MAKING A CHANGE TO STEREOTYPES – PART 1

  Lately, all I hear on the radio or TV and read in the newspapers are negative comments about teenagers and adolescents. Statements are flying around and have always been flying around, stereotypes of teenagers not doing much and not having interests in anything other than themselves. I want to prove that this is not true, period. Teenagers have a lot to say about society, this, I learned in sixth form – many people have differing views like any other social group within life.

  Growing up and around the social media age, many adolescents are surrounded by different views and are able to find out more information on subjects that were around before. The likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr etc. show the excessive need for information – you can easily become friends with people all over the world and form relationships. You can learn more about society through these people and therefore you can gain new views on differing subjects.

  I took to my social media accounts and contacting friends from around the world to prove that teenagers know what they want and how to change it. Take a look.


Adam, 17, England

Are you happy with the country that you live in right now? If no, why not? I simultaneously like and dislike England: the culture is rich and we have access to health care and education, but the way our country is run is a drawback. Also there’s nothing to compare to Paris.

What was your aspiration when you were younger? Has this changed now? When I was younger I wanted to be a professional musician after I took up playing piano at age 7 but now I want to be a journalist or writer.

(If yes, why do you think it changed?) My aspirations have changed due to a growing awareness of culture and literature.

What are three albums that really define you or have shaped you as a person?

· Abbey Road by The Beatles: the first album I remember listening to from beginning to end, I was about 8 when I heard it and it opened up a whole new world of music for me.

· Lungs by Florence and The Machine: much like Abbey Road this album again introduced me to a whole new range of music. It was after hearing this album that I began to discover different genres of music.

· (500) Days of Summer soundtrack: clichéd I know but this film was the turning point for me. It opened my eyes to the world of film and art and music and was probably the starting point for my aspirations of being a writer.

Do you think we live in an equal society right now? If no, what should change? No pure society is not equal. Whilst we pride ourselves in having an equal society we don’t have the equal society to back that pride up. We live in a society where people are very rich and very poor, where race still causes conflict and gender differences leads to less opportunities for women. Whilst we live in a more equal society than 40 years ago, ours is far from equal.

Is gender relevant to economic, social and cultural rights? Of course gender is relevant! Gender has been relevant to those factors for hundreds of years and it’s still the case. Gender can sometimes define aspects of society but it shouldn’t. Gender should be the last thing that is relevant when someone applies for a job or publishes an article etc.

Do you believe the statement: “fashion is competitive”? Fashion has always been and will continue to be competitive. We define ourselves by how we dress and that image that we create is used to assert our position in society. The industry and the reality of fashion is completely competitive.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Best piece of advice…hmmm… I once watched an interview with writer Tavi Gevinson where someone asked her about her unique style and she replied with: “Well I don’t have to look at it”. It seems trivial but her attitude towards self-confidence was kinda inspiring and it’s helped me to care less about what’s on my body and more about what’s in my head.

We live in a society right now, where teenagers are being pushed more than they have ever been. In terms of exams, pressures from society and the media, do you think that this is true? If so, do you think it’s worth the pressure? Yes I think it’s entirely true that we are pressured a lot. Possibly too much. We need less focus on pressure and more focus on helping kids through their education. If we were taught well and were supported consistently in our learning we wouldn’t need to be pressured.

What do you believe should be taught in schools, that you were never taught? I believe that we should be taught Politics in school from maybe the age of 11. I know people who went to vote this year but had no idea what each party wanted or which values they held. I think it’s ridiculous that the government of the future may be voted for by people who have no idea who they’re voting for.

Finally, what stereotype of teenagers should be left behind? I wish people would stop stereotyping teenagers as violent, out of control lunatics. This isn’t Quadrophenia! I hate that stereotype so much. It’s an attitude created by people who were too scared of change and sadly it’s stuck.


