Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Teenagers in the US - help?

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 3, 2011, 12:24 AM
Updates


OMG, over a hundred replies? :faint: Thank you all so much for your input. It'll take me a while to get through all you've written, but it's all so very much appreciated! The general tenor seems to be "it depends", with a lot of you feeling that what's being portrayed is cliché - but the sort of cliché that happens quite often anyway.

The funny thing about your replies is that so many of you are not in the cliché category because we all here, for the most part, are/have been the guys and girls sitting way away from the hubbub with a Fantasy book in their hands or a drawing pad on their lap. ;)

__________________________________


Hey guys, I'd love some input, mainly from those of you who live in the US and are still at school, or have gone to school until very recently. ;)

I'm currently reading "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher with my Year Nine. www.thirteenreasonswhy.com/boo… It was the students' idea and thus far, it's pretty good to work with in class. Now I had one boy posing a question that I honestly couldn't answer, and that's where I hope you come in.

Brief synopsis, although I hope some of you might know it: A High School student named Clay is sent a shoebox full of audiotapes. There's no address, and when he starts listening, he realises that they were recorded by Hannah Baker, a classmate who killed herself two weeks previously. On thirteen sides of the tapes, she addresses the thirteen people who were responsible for her suicide, through those sorts of little actions that all teenagers do, never think about, and which, accumulated, drove Hannah to swallowing pills.

Now this student of mine said that he didn't like the book because it was too cliché. Teenagers being concerned mostly with initiating, avoiding, bragging about, or having sex, parties, working on their breakdown cars and sitting in diners. (To clarify, it was *not* the suicide theme he thought was handled in a stereotypical way, but the way in which everyday life of U. S. teenagers was being portrayed.)

I could neither say yes nor no, because my image of America, obviously, was obtained in the same way as most of the world's image of America: Through Hollywood. If you take that as a basis, the book definitely fits in with all those teenie romance movies that I never watched because I always felt having seen one was enough to know them all. How accurate is that image? The most useful answers would be from those who've actually read the book and know the nuances, which of course I can't bring across in the short synopsis here.

In Germany, I've always felt that teenagers think they have to live up to what Hollywood tells them to be like. The girls think unless they look like the cheerleaders in the soaps, they're fat and ugly. They all think if you haven't had sex before the age of fifteen, there's something seriously wrong with you. I know it wasn't that bad when I was a teenager, though that was about twenty years ago (and the Hollywoodesque expectations of life were there, but they were so incredibly far removed from my own reality that dreaming about Hannibal or Legolas was *way* more realistic). The dating didn't really begin until you were sixteen or seventeen, and then the ones who *were* seen dating (and who were usually very much in-your-face about it) were quickly termed the class's more undesirable members. And if anything beyond kissing happened before you were seventeen or so, we would have been scandalised if we'd found out. I *was* scandalised when I saw, in Year Ten, that one (!) of my classmates wore make-up. Okay, it was the eighties. Being dressed in neon-coloured potato sacks and too-short, bleached, baggy jeans probably didn't help there. :D Today, the eleven-year old girls dress in things that I didn't dare to touch before I was twenty-five, and wear make-up from Year Eight onwards.

So, what's it like at US schools? Does "Thirteen Reasons Why" portray the reality? (Quite apart from the fact, by the way, that the plot of the book is highly contrived and unlikely to happen like this; still makes for a great read.)


Features!



For this month's feature, I've picked art pieces I've stumbled over in the last few weeks and that deserve ten times the attention they've got so far, for their outstanding technique, pure inspiration, or great vision. Take a peek at all the goodness, and get armfuls of inspiration along the way! :w00t:


Glenn Blyth by MIHO24 by :iconmiho24:
Fantastic pencil work. I adore realistic pencils that don't look like black-and-white photography but still show the strokes. And I love it most when it's unfinished.

Moth Queen by emla by :iconemla:
I just love Emla's work. She's got a new series up of "Bottled things" - take a look; it's ingenious!

Under the Sea - a Mermaid by fanitsafantasy by :iconfanitsafantasy:
Wonderful take on Art Nouveau, look at those colours!

Celestial Migration by kiki-doodle by :iconkiki-doodle:
Another one with gorgeous colours - so dreamy!

Angler Giraffe by Awkwardon by :iconawkwardon:
This. This is easily the most disturbing thing I've seen all week. In a good way, of course!

Hunting Rabbit in the Sun by Kitsune-Seven by :iconkitsune-seven:
... so after the angler giraffe, back to some less disturbing animals.

the moment of danger by dashket by :icondashket:
The watercolour technique here blows me away. So light, so effortless-looking.

Comm + Farel Rivael by lamlok by :iconlamlok:
The details in this one are beautiful, as well as the storytelling in it.

