Kids these day, am I right? I don’t think there has ever been another time in history when teenagers (including middle schoolers) were this cool. Let’s make one thing clear before diving into this touchy topic: I would never trade my Lisa Frank pencil case or Limited Too faux-silk PJ’s for anything these modern children are into. I’m proud to say my awkward phase shaped me into who I am today. I mean, come on, how could I have reached such a level of perfection if I hadn’t started at the bottom? So, this new trend is nothing I condone or support, but there’s no denying these kids are cool as shit.
Whether it be sporting Lululemon apparel through the middle school hallways, wearing flower crowns at music festivals or sipping a green juice while quoting Gossip Girl (apparently it’s now a timeless classic), it’s hard to tell a difference between these wannabe betches-in-training and the real thing… except for the fact that they are CHILDREN. We hate them, obvi, because like, we earned our status through years of fashion failures and multiple Backstreet Boys albums. These assholes think the fact that they are 15 and can rap along with Drake makes them better than us.
There are some very reasonable explanations for this recent phenomenon, almost all of which stem from the internet. Instagram is the main culprit. Never have we been more able to see the lives of celebrities so intimately than with this genius invention. However, this has given underage celebrities like Kendall and Kylie the ability to invade the minds of pre-teens and brainwash them into thinking that if they don’t look like a 30-something Arabian siren by age 16, they have somehow failed at life. This is a drastic change from our teen idols: Britney, Christina (pre-durrrty phase), the 2 no-names and Beyoncé from Destiny’s Child, etc. Even the seemingly juvenile boy bands of this new generation are covered in tattoos and checking into rehab. It’s like A.J. from Backstreet Boys has become the norm, and Nick Carter is merely a relic of the past.
Instagram and even Snapchat have given teens a direct line to the lives of these celebrities. They can see what they’re wearing, how they pose in pictures, what filters they use, etc. Back in the early 2000’s, we were left with sporadic MTV specials and fan-made websites to give us any kind of access to the private lives of our fave celebz. They also think this gives them free reign to go on posting rampages as if they were fucking famous or something. An “on fleek” Insta selfie has somehow replaced a well thought out AIM away message (~*Never frown, ‘cuz u never kno who’s fallin in luv w/ ur smile*~) ß classic Justin Timberlake quote, btw.
Another issue, which could be due to the emulation of celebrities or just shitty parenting, is the fact that these kids are living a lifestyle of someone far beyond their age group. It’s one thing to be a spoiled middle schooler or have a sweet 16 that’s equivalent to a royal wedding, but asking for and receiving things intended for someone twice their age is something entirely different. Why should a 14-year old order a kale salad? How is taking barre class going to improve their prepubescent bodies? Seriously, calm down. You are, like, literally 13 going on 30. I guess we should be flattered since these narcissistic juveniles are basically trying to be just like us, but it's sad for them. If they are already all about eating right and dressing above their age range, what kind of monsters will they be once they reach 25? Right now they are sexting, abusing alcohol and acting like they have their shit together which they apparently don't…all perfectly acceptable behavior for someone in her 20's.
Sometimes I do get a pang of jealousy when I see how well-dressed, self-aware and tan some of today's teenagers are compared to my former self, but as I said before, I wouldn't trade my early 2000 pre-teen years for any of this generation's bullshit. They are the iPhone generation and always in need of instant gratification, whereas we suffered through dial-up internet and flip phones. Logging onto AOL taught us patience and gave us an appreciation of what the internet has become today. Yeah, these kids are cool AF, but we basically invented them. We are the Regina George generation and everyone who comes after us will be left wanting. Congratulations on being less-hot versions of us, losers.