Madeleine Lynch, 18, England

Give me a little description of yourself (how old are you, where are you from, what’s your name)? My name’s Madeleine Lynch, I’m 18 years old and currently living in Halstead, Essex. I attended Colchester Sixth Form College and am now hoping to move onto the University of Manchester to study Politics and German.

Are you happy with the country that you live in right now? If no, why not? Only last week the UK took first place in the soft power rankings (http://tinyurl.com/qyzobgy) and being born in a country that so many others desire to live in, in my opinion makes us very lucky and it would be wrong to say that I am not happy here, however I definitely would like to see some things changed, such as our electoral system (First Past the Post) as I believe it is the direct cause of our democratic deficit.

What was your aspiration when you were younger? Has this changed now? -

(If yes, why do you think it changed?) -

What are three albums (soundtracks or compilations don’t count) that really define you or have shaped you as a person?

· My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West: Before hearing this album I had a stereotypical view of rap music - that it wasn’t ‘real music’ and one phrase that I remember is “rappers attempting poetry” and it’s amazing how wrong I was. This album completely kick-started my love for rap music and my obsession with Kanye West and taught me to listen to as much new music as possible from every type of artist out there.

· Hot Fuss - The Killers: I think the Killers will always be my favourite band as they’re the band that reminds me of car journeys with my parents and happy memories in general. I adore every single song on this album.

· Riot! – Paramore: This is a throwback to my 13 year old scene phase however I can’t ignore that part of my life! I still cry of excitement when I see Paramore live and I think that the fact that a band and an album can do that to a person shows they’re a huge part of your life.

Do you think we live in an equal society right now? If no, what should change? The fact that there has been a recent surge of feminism and the fight for LGBT+ rights illuminates that we do not live in an equal society. Not only this, but the gap between the richest and poorest of society seems only to be growing. These issues are difficult to change but are significantly helped by social media (a recent example is the showing of Mecca on Snapchat, which has shown a different side to Islam that is not usually portrayed, a brilliant way at combatting prejudice) and demonstrations such as Pride and Anti-Austerity.

Is gender relevant to economic, social and cultural rights? Definitely, men and women are affected differently through economic, social and cultural rights. Where there are high amounts of discrimination against girls, such as the refusal of education and forced marriage in some cultures, it is wrong to assume that men are not affected and this is why the feminist movement needs to continue strongly.

Do you believe the statement: “fashion is competitive”? Personally I believe that everything about fashion is competitive, from people aspiring to be supermodels and doing whatever they can to get there, to designers trying to keep up with the industry in order to stay relevant.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? I like the phrase “treat people well on the way up, because you might just meet them on the way down”. I think this is relevant to everyone, and simply means just be nice to everyone you meet!

We live in a society right now, where teenagers are being pushed more than they have ever been. In terms of exams, pressures from society and the media, do you think that this is true? If so, do you think it’s worth the pressure? It can be good sometimes to be under pressure, as it can motivate a person to achieve things they maybe could never have achieved on their own, however I don’t agree with the amount of pressure put on teenagers today and I don’t think it’s worth it. When these pressures lead to illnesses including depression, eating disorders, anxiety, etc., it simply cannot be justified.

What do you believe should be taught in schools, that you were never taught? Just general life skills (managing money, job interviews etc.), proper sex education (not just how to put on a condom) and politics. Many people I know think politics ‘isn’t for them’ and that they won’t change anything, and this is saddening considering politics itself means “relating to the citizens”. Lastly I think there should also be strong teachings of other cultures in schools to tackle prejudice.

Finally, what stereotype of teenagers should be left behind? The stereotype that teenagers don’t care about anything. Of course you’re going to think that teenagers don’t care when you’re comparing their thoughts against that of a middle aged, middle class person (especially in the case of politics).