Hope you like them as much as I do! :love:



Tutorials

:bulletblue: TRADITIONAL :bulletblue:
Watercolour Tutorial Part 1: Materials gold-seven.deviantart.com/art/…
Watercolour Tutorial Part 2: Painting Basics gold-seven.deviantart.com/art/…
Watercolour Tutorial Part 3: Tricks of the Trade gold-seven.deviantart.com/art/…
Not a watercolour tutorial www.deviantart.com/deviation/2…
Watercolour steps gold-seven.deviantart.com/art/…
Chainmail tutorial www.deviantart.com/deviation/2…

:bulletblue: DIGITAL :bulletblue:
NEW Photoshop tutorial gold-seven.deviantart.com/art/…
OLD Photoshop tutorial www.deviantart.com/deviation/3…
My OLD Watercolour/Photoshop technique www.goldseven.de/inhalt/walk/c…
Pimp my sketch! (Parchment technique) www.deviantart.com/deviation/2…








Friends
Great friends, great artists, great people:
:iconsaimain: :iconpeet: :iconuneide: :iconelegaer: :iconalice-bobbaji: :iconthorbad:
:iconambroggio: :iconchristiannauck: :iconmissmatzenbatzen: :iconunbemerkt::iconklausscherwinski: :iconpuimun:
:iconflingling: :iconkyena: :iconmeredithdillman: :icontrenchmaker: :iconmelukilan: :iconjanaschi:
:iconvyrhelle-vyrl: :iconjuliedillon: :iconorpheelin: :icontoradh:


*CSS by BaB-Jane
*Brushes by Falln-Stock and redheadstock
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: Great Big Sea
  • Reading: Thirteen Reasons Why
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbluetiger24:
bluetiger24 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
First off, I love this journal. It truly shows curiousity! Also, my friend read that book and said it was really good. I'm in the very end of the seventh grade and I guess I don't know many people in the high school, but I know people do enjoy high school parties. There aren't as many diners around where I live but there are many places where groups of kids like to hang out and some of them do do drugs. However, most I think wouldn't brag about having sex or anything. Many many schools are not that Hollywood style. Kids are really nice to each other.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconbluetiger24:
bluetiger24 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
you're welcome
Reply
:icontatjahnah:
tatjahnah Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011
I don't think High School is as much of a challenge socially as it used to be - it's Middle School that is the challenge. I went to two different Middle Schools and three different High Schools, so I've been able to observe different "cultures" between schools. Since kids are so eager to grow up so fast, all the crazy pressure to be cool or sexy lands on the shoulders of middle-schoolers and as a result those years (grade 5-8) were like living locked in a cage with blood-thirsty chimpanzees on psychedelic drugs. All that mattered to middle-schoolers was who was developing the fastest or who was sleeping with whom - it was almost all about sex. No one gave me any crap for being a virgin when I was in High School, but in Middle School (gross), it was all anyone would ever talk about to the point where when I was fourteen and I said I was still a virgin, my friends laughed at me and even went so far as to set out to "fix that problem" - as if waiting for the right time is a real PROBLEM!

I think that we're so emotionally exhausted from trying to grow up so fast in Middle School that by the time we get to High School and we've matured a little more, we just don't have the energy to care as much. Of course, there are exceptions - sadists will be sadists and there are many in American schools that run unchecked (look up the suicide of Phoebe Prince). I think the majority of kids learn to just duck the drama of the popular kids so by the time senior year rolls around, the cool kids are relatively unimportant. The way Hollywood presents American schools is mostly wrong. We don't party or go on adventures or anything like that - we're bored so we torture each other. And besides, that crap takes place in Middle School nowadays, not High School as much anymore.

Hope that makes some sense.
Reply
:iconscruffylad:
ScruffyLad Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Admittedly, it's been a while. But I did go to one of those huge California high schools (graduating class of 950, and that's not counting the dropouts), and hopefully have a bit of perspective to go with it, since it's been a few years now.

In such a huge high school, you can't really have the "popular clique that controls everything" like in the movies. The school is too big. Yes, you still have "types" - smart kids, theater kids, drawing kids, jocks, cheerleaders, etc. But it's not that simple.

Now, some people fit the stereotype. (Dumb jock, ditzy cheerleader, awkward smart guy, etc.) But those are the exception. For most people, there's a ton of crossover. A lot of people don't fit in just one category. Smart jocks. Theater cheerleaders. Etc.

I haven't read the book you're referring to. Certainly, at that age, everything seems like a big deal, and may be subject to misunderstanding. If the book maybe reflects that, it might have value. But it should be viewed as a *flawed* perspective on reality. (For example, if each tape turned out to be inaccurate.) Real high school students aren't as one-dimensional as it sounds like they're being portrayed. And there's more to high school life than sex, drugs, and cars.

