Youths wrongly scrutinized due to Youth Culture Stereotypes

May 19, 2012 2:29 pm

I’m a healthy 19 year old girl who exercises, watches and admittedly relishes stupid soap operas on TV, eats junk food, goes clubbing, gets the giggles over a nice looking man on the street; usual, typical teenage girl stuff. My one passion, however, is music. I listen to music: a mixture of music encompassing metal genres, classical genres right up to rap genres, an I’ve always taken a keen interest in music; whether that be playing an instrument, going to a concert or merely listening and secretly reviewing (mostly criticising) it. More importantly, I appreciate music and all the styles it has to offer. I might not like a certain music, but who am I to judge others on their preferences? Nothing annoys me more than people claiming to know what music you like just because you wear a tracksuit, or have piercings. It’s even more annoying when young society just won’t get along and argue with each other just because one group prefers My Chemical Romance to the other group’s preference, N-Dubz.

So, if anyone has seen my picture, they may be aware that I have black hair and a nose piercing. I actually adore my piercing, and if anyone wanted to know more about septum piercings for their own curiosity, I’d be happy to divulge. I’ll briefly explain why I got it; I wanted a piercing to define myself, I’ve always thought septum piercings are appealing, they’re a very low maintanance piercing and need little after care and it’s easy to flip inside your nostrils so nobody, especially potential employers can know you have it in. My mom still doesn’t know, and I’ve had it 8 months now. Obviously my image will stir up a sub-culture stereotype, so many people may associate me with a certain music genre…or as old people view me as a ‘criminal’ for looking rough, and I believe this stereotyping to be apt. I do deliberately dress and act a certain way. I want to fit into the sub-culture that appeals to my music taste, but I never prejudice against any other sub-culture. I’m rather sick of youths maybe only 2 years youner than myself throwing coffees on me in the street and throwing half a big-mac at my head because I don’t look generically beautiful. I believe I’m beautiful in my own way. It’s a personal decision to dress as I do, and I’m not a confrontational person; so I just wish younger people today could get a grip on reality and actually grow up. They’re not clever or funny and prejudicing against other young people just because they dress a certain way and listen to different music doesn’t necessarily suggest they’re bad people. It’s actually shocking to see just how downhill youth culture really has gone. The separation of, and the wars between youth groups emmulates further back in history. For decades, sub-cultures have been at each other’s throats. But you’d have thought by now we’d have grown into dignified human beings. The worst thing is that a lot of historical youth-cultures have matured with age; it seems abundantly clear that the youth of today is not maturing with age. I’m not saying this is the individuals fault, but the society they’ve been allowed to grow up in. If youths were given more of a chance and were prejudiced against less; surely they’d return this respect?

I watched Gok Wan’s helping Teens show on channel 4 recently, and a boy who had been bullied was visiting some youths in London who claimed they were sick of being judged due to their appearance. Just because they wanted to wear hoods, it didn’t mean they were thugs. Now, I’m going to be really hypocritical here, because to me these children did look like thugs. Their attitudes were all wrong, their attire scary. My boyfriend shouted at the television, ‘Why don’t you stop dressing to intimidate then?! People would trust you more if you didn’t look so shady!’ I actually agreed with him, but my good nature got the better of me and I said, ‘People think we’re intimidating to look at. But we’re not ready to change how we look. Why should these people change who they really are just because it’s what society wants?’ And why should I change? I shouldn’t. In today’s ages we need to become more tolerable. I want to get on a bus in peace, without an old woman moving seats away from me. I want to walk in the street with my head held high, with no food being thrown at me. Just because there are some members of society who spoil it for the rest of us, don’t let it ruin your perception on youths in general. Some of us are intelligent, thoughtful, caring individuals that just want to do our bit in society without being judged because we love to look a bit crazy.


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