Stop Hating Teenage Girls for Literally Just Existing

By Kate Devine Twitter: @katiedevinee Instagram: @katedevinee

If you know me, you know that I love TikTok.

That silly little app brings me joy like no other. 

But recently every time I scroll through the ‘For You Page’ my blood starts to boil. Today, specifically, I am mad. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we are born and bred in a society that systematically hates women (I’m jumping right into it today, folks). I’m beginning to see this idea being perpetuated all throughout my social media, so I’ve taken it upon myself to deliver a Public Service Announcement that should NOT need to be a Public Service Announcement:

Stop hating teenage girls. 

What a concept! Seeing that statement at first glance seems obvious, doesn’t it? Not hating a group of people seems pretty easy, right? Well, for some, this is an inconceivable task.

(Just a forewarning, if you are not familiar with social media figures, it might be more understandable if you take a quick Google search of the following names and trends.)

When opening any social media app, you are bound to find some material regarding VSCO girls. Who are these girls, you may be wondering? Urban Dictionary defines VSCO girls as “those basic bitches, mostly freshmen, who claim (their) messy buns are effortless, wear an additional four scrunchies on their wrists with no intention of putting them in their hair, tube tops, shell necklaces, Birkenstocks, and of course an oversized hydro flask because #stayhydrated.” How dare these girls wear Birkenstocks and use reusable water bottles! The only logical remedy to this disgusting epidemic is cyberbullying obviously!

No one has a right to publicly criticize someone for not being original. Who gets to decide what is original and what is not?*

Point blank- the hate against VSCO girls is not about basicness vs originality. It is about teen girls existing in a way that we don’t want them to.

The real problem here is not the VSCO girls, it is the people who think they have a right to dictate how girls should act.

I understand if right now you’re thinking; Jesus Kate, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? To answer your question, I guess I have been waking up on this side of the bed my whole life and am just starting to realize it.

Teen girls are going to be penalized no matter what they do, no matter how they behave. The VSCO girls trend isn’t the only place where we see this bullshit of hating girls for being themselves; it’s a trend throughout all social networks.

Let’s take Kenzie Ziegler and Jojo Siwa for example.

Do these names sound familiar? If you remember the iconic reality show of our childhood “Dance Moms” then you know that these girls have been in the public eye since they were children. At roughly the same age, these young women have built somewhat of an empire in the social media industry. Apparently, this permits us to critique everything about them.

A classic example of our society trying to have teenage girls conform to their ideologies of a perfect girl is the classic phrase, “She should act her age.”

Excuse me while I go vomit. 

JoJo Siwa is sixteen years old and never ceases to wear a high ponytail with a not-so-subtle bow at the top. Everything she wears and owns is brightly multi-colored and most likely bedazzled. She’s content with her choices, because they make her happy. However, she is constantly ridiculed for ‘not acting her own age’.

On the other end of the spectrum is Kenzie Ziegler, a fifteen-year-old whose Instagram depicts her sporting cute swimsuits and modeling the trendy poses we see throughout our feed. And yet again, she is told to ‘act her age’.

Imagine how much more productive your day would be if you stopped hating teenage girls for being happy/confident and if you stopped hating teenage girls for merely existing? Or is that exactly what as a society we don’t like to see? (Tough pill to swallow, but… swallow it.)

These social media influencers have spent the majority of their childhood in the limelight. I want you to take a second, and think about everything you have done between the age of 12 to the present day.

Now imagine if you had millions of people watching you- scrutinizing your every move.

Yikes, right?

It may seem like the “harmless” ridicule of young women online is all fun and games, but it doesn’t take a genius to understand that there is a person behind the screen.

For the people reading this thinking that social media is the problem:

Social media isn’t toxic buddy**- you are.

I also find it necessary to comment on the fact that the social media figures I talk about in this piece are white and wealthy. So just imagine the backlash people face who don’t conform to these factors. The hate against VSCO girls (and teenage girls in general) only offer us a mere glimpse of what marginalized communities in our world face every single day. Eliminate these stereotypes and think for yourself. Realize that assigning negativity to someone’s existence is all kinds of f-ed up.

The essence of what I’m trying to say is that next time you go on TikTok (or any form of social media for that matter) and you see a teen girl not “acting her age”- don’t be an asshole.

And let kids be kids.

NNNN

Editor’s Note:

*- Unless you steal tweets/jokes- then you’re an unoriginal piece of shit.

**- Not even directed at me and I’m feeling #triggered

Social Media Is Not Evil

I want to make one viewpoint of mine abundantly clear:

Social media is not evil.

It seems like every single time any issue is brought up, some genius is quick to place the blame solely on our dear friend social media.

That’s like blaming your virtual Tom Brady for throwing an interception in the Madden NFL video games.

The problem is not social media.

It’s you.

I’m going to use Instagram for our example today but this thought process applies to all the other major forms out there as well.

If you’re a dude with over 1,000 followers like me then posting a picture of you with a funny caption is almost sure to yield hundreds of likes . (I know- I’m a big deal!)