Yes, some high school students will have sex. (They're teenagers, after all.) Many will not. Possibly most will not. (A lot of that depends on where you are, and in my experience, small towns start the sex much sooner. (I grew up in a small town, before moving away for high school.))

Some high school students will try drugs. Especially the softer ones, like marijuana. Most will not use regularly. Some will drink, but most will not be drunks.

A few will work on their cars. Most people I knew didn't, and many didn't even have their own. If they did, it usually wasn't a great car, but they usually didn't need regular work all the time. (That's something from a few decades back, not more recently, where cars are more reliable.)

My friends and I did occasionally go to Denny's or IHOP (closest thing to a diner, around here) but it was only every few months. Not very common at all.

Basically, I think what happens is that Hollywood takes the most sensational, exciting, crazy parts of high school, and blows them up until they're the whole thing. Maybe for a few people they are. But most of the people I knew spent a lot of their time being more productive: studying, playing sports, developing their art talents. Maybe they dabbled in sex, drugs, cars, or diners on the side, on rare occasions. I don't think I knew anyone that had that as their life, though. I'm sure that there must have been a few people like that (huge high school, after all) but it would have been a pretty small number.

When you watch a cop drama, Hollywood focuses on car chases, gunbattles, tense moments, etc. You don't get a lot of the tedious day to day bits. (It's hard to make an exciting movie out of an officer filling out paperwork.) Hollywood high school isn't too different. The scandalous, titillating, and exciting is what's focused on. Not much excitement to be had with "Diligent Diane Does Her Math Homework."
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Hee hee, diligent Diane :D

That was very insight- and helpful, thanks!
Reply
:iconmisinmyname:
misinmyname Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011
To the best of my understanding (In a week I'm graduating from a four-year career in a bay area, California public high school), high school is just as clique-y as it's portrayed in movies and such. There are groups of cheerleaders, band people, jocks, theatre kids, the Valedictory crowd, and so on. That being said, though, there has never been any kind of hierarchy, no real exclusivity to any of the groups. As much as everyone in high school is a jerk, almost everyone is willing to pretend to be friendly for a pretty good length of time, making it possible for anyone to talk to anyone without incident. You're allowed to be friend with whoever you want; there are no rules banning a theatre kid from talking to a cheerleader. People just tend to gravitate towards others who are similar to them.

As far as sex goes, nobody really cares in my group of friends (a mixture of theatre, band, and valedictory people). Some of us have, some of us haven't, and we don't think any less of each other for it. My theory on sex is that girls feel the pressure to be attractive enough to get a guy to have sex with them, and boys want the reputation that goes with good female relations.

As far as weight goes, American teenagers are idiots and don't know how to take constructive criticism. When shown an image of whatever supermodel you care for, a girl with a larger body will feel bad about herself. Some get over it, some starve themselves, and some eat more. That is how we have somehow ended up with such a huge amount of both anorexia and teen obesity in this country. Girls who are not very overweight and healthy enough starve themselves, girls who are overweight learn to accept themselves rather than realize that their lifestyles aren't healthy, and girls who are physically fine but binge-eat, a very self-destructive habit. It's not everyone, but I think there are more such cases in America.

Americans, from a young age, are told that they are wonderful and perfect. Because of this, they (I should really say we) don't know how to take anything in stride, and little things that we over look hurt a lot more than they would someone who got shoved in mud once or twice as a kid.

Also, though, it matters person-to-person. A lot of the things that hit hardest differ from person to person. A comment that means nothing to one can bring up a terrible memory for another. If you're having a bad day anyways, it could just add to the pile of annoyances. There is no failsafe way to categorize American teens, but they do have the tendency to follow certain preset paths. Hope this helped.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Very much so! Very candid post, thank you!
Reply
:iconthe-only-one91:
the-Only-one91 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I read the book back when I lived in Montana and barely remember it since I read so many books in the first place. But I remember thinking basically the same thing as your student. I didn't know anyone who was like that. I understand the car part - most kids who get a car tend to get a junker unless their parents give it to them. It seems to be a matter of pride for guys to get a fixer-uper so they can work on it. America's general image of men is 'macho man'. Tough guys who snub anything they deem girly. Working on a car seems to cements their self-images in it and they start early with this imaging.

As for parties, that is by area too. Big cities, especially on the coast, seems to hold the huge party and clubs deal. When I talk to kids they always are planning to go to this part at so-and-so's house and this new club that opened. In central America you don't really hear as much about parties in normal conversations but there are keggers and druggies still about but its more on the hush.