Beau, 18 years old, Gent, Belgium

Are you happy with the country that you live in right now? If no, why not?  I’m pretty satisfied with my surroundings

What was your aspiration when you were younger? Has this changed now? Well, I never really had any ambition before music first hit me in a conscious way. I used to listen to lots of different stuff when I was about 7. My dad was playing music by Missy Elliot and Dr. Dre as well as Toto, Guns and Roses and Oasis. But I guess my first real experience with music was when I first heard Help by The Beatles at the age of 11. That’s when a voice in my head said “fucking hell, I want to be a rockstar”. It hasn’t changed since then.

What are three albums (soundtracks or compilations don’t count) that really define you or have shaped you as a person? I always find this a hard one. I’m a teenager, probably in the prime of my life. Adolescents tend to seek a shambolic and rebellious life. I say, Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m not by Arctic Monkeys and Up The Bracket  by The Libertines describe the way of living the teenage life in a perfectly raw way. Love, lads, going out, heartbreaks, drugs and all that. It gives you a whiff of it all. So yeah, those 2 define the hectic part of me. The third one would be The White Album by The Beatles. It’s a very upright, emotional and intimate album. For the hard and lonely days, you know.

Do you think we live in an equal society right now? If no, what should change? Not just yet. But time has shown us that we’re heading the right direction. Over the decades there have been lots of changes around gender equality, racial equality, and sexual equality. As long as there are conservative politicians, we’re all doomed to ever have equal rights.

Is gender relevant to economic, social and cultural rights? That really depends on what culture, religion etc. we’re talking about. I mean, it’s kind of the same thing as your previous question. Gender is relevant. For instance women and men’s wages are different most of the times. In some cultures it’s not acceptable for woman to show their faces. We’re all a bit of a deadbeat on gender equality. By “we” I mean that you can’t blame it on one religion or culture for discriminating one gender. Discrimination is all around us. So I tell you, as long as there are conservative politicians and powerful economics, businessmen, celebrities and all those bellends. There are people too foolish that they follow them blindfolded.

Do you believe the statement: “fashion is competitive”? I believe it is in a way. I mean, there are 2 sorts of people: people who care about fashion and people who don’t. I for instance, care a fair bit. But I mean, yes. It’s competitive for the ones who care about it. Wearing nice clothes is all about attracting and standing out. I count people who follow the new fashions trends and hypes with the people who don’t care about fashion - idiots.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Life’s all about having the right connections. True as fuck I reckon.

We live in a society right now, where teenagers are being pushed more than they have ever been. In terms of exams, pressures from society and the media, do you think that this is true? If so, do you think it’s worth the pressure? You know, the whole thing about the importance of school and having a diploma is a big load of bullocks. - especially exams. What’s the use of desperately studying your 200p courses the night before your exam just to forget everything you’ve learned right after you’ve handed in that piece of shit? There’s no use, I tell you. The fucked up thing about this is that when you’ve got a high grade on your exam, you’re tagged as a godlike genius. When you fail, you’re an idiot. But both the idiot and the genius forgot the things they learned. I think the educational system should be less narrow when it comes to tests and such. Basing knowledge and competence on whether you know the solution to the square of 24 divided by 350, or if you could situate Ouagadougou on a world map. That’s absurd! And what about diplomas? There are lawyers working at opticians and there are plumbers who’re living on their private means in their suburban mansions.

What do you believe should be taught in schools, that you were never taught? More morals, philosophy and some more craftsman courses perhaps? I think a child should get the freedom to develop an open minded and creative spirit. And I know the previous courses already exist in schools but they should be more common and general for every single student.

Finally, what stereotype of teenagers should be left behind? That we’re fuckups with good intentions. We’re excused to fuck up some times because the best way to learn from mistakes and life itself is by messing around sometimes. We’re not the wasted generation. We’re a very developed and open minded generation held back by the ones before us, you know what I mean?


Anna, 18, Barcelona, Spain

Are you happy with the country that you live in right now? If no, why not? I am not happy with the country I live in, mainly because of the politics, but there is a part of that in which I can’t complain very much.

