Teen Tropes: A Cease-and-Desist List

“YOUTHS.” : Schmidt, New Girl

Hello, suckers. Welcome back. (That’s how Velma Kelly opens Act II of Chicago, for all you theatre freaks.)

After racking up an array of shows and movies and also YouTube takedowns of the shows and movies, I have reached the limit of my tolerance for almost all visual media revolving around people under 21. I mean, mostly 18, but even 21 is pushing it. (Especially since those people are usually around 25 anyway.) I’m of course talking about new media, not the shows and movies of my past that appeal to my nostalgia, though I’m awakened to their bothersome aspects when I revisit them.

Even within the whole genre, there are certain components that spoil the rest—either they’re plain silly or they ring distinctly outdated.

Here follow some things I kindly ask never to see ever again:

  • One person walking down the hall and everyone else turning to stare at them (in my neck of the woods you got that kind of attention only with a fight)
  • Really, any number of people walking down the hall and everyone turning to stare at them (does your school have a population of 50 what is going on)
  • The Most Popular Girl/Guy in School (what even is this? popular with whom?)
  • A social hierarchy in general (makes me feel like we never left the John Hughes era—just because those films have a timelessness to them doesn’t mean we’re still there as a culture)
  • Teens behaving and/or being treated simply like miniature adults (there should be no content about underage people with a rating of 18+, this is contradictory and creepy)
  • Teens not behaving—especially not speaking—like actual human beings (I’m looking head-on at you, The Fault in Our Stars)
  • Student/teacher romances (no no no no no no no no n—)
  • And don’t get me started on teen girls in particular

As I’ve said in reference to Mark Twain, young people have problems which hold weight in their lives and deserve to be taken seriously. I just can’t bring myself to care anymore, far enough removed as I am from that chapter of my life.

I’ll still watch Mean Girls, though. I’ll always watch Mean Girls.

Image: from Flickr

Published by Cecilia Gigliotti

Cecilia Gigliotti (she/her) lives in Berlin with a beloved ukulele named Uke Skywalker. She co-hosts and produces the music commentary podcast POD SOUNDS. Her free time goes toward dancing, reading books new and old, drawing cartoons, taking city walks, and devoting too much thought to the foibles of her heroes. Connect with her on Instagram (@c_m_giglio, @ceciliagphotography, @pod_sounds_podcast) and see what else she's up to (linktr.ee/ceciliagigliotti).

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