So those I understand, but the bragging about sex and the status obsession still was very California. Now it may just be because it's along the coast, but since I moved to rural SC (the city has one small high school for the entire county. Graduating class of about 200) the kids are the cliche kids you described in movies. Mostly what I think of as normal but then sex and popularity actually seems to mean something here other then the bragging rights all guys appear to want to claim. To be a cheerleader means you are in and football players are gods.

Sex as a teenager is more of a region thing on how much of a social taboo it is. Hollywood repeatedly publicizing it has made it even more publicly common then it was but I can't picture it being that much different since they are hormonal teenagers. Some places you do not talk about even admitting to thinking about it. Others it seems that is all everyone talks about. But I will say when the kids are so driven to be popular they seem more willing to go that 'extra' step in their relationships.

You may want to watch the movie 'Easy A'. It does a pretty good showing on the various American opinions of sex and how it is connected to the popularity scale all while comparing everything to The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is also very funny.
Reply
:iconthe-only-one91:
the-Only-one91 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I also have to say to *jess-o statement. I don't really think heavy religion states have anything to do with it. South Carolina is in the bible belt. One of the more concentrated areas where it is just assumed that you are Christian. There is multiple churches on every road, and everything closes early/isn't open on Sunday. Don't even think about alcohol on Sundays either because it's illegal and no one knows about the separation between religion and state. I lived in a huge city and then a tiny town here and it was still the same.

Now before that I lived in Michigan and Montana. For the part of this conversation, we'll just say MI was kind of like SC but rougher and without the religion fanaticism. Now in MT, though it is known for being a hard right wing state, they are very relaxed on religion. I lived one of the largest cities there. The people I knew who went to whatever religious service was their choice generally went at most once a month as opposed the never miss a service of SC. Now in SC, you can hear the expression 'a good Christine' a dozen times a day. But here, almost half the kids in high school already have kids of their own or are expecting. Where as back in MT I knew maybe a handful.

Religion may have something to do with it all because most people get their idea of acceptable standards from their religious groups (and it may be a part since I'm still convinced the bible belt crazy is responsible for most hate crimes here so why can't it be responsible for other moral indignities) but as to the religious heavy idea. I can't see it.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, I have to get that movie. I've read "The Scarlet Letter" at University and it must be fun to see it linked to present-day Americans' opinions on sex. Actually, it sounds like a great idea for my mother - she lives in Spain and has many American, Danish and British friends, and all the Europeans are constantly teasing the Americans about their views. ;)
Reply
:iconthe-only-one91:
the-Only-one91 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
As an American feeling the need to support other Americans, I will say she shouldn't watch it then. ;) It will just convince her on how weird we are.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
:D I suppose she doesn't need much convincing. ;) But her friends will still be her friends.
Reply
:icontumblekax:
Tumblekax Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
By the time I was in highschool, I already knew that I wanted to be a contortionist. Academics were interesting (though I wasn't that good at school) and I had friends (though they always came second to training) and I liked books and theater and some video games and in a lot of ways, I was still a kid. I never worried about teenager things. They struck me as alien--constructed to fill our time and keep us working for something, even something as abstract as the honor roll. I got out of that place as quick as I could. Started working for something I thought was real. I feel better now.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Heh, I can understand that. I ran through the woods playing cowboys and Indians when my friends read teenage magazines. :D
Reply
:iconrustyriley4:
rustyriley4 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011
I must say first, I have not read this story, but I now find it pretty interesting and might read it at some point.
But I must say, as an american teenager of almost 16, I know quite a few people my age. Alot of them, well.... don't really do anything. I'm unsure really where the cliche of doing all of these things came from, but I think if we didn't have the idea that every teen should do drugs, have sex, go to parties, and have 1000 friends, alot of teens wouldn't do that. I think its more of the fact that 'Well, I HAVE to go to this party, or I really won't be accepted', or 'I HAVE to make everybody my friend, everybody must love me!' that makes us do such things.
I for one do none of these typical teen things, and i don't know many who do, but I do know a few. So I think the cliche's might be the problem in the beginning.
:D
Reply
:iconburnin-bridges08:
Burnin-Bridges08 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I go to a public school, and really what we do is this:
Sleep through our classes and procrastinate on homework, and usually throw our projects together last-minute. We copy the work of our friends and hope we get good grades.
Once the weekend hits, we party- usually with alcohol and drugs. We hook up and stay out late. We sneak out and lie to our parents. A lot.
Most people will just make out with each other when they're high or drunk, but some guys will push to have sex and some girls will willingly have sex. Not nearly as many as you think, though. I'd say about half of my school are virgins.
It's kind of expected that you'll put out if you're in a relationship with someone. Most teens will end up cheating on each other, though.
We spend a lot of time at McDonald's. Nearly every weekend I'm there with my friends. We usually don't eat there, it's just a place to chill. (Besides, most of us don't have any money after spending it on weed or vodka.)
So yeah, I guess it's true. But the stereotypical jock, cheerleader, goth, stoner etc. thing is wrong. We don't have cliques. Yeah, the weird people hang out with the weird people, and we have levels of popularity, but most people are multiple things at once. I think like 75% of the people at my school do drugs or drink alcohol. That includes the tons of Lacrosse, soccer, football, wrestling, basketball, baseball, etc. players. That includes the cheerleaders. The kids on the debate team. Etc. We may have different interests, but we all love our poison.
Cliches are wrong, but right at the same time. I guess that's why they're cliches.
Reply
:icona-s-rich:
A-S-Rich Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
There are many different kinds of high schools. My friend and brother went to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and I imagine it was a lot different than mine. I went to the average 700 people class high school. And all these generalizations that are made in books and movies geared towards teens generally hold true to some degree in real life. We have the popular click, the bullies, the fights, the nerds who do their own thing, home coming queen, white boys talking about drugs and drinking, driving their off road trucks recklessly through the streets. We have the pregnant girls, the "matres girls", everything holds true to some degree. Maybe it's because I went to such a large high school that I see kids form into these characteristic groups, but while the shows and what not are very dramatic, it happens at my school to some degree.
Also, I just graduated from a high school in Texas, and there are about 3,100 kids in my school, 700 in my class alone. In case you were wondering.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you, that helps! :)
Reply
:iconcocky-as-a-rooster:
Cocky-as-a-Rooster Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Student Digital Artist
It's difficult to generalize, but if I must, I will.