What was your aspiration when you were younger? Has this changed now? When I was younger there was a time when I wanted to be a writer, but then I changed my aspirations to more scientific ones. However, this September I am starting English at university and my interest in literature and arts is large. My change from science to humanities came last year when I quickly became very interested in music, arts, culture and literature.

What are three albums (soundtracks or compilations don’t count) that really define you or have shaped you as a person? It is difficult to choose just three albums but I guess they would be: Parklands by The Jesus and Mary Chain, as it was the first album that I liked entirely. Ploughing Into The Field Of Love by Iceage, as it made me realise that music can be very powerful, and finally Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie and Lowell as it came at a very specific time. But as I said, it is difficult to narrow it down to just three.

Do you think we live in an equal society right now? If no, what should change? I don’t think that was live in an equal society. I think that there are loads of things that should be changed, and to do so would be simple and effective. This can be through good education programmes which include everything related to equality and respect.

Is gender relevant to economic, social and cultural rights? I do not think that gender should be relevant when it comes to economy, society and cultural rights. We are all humans and we should all have the same rights no matter what.

Do you believe the statement: “fashion is competitive”?  I think that fashion is competitive in the market but I do not think it is necessarily true when it comes to people and everyday life. Even though some people do take it like that.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Someone once told me that I should be confident about myself.

We live in a society right now, where teenagers are being pushed more than they have ever been. In terms of exams, pressures from society and the media, do you think that this is true? If so, do you think it’s worth the pressure? I think that teenagers are pushed more than they have been before, but I do not think this is bad. Maybe there should be a more understanding from older people, parents, teachers, etc. and not push teenagers that much but I also think that teenagers (we) are getting used to being treated weakly (at least this is what I have seen here).

What do you believe should be taught in schools, that you were never taught? I think we should be taught about feminism and equality because I have never been properly taught that and never really found out about it until I joined tumblr. I also partook in researching myself and I think that there are people out there who are missing out on this.

Finally, what stereotype of teenagers should be left behind? Maybe older people should stop seeing teenagers as people without interest and aspirations because there are a huge number of young people with these two things.  

 Want to read more people’s views on teenage life and other issues, stay tuned for part two coming out later this week.

   Like this article? Follow teenagemysticism.tumblr.com, want to become involved in articles giving your views, contact me @RebelEffie (Twitter) or through tumblr. Fancy writing your own article to be on the blog, submit an article through tumblr or message me on social media.

xchrisjudd asked:

[text]: acabo de caerme de la cama mientras trataba de tomarme una foto al desnudo para ti. creo… que rompí mi muñeca.

[sms]: ¿Porque estás haciendo eso?

[sms]: ¿Estás bien? ¿Necesitas que llame una ambulancia?

[sms]: Si lograste tomar esa foto NO LA MANDES POR NINGÚN MOTIVO.

"Ally" is more than a title.

The term “ally” is something a lot of folk use to describe themselves, but I do not think many quite grasp the responsibility of such a term. It is not a stagnant noun, in the sense of social justice (i.e. I am an ally) but rather active word, one that’s constantly in flux and requires mobility, flexibility and most importantly action. One who sits in privilege has the luxury of “sitting out on a conversation” or “feels too strained” by repeatedly having to defend ones stances. Those who you are being an ally for do not have that luxury. They can’t check out of race, or gender, or other identifying factors. Their voices must be heard and as ally’s, one must give up some of the comfortability of privilege, among many things, in order to enact change.

How does one become a better ally, in any sense? In self reflection, I think educating myself on issues is important, engaging in political/social discourse, being a part of the movements but not being the dominating voice, persistently challenging structures that uphold the cycles of oppression, like language for example, are some things I do in order to be that ally that many communities need.

“lydiamusicGetting excited to play shows again. Here is a shot from Buffalo at The Waiting Room. We will be back on Oct 6th. Who will we see?
Photo: @_michaelsilvestri”