anywhere detailing how consuming endless Pizza Rolls and Mountain Dew makes a guy “basic”. Granted, these are broad generalizations that in no way represent every 13-19 year old male in the country; there have even been recent studies that suggest popular stereotypes of males are, on the whole, inaccurate.

Meanwhile, let’s keep assuming that all teenage girls are vapid and are more interested in selfies than current events.

That's their reaction to Donald

They’re watching the latest Donald Trump press conference.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, teenagers are considered a “golden goose” of sorts by marketers in terms of disposable income. They’re at the age where they’re old enough to work part-time, but young enough to still receive birthday money and allowances. According to a Harris Poll, the 42 million teenagers in the United States have over $100 billion at their disposal. Furthermore, teenagers typically have less financial responsibility than adults, and are less likely to respond to economic factors as much as older consumers.

If only there was a target market with such disposable income that could be easily convinced by companies to buy their products on account of the target market’s perennially low self-esteem and need to be seen as “good enough” by society.

Marketers thrive on society’s treatment of teenage girls because it allows them to capitalize on the fallout. They manipulate girls through advertising to believe that these exact jeans, or this exact shampoo will enable them to overcome any insecurities and be accepted, all while feeding into the bigger picture of perfection that undermines their confidence in the first place.

Immoral? Absolutely. It’s modern capitalism at its finest. The best example of this is Dove, which launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004. Their website states, “The Dove brand is rooted in listening to women…The campaign started a global conversation about the need for a wider definition of beauty after the study proved the hypothesis that the definition of beauty had become limiting and unattainable…In 2010, Dove evolved the campaign and launched an unprecedented effort to make beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety, with the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem.”

This all sounds amazingly positive and female friendly, until you realize that Dove’s parent company, Unilever, also owns Axe. While Unilever has promoted one brand by pointing out how terrible women feel about their bodies and trying to convince them otherwise, they’ve been promoting the other with sexist and objectifying portrayals of women, telling men they should be focused only on the appearance of women — which, of course, is represented by the limited and unattainable standard of beauty Dove is trying so hard to abolish.

I could probably write a separate post about everything wrong with this ad.

I could probably write a separate post about everything wrong with this ad.

I digress. Let’s look at a revised version of that definition from earlier:

A teenage girl is a female between 13-19 years of age, and is very likely to be targeted by marketers, as well as people who have nothing better to do than make fun of young girls because they feel bad about themselves on the inside.

Teenage girls have a wide variety of styles that express their unique personalities. Many choose to wear clothing like yoga pants and leggings because they’re awesome and hella comfortable. Some stick to basics like jeans and t-shirts because those are awesome and what they like. Others choose to follow current trends, such as shorts and and crop tops in the summer months, which are awesome and adorable on anyone who chooses to wear them. If you disagree and think they should wear something else, you should take a long, hard think as to why you care so much what teenage girls are wearing.

Some teenage girls like to travel in groups of friends because it’s nice to spend time with friends. Additionally, there is safety in numbers and females who travel alone are often blamed for any misfortunes that may befall them.

Many teenage girls enjoy listening to music by groups like One Direction. Incidentally, the individual members of One Direction each have a net worth of £15 million, which is much more than what anyone making fun of these girls will ever be worth. This “fangirl” behavior towards One Direction is also reminiscent of another British boy band, which almost certainly would have never enjoyed commercial success in America were it not for the support of screaming teenage girls. You may have heard of them, they were a group from Liverpool called The Beatles.

The average teenage girl has a GPA of 3.1 and composite ACT score of 21. In their free time, many teenage girls tend to favor books and movies with more than one speaking female character, which often fall under the romantic comedy category. Despite a lack of female representation, teenage girls also show a strong interest in the science fiction, fantasy, and action-adventure genres, making up a sizable portion of the fanbase for popular franchises like Marvel, Star Wars, and DC.

Teenage girls are amazing and many will grow up to do incredible things. Anyone who tries to limit them is an idiot and will probably amount to nothing more than a bitter Redditor, assuming they remember how to breathe.

Much better.

Leave any questions or comments below, and see you next week!

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