Yeah, it's pretty-much like it is in Germany here in America. I am one of the only TWO girls I know at my high school (of about 1,000 girls who go there) who does not ever wear makeup.
Recently, a girl in my Commercial Art class was complaining about how uncomfortable her tight pants were. I asked her why she wore them (My own creed on clothing is to wear what is comfortable. I don't have a complete lack of fashion sense, but I'm not about to ditch comfort for "high fashion," or whatever the hell that is). Her response was something to the effect of "Because I don't want to end up on What Not to Wear." It terrified me, a little, to think that the teenage girls in this society can be as shallow as that. Part of me just felt really bad for her.
This pressure to conform to social norms is something that girls seem to fall victim to the most. An example is perfectly illustrated in the custom of buying a nice dress for Prom. Some girls I knew were spending upwards of $500 dollars on their dress and accessories. For Prom. A thing that they're probably going to wear once and then outgrow it before they can ever use it again. On the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable for men to go and buy a relatively cheap tuxedo or even borrow one. More and more potentially brilliant young women are falling under the whip of "popular." It saddens me deeply that, even when the chords of feminism seem to ring so strong, the young women of this generation are limiting themselves so severely to conform to gender expectations.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh yes, prom dresses! That custom is coming over here - through Hollywood, I have no doubt. Girls in my school do an awful lot of preening for the graduation celebration. I remember when my mother dragged me through several shops in 1994, trying to get me to wear a skirt at least. She failed. She finally had to settle for me choosing a dark green pair or trousers that were not jeans and a T-Shirt that was slightly more classy than the cheap ones I usually wore. :giggle: I gave her so much grief in my nonconformist days.
Reply
:iconcalamarithesquid:
CalamaritheSquid Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011
I have read the book and liked parts of it but hated others for essentially the same reason as your critical thinker. Also, I'm a 20 year old from the West Coast, so I'm coming from a very different culture than the kids in conservative backgrounds.

There is a huge emphasis in some high school groups on dating. Not so much on sexuality, that I've seen, but if you want to be someone, you need to be dating. Of course, there are also kids (like me and pretty much all of my friends) who don't want to date for the sake of dating and steer entirely clear of it.

The average age of first sexual intercourse in the US was 14 last I heard, so obviously there are a lot of kids who lose their virginity in high school. That said, I think a lot of YA books hype up the amount of pressure put on teenagers/the amount of sex they have. Sure, there will be the kids who sleep with a different person every week. Sure, there are people obsessed with how far everyone has gone and with who, but I feel like they aren't in the majority. Most of the people I know didn't really become interested in experimenting with their sexuality until they entered college (and were pretty far away from their parents). Although, once again, I tended to gravitate toward the group that wasn't obsessed with sexuality and dating.

As for bullying, yes, it happens. I've been bullied. If you stand out, you're stomped down unless you fight back.

Self-abuse and eating disorders happen far too often. They tend to be more prevalent in people who do some kind of performance art (I took dance and we had mandatory nutrition classes because our teacher did not want us to be anorexic) or athletics. Self-abuse isn't always physical, though, and I think it's much more common to be in an emotionally abusive relationship (whether with a friend or a significant other) than to be cutting one's self. In that sense, the book does get it right.

