Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Swatch dogs and Diet Cokeheads

So the Family Gleemonex went to an alleged "Art & Wine" Festival (at which I saw very little art, and only a couple of opportunities for wine) in the neighborhood last weekend, which turned out to be mostly about the awesomeness of bouncy houses as far as Kid Gleemonex was concerned.

Me, I spent most of the time fascinated, repelled and horrified by these bevies of young ladies from the area's middle and high schools (they were identified by school logos on their ultra tiny-fit tees/tanks and on cheerleader uniforms -- a big part of this festival was performances by school groups in the big tent at one end of the grounds).

Now, recall, we moved here for several valid reasons, such as: great schools (as identified by their California API scores). But these girls -- o readers, these girls we saw.

Roving packs of them, all dressed more or less identically: Tiny tee or tank, shorts of an impossibly tiny smallness in a length such that you'd be able to see the bottom edge of underpant if they wore traditional underpants, which they didn't (them shorts could accommodate thongs only), and some sort of sockless shoe at the end of their early-puberty colt-length toothpick-skinny legs. They roved around in packs, long straight shiny hair aglisten, makeup expertly subtle (with occasional glittery accents), wee t-shirt-bra-clad chests caved in in that painfully self-conscious way that is universal and utterly, biologically unavoidable at that age.

We, my peers, Gen X -- we did not look like that at that age. We shared the chest-caving and the pack-roving, but that is all. We tried as hard as we could to look sophisticated and cool, but our makeup was clownish, our clothing raided from the Golden Girls' condo, our hair permed and curling-ironed and sprayed and mostly utterly inept, our bras stretchy and ill-sized garments out of a box from the Teen section of Dillard's. You could see that we were children, no matter what WE thought of ourselves.

But the Kids Today ... not only do I not know how they get this way -- the sheer energy, the time it must take to develop skills like those -- but also, I am scared to death by what it means. They look so ... adult, but in a creepy way. I know their minds and emotions are in more or less the same place ours were, but they look like 25-year-olds, they look available to men and boys (who, assuredly, will take this look at face value, and subject them to things they aren't ready for). I'm fucking this up here, I'm not saying what I mean -- there's something about it that makes them look like prey, is what I'm kind of getting at. I don't want to go back to the weirdness, repression and body-shaming of my day, and I'm not trying to shut down anyone's, like, sexuality or whatever -- but these ARE still CHILDREN, and it's seriously unnerving to see them present themselves (pretty successfully, if not for the chest-caving) as adults.

Homeschooling begins to make a twisted kind of sense ... ugh.

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Blogger francine said...

part of the reason i dumped facebook was because of the anxiety i got from seeing all my young cousins' posts and photos about stuff that they shouldn't have been doing (alcohol, drugs, tattoos, boob exposure, documented makeout sessions, etc. etc.) and wrestling with whether or not i should rat them out to their parents. even though we all mostly did the same stuff at that age, we looked completely ridiculous in our hunter green tapered leg pants from casual corner. there's something about how forever 21 allows 13-40 year olds to dress alike in sexier clothing that lessens the ability to immediately eye roll someone that's clearly too young and immature to be engaging in whatever they're doing when you have to do a triple take to figure out how old they are.

8:04 PM  

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