And if you’re a girl- do I really have to say what pictures get the most likes?

No likes? No relevance.

It’s time for our first question:

What if there were no likes?

Pat, what do you mean no likes? That’s literally the whole point of the app! Stop trying to be woke and go back to writing about shitty UMass football.

I think the reason people hate the idea of no likes is because a change like that would mean that that the only point in sharing something would be to provide benefit to your followers. (Unless you’re attractive- trust me the horny folks will stick around no matter what)

If Instagram won’t get rid of likes then I think they should at least change the name to something more applicable:

Envys.

I think most people have heard something along the lines of “Instagram is just a snapshot of real life”

I’d say it’s more like one pixel.

For this reason, I’m fascinated by the world of finstas. (Which for any boomers or non-internet savants translates to “Fake Insta”)

Has anyone else noticed that…

THESE ARE THE REALEST ACCOUNTS AROUND!!!!

Let’s call a spade a spade; creating a finsta is the safe way to use Instagram how you wish you could use it.

My message to anyone with a finsta? You just don’t have the guts to call it quits.

I’m not shooting from the hip here. I’m saying these things because I played the game myself for such a long time. I created the “NNNN” account so I could put out pieces of content that I believed in but knew wouldn’t get any likes on my personal page.

The likes mattered to me. It’s embarrassing- but they did.

Something tells me that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I think there are people with real talents getting left behind because they weren’t the most popular kid in high school or they don’t have a rocking body. Frankly? It pisses me off.

Why?

Because likes are meaningless.

I know this is a tough pill to swallow because it has taken me years to finally force it down my throat.

But I’m positive- they’re meaningless.

  1. They don’t mean you’re better than those with no likes.
  2. They won’t make you a better person.
  3. And they certainly won’t make you feel any better about yourself for longer than the instant gratification of that day’s post.

They’ll just make you crave more.

I remember when I first got 100 likes on a post I couldn’t believe it.

I thought to myself:

“My life really is a movie!”

I still think all our lives are movies; they’re just not box office smash hits.

They’re more like a low budget indie film doing its best to get made.

This isn’t a bad thing in my eyes.

Just because something is popular doesn’t make it good. 

The last thing I want to hit on quickly is when people announce to their followers that they are “taking a break” from social media.

Doesn’t that itself represent the problem?

You decide that looking at what hundreds/thousands of people you barely know are doing is bad for you.

So, what do you decide to do?

Tell all these people you barely know that you are taking a break from social media.

Here’s the harsh reality:

They couldn’t care less and if they do they think you’ll be back on your bullshit soon enough.

Maybe you disagree and that’s fine.

Keep on posting whatever you think is going to get the most envys  likes and enjoy the artificial attention you receive.

But if you see where I’m coming from- don’t leave me alone in this.

The problem is not social media.

The problem is how you use it.

NNNN

P.S- Just something to think about

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m ALL in on TikTok

Trust me; I can’t believe it either.

The only things I knew (or thought I knew) before diving head first into the wild wild west of the internet were that it was an app that had spawned a couple viral tweets on Twitter and that it was a fan favorite amongst the 5-13 year-old demographic.

I had been a skeptic ever since my little brother (13 Y.O) first showed me the content that him and his friends had been cooking up along with the types of videos that were becoming wildly popular. To be entirely frank? It seemed stupid and unfunny to me.

But recently when I was listening to the one and only Gary Vaynerchuk (yes, you read that right- Gary Vee) deliver a Q & A regarding media to keep an eye on in the near future I was shocked to hear his #1 selection to start learning:

TikTok.

Despite all the tweets surrounding its users being {and I quote} “crackheads”, the app itself makes a whole lot of sense and it all starts with the algorithm (don’t get bogged down in that fancy word you learned half paying attention to in your high school calculus class and let me put this into layman’s terms).

Unlike the other social media apps currently available (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) TikTok puts far less emphasis on followers and far more emphasis on content.

To demonstrate this, let’s take a look at my first attempt/experiment the other day:

This video got over 100 views on the app despite me having a grand total of zero followers. The reason for this is that TikTok actually gives a shit about hashtags. I threw in #work #corporate #corporatelife with no other research into the app and sure enough the video got some traction.

You might be thinking “Dude, you got a little over a hundred views on a mediocre comedy bit- relax” which is fair reasonable but I was astounded that someone just joining the app can already reach an (albeit small) audience.

I’m not saying I want to be a TikTok star or anything along the lines of that but it seems like a fantastic and free way to put yourself out there. Whether the point of putting yourself out there is to share your content tailored for the app or to promote your minuscule  tiny up and coming podcast- is up to you.

So that’s my take, I know most of you reading this are probably skeptical to say the least (which is totally understandable) but whether you want to recognize it or not TikTok is the fastest growing app in the world with now over 500 million (with a “M”) users worldwide and the other mediums are struggling to play catch up with an app that puts content over celebrity.

So channel your inner “crackhead” and hop on the bandwagon with me.

NNNN

P.S-

https://twitter.com/CertifiedLeggy/status/1165153580120236032?s=20

 

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