So those are my two cents. Once again, I'm kind of a member of a fringe group and hang out with members of that fringe group so my experiences are probably not representative of the whole.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for your input! It reads pretty much as I expected. :)
Reply
:iconmickeythewicked:
mickeythewicked Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011
The people I hang out with are so influenced by the internet, that television and movie media hardly makes a dent in our perceptions of ourselves. We embrace the nerdy, the absurd, and the obnoxious thanks to internet memes and jokes. We're very open minded to things like sex and towards people who express their individuality, which I think is fantastic. It may be because I hang with the nerdy crowd, but even though we're accepting of all sorts of people, whether they are familiar with sex, or have never done it, we're never pressured to do anything we don't want. The people I know are open-minded, yet reasonable, and the only people who are ostracized by us are those who don't accept others for who they are as individuals, or cause unnecessary conflict. We also have an insane sense of humor, probably thanks to the internet. In short, the kids in my school are the exact opposite of those on TV.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
"The people I hang out with are so influenced by the internet, that television and movie media hardly makes a dent in our perceptions of ourselves. We embrace the nerdy, the absurd, and the obnoxious thanks to internet memes and jokes."

Wow, thank you for this bit of insight - I'd never realised that the focus has shifted so much in places.

Sounds like a fun way to grow up. I was born twenty years late, it seems. :D We had to look for far obscurer places for our brand of nerdiness.
Reply
:iconzzombieluv:
Zzombieluv Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I didn't like that book. It did turn out kid of sterotypical, and I didn't like how the girl blamed all those people for her suicide. Ultimately, it was her decision.

But, anyway.... In America, everyone is unique. The group of people I hang around don't talk about sex or drugs unless we are joking about them. That doesn't mean we don't think about it, but we don't center our lives around it.

But, people are very obsessed with finding a boyfriend/girlfriend. If you don't have one, you are considered unattractive or weird. Even my friends want someone to date. I really don't like that idea.

And another thing is religion. I live in the center of the bible belt. People ask me what kind of church I go to, and when I say I don't go to church, they look at me like I'm crazy. I've had people shun me because I didn't go to THIER church, even though I was a Christian. They thought that the more they were around me, the closer they would get to hell.

I've also read studies that in America, social status is a high value compared to other countries. If you are an introvert, it is considered unhealthy, when it is actually a normal thing to be.

The good thing about America is that is a melting pot of the world. We have all sorts and types of people here with different values and cultures, and a lot of us accept those people. When it comes down to it, every person is different and has different priorities. For instance, some of us view acedemics as a priority, while for others it is religion.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Interesting, thank you!
Reply
:iconstarrelly-chan:
starrelly-chan Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011
omg i picked up that book before, but i didn't get to finish it, i sort of want to read it now!
i am a teen in the us, EVERYONE wears make up duhh (except like a couple of girls!) nearly EVERYONE know's a fellow student who'se had sex, drugs or drank alcohol. me and my friends literally had a conversation where i found out all of them had drank alcohol except me! hahaha, dood, and everyone's been dating since i guess 6th grade, people literally make out in the halls. when you're not talking about school, its about what boy you have a crush on or plan on kissing or dating or where to go
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
:D Thanks!
Reply
:iconsepulchral-roses:
Sepulchral-Roses Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, your despcription of your own teenage years is so far removed from now... but the boy in your class is absolutely right - most times, in these books, teenagers are portrayed the way adults see them. Specifically, adults who haven't been teens for a while. I'm just barely seventeen now, about to graduate school, and I can say that what you say the teens in that book are like is not true.

My school is pretty much like an average one (lol, frankly it reminds me a little of High School Musical, though the similarities end with our school colors and the fact that the artsy, musical kids turn up afterschool and play in the hallways or cafeteria. And they're unique, but definitely not hated.). There are cliques, yes, but they're more like big friend circles. The "popular kids" are hard to place - it all depends on who's looking. We have different levels of classes, and depending on your level (I mean honors, regular, AP - college level - class levels), you may or may not see everyone else. So we've got a few different sets of popular kids, which doesn't really make any of them THE popular kids.

And overall, at my school and as far as I can tell, sex, drugs, parties, cars, and STUFF aren't really what makes someone cool. I mean, it's a little strange if you're seventeen and never been in a relationship, but no one calls you out on it. And relationship isn't equated with sex. Actually, the ones who DO have sex are pretty much dubbed as sluts or whores, excuse my language. Drugs...well, you don't really hear about it too much. It happens, but doesn't affect people too much. And drinking, well yeah. That's done. And parties - well, people do go to them, but if you don't, you're not kicked out of all social circles or anything. And that stuff doesn't really affect things in school, much.

I mean, my perception is a little skewed. I'm in the AP (college level) classes, so most of the people I see and associate with are generally pretty intelligent and don't make a whole lot of life-changingly stupid decisions. And I'm kind of the nerdy one - you know, that girl who everyone thinks is ridiculously brilliant because she's somehow made that reputation for herself in the past (and it doesn't matter to people if it's still true or not.) The one who writes for fun and tends to stay on the right side of the law, generally follows the rules unless they're silly or useless ones. That girl. But I'm not ostracized or anything of the sort at all. If I were in a Hollywood movie, I guess i would be ostracized and such, but it doesn't really work that way in real life.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Interesting, thank you! The nerdy ones seem to be in the majority on dA, too. :D
Reply
:iconsepulchral-roses:
Sepulchral-Roses Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course - and yeah, I guess we're just more artsy and self-confident here on dA. I like!
Reply
:iconalexorio:
AlexORio Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Believe it or not, I actually know many girls who live like that. Mostly thought it's a result of the parents not really caring about them, that I've seen. The only thing I don't think is believable is that she would take the time to record her reasons for killing herself. The girls I knew who where like that who killed themselves just did it or just became reckless enough until death caught up to them. I was one of the girls that everyone thought something was wrong with me. I'm 20 now and still a virgin. (honestly, a lot of them just thought I was gay because I wouldn't put out.) I sorta do feel that those kids who have sex young do follow closely to that stereotype, those who don't end up becoming much more in life.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
As I said, the way the novel plays out is highly constructed and extremely unlikely, so that wasn't my point. ;) But your experience sounds a lot like mine. :)
Reply
:iconmel-lem111:
mel-lem111 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011
Just graduating senior from Minnesota here.

My school has always kind of had issue with alcohol, drugs, and sex. I think a majority of the preppy kids tend to go more towards that direction, but I haven't ever actually heard anyone talk about it. There's a lot of dry humping that goes on at the school dances though. Honestly, if you have sex before 15, you're an outcast, it's kind of disgusting, according to many here, but if it's after, people don't generally seem to have as much of an issue with it. But, if you haven't had sex by 20, you are a social outcast.

I'm proud to say that I am still a virgin and am in a great relationship with my first boyfriend.

It's disgusting what girls forced to wear today. They have to wear the skimpy clothes now because that's the only thing that stores carry, unless you go to a thrift store. It just keeps getting worse each year. *sigh*

There you go. That's my view at least.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
"Dry humping"? :giggle:

No, I won't ask. :D
Reply
:iconmel-lem111:
mel-lem111 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011
They stand, the guy behind the girl... and well, yeah... It's disturbing. At prom, they had like a circle going. *shudders*
Reply
:iconraezing16:
Raezing16 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Student General Artist
I just graduated high school, located smack dab in the center of the states (Colorado), and I can honestly say that a majority of what Hollywood portrays as the typical American teenager is almost completely incorrect. Granted, I pretty much lived in the art wing of the school, but I still did encounter my other peers in the hallway and in non-art classes.

There are the exceptions, the cliques, that act like teens are portrayed in the movies - drinking/partying etc, but a vast majority are much, much different. My friends and I talk about boys occasionally, but a large amount of our conversations aren't related to the opposite gender, sex, or dating. Hell, I just turned nineteen and have never had a date! Yeah, there are those that do act like teens are portrayed - but it's largely BECAUSE teens are portrayed that way that they feel the pressure to behave so.

Colorado is a very outdoors oriented state, and so hangouts often are parks, or else the storefronts that are located about a half mile from where I went to school. A lot of times my friends and I would gather at the library or else at the theater or each other's houses.

The thing that is unfortunately true is how Hollywood has impacted the vision of beauty. When I was in Jr. High (years 7-9) I really struggled with my weight, and was close to having an eating disorder. I wasn't fat, not by a long shot, but I was so self conscious that my stomach wasn't as flat as the girls in the movies. It probably doesn't help that I live in the fittest state in the Union either... The bullying in the locker room in Jr. High was the worst. I haven't taken a PE class at school since my seventh grade year as a result - instead I opted to take it as an independent study.

There are kids that party, but a lot of the partying is left to the college students in town, and high schoolers that are looking for them just go to those.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I remember this so well - feeling fat because you weren't anorexic. Thanks for your input!
Reply
:icondemandflower:
DemandFlower Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011
I don't live in the US, but I go to an American school and I've gone to American public schools before. I think the majority of the high school population doesn't live up to that stereotype. Sure, if you look at the popular kids, there's going to be some of that party and drugs things, but I think the majority care more about their friends and their grades.

I hope this helps!
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, thank you!
Reply
:iconellanutella:
EllaNutella Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Student General Artist
We're as varied as any other age group. Yes, sex is on our minds a lot... but that's just as much hormonal as it is social. I will note that I live in NY and that a lot of what happens in the city is different from other places. Each location has its history and it's developed differently for different reasons.

In my school, the upper class students may be nice people, but they do spend a lot of their time doing drugs, partying, hooking up (having sex). There is a certain indulgence in being able to afford that type of lifestyle and still have time to think about global warming and altruism. Among them, if you can present yourself as the most removed but the most intellectually and socially "understanding" of the world, it's seen as a quality of someone who can maintain their status in the world (though they'd never phrase it that way). It's the hipster lifestyle. It's very easy to critique America but turn around and live well in it.

In the lower classes, I've noticed a sexual trend. Arguments and fights over who's a "Truer Person" and betrayal over boyfriends and girlfriends. I think it stems from the fact that they come from frequently broken homes, lower incomes, and must present themselves as people who may not have much, but have the personality, drive, and defensiveness of family to show they can progress and not only get by, but thrive. Priorities are not intellectual, per se, but communal and based on surviving the world.

For me and my friends, and I would classify us as the middle class, we are more than getting by (barely in my case), but we don't care for the indulgent lifestyle. Frequently, we are raised by immigrants and people that come from a place where they had little. We appreciate the difficulties of having nothing and try to keep away from that because it is hard, but we expect to do that through hard work. We have high expectations of ourselves, as do our parents. This results in us thinking we know better than everyone else and the sense that we've been through it all even if we haven't.

I have not seen the "cheerleader/jock" stereotypes or the "goth" stereotype in my school, though I've seen other schools that do group themselves according to who wears the sluttiest clothing, who does sports, who is proud of getting a C and has no interest outside of passing, etc. No one spills each other's lunches just to be douchebags. I've seen people pulling earrings and ears. I've seen girls and boys lead each other on for sex. Hollywood occasionally has the right motives in place, but is more often than not wrong. Though I've been to Boston College and the people I met act exactly the way Hollywood portrays us. That's not a reflection of the entire society, however.

In a lot of places, being a nerd isn't a bad thing anymore... it's the subversion because all the people hated on because they were nerds way back when are now creating our iPods and our cellphones. Gaming is accepted in our culture. In other places, it's all still seen as socially unacceptable.

It's not a universal existence. It's just what I've seen.

I do think that no matter what, each type of lifestyle burns out eventually, especially if we are thrown out of our comfort zones, which, given the state of our economy, is going to happen a lot to my generation.

Of course, DA is not a great place to ask. A lot of sites based on anonymity still collect more people who stand on the outside of "normal" society (whatever that means) so their experiences are drastically different.

I'll stop rambling now.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks very much! :)
Reply
:icontaytonclait:
Taytonclait Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
as far as a ramble goes, this one is pretty sharp.
Reply
:iconellanutella:
EllaNutella Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Student General Artist
:) Hopefully I have helped.
Reply
:iconblossomheart1:
blossomheart1 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I think that America has changed dramatically over the last half a century, or last decade.

People were once decent. Decent in every way- the way they dressed, the things they listened to, the way they thought, and their overall attitude. Now, people have embraced freedom. But not all good. Now you see teen girls dressing like sluts and their attitude is very self-centered with how they look. Everything has been twarped in many ways. So corrupt.

Short summary because I'm too lazy to write anymore :XD: But I do live in the US, and this is just my take on it. Quite frankly, it's pretty annoying to see society like this. Very selfish...and everything is focused on sex. God, it's so fucking annoying, you have no idea. And guys are so focused on how girls look, but not about who they are. But this is just my opinion, and I'm not saying that everyone is like this, but hell, it's a pretty damn noticeable change. :/
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I kind of know what you mean - see my last journal. ;)
Reply
:iconpokeapeanut:
pokeapeanut Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011
i was also left woundering, by the book because i feel like i have been sheltered from most of what goes on with most teenagers. going to a private school you dont get out much! :O
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Hee hee, good to know that there are people in the US who read that book and wonder what's going on ;)
Reply
:iconbekadavis:
BekaDavis Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
In my experience of attending a high school that was known and hated by every other high school in our state, believed to be rich and snobby, I can tell you that if there are American teens who fit the Hollywood "norm" then they are few and kinda shunned. The majority were kind and too preoccupied with too many other things to pick on anyone. There certainly were "small and supposedly harmless" teasings that happened though, but looking back I don't think anyone meant any real harm. Every lost their virginities at different ages, many wished to save it for marriage.

And this is from a "rich and snobby" high school, so I think it's safe to say Hollywood doesn't portray them well.
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
June 3, 2011
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
1,807 (1 today)
Favourites
0
Comments
248
×