Digi Domi

Sharing my passion for technology and learning.

Fat Ugly Emo Kids Who Photoshop Their Pictures!

on October 25, 2013

I was just talking to my colleagues about how cruel teenage girls can be. As a former teenage girl myself, and one that went to an all girls school, I know all too well how cruel teenage girls can be. This isn’t necessarily their faults entirely, there is a lot of hormones and new feelings whirling around, all whilst you are trying to find out who you are.

This can lead to same bad decisions, including bullying. This has always been true and will always be true. To a certain extend there is nothing wrong with it, as it builds us to be who we are, there are extremes of course. Not talking to a girl for a week because she flirted with your boyfriend is one thing, stalking and harassment are another ball game, and never acceptable. The issues of things such as bullying are only compounded by social media. Whereas you may have traditionally suffered at school, but been able to get away from it at the end of the day, this is no longer true.

I was lucky to be a teenager when social media was only starting to emerge, when we used MySpace and MSN messenger. Even still I remember getting phone calls on my mobile at all hours of the night, sometimes by drunken friends calling at 2 am, sometimes just abuse. I also remember a MySpace group being set up by a girl I knew, not from school funnily enough, called ‘Fat Ugly Emo Kids Who Photoshop Their Pictures!’ It contained pictures of my friends and I, taken from our profiles, and aimed to shame us for being posey scene kids* who Photoshopped their pictures. At the time I just found it amusing, mostly because I hadn’t edited any of my pictures, and so clearly have a natural beauty that looks like a Photoshopped version of a fat kid. Now days I can’t even begin to imagine how I would cope being a teenage girl with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr in existence.

The ‘burn book’ or ‘bonfire book’ is a long running tradition among teenagers, this is bad enough in paper form, as illustrated in the film Mean Girls (I never had access to the bonfire book among my friends, which suggests I was in it). Now these books of abuse can be created online, and shared with those inside! Those who post to them can have that bad mark against them forever, even though ti was just an ill-informed decision as a teenager when it might have felt like an innocent way to vent or gain popularity.

It is not only bullying that must make being a teenage girl these days horrible, it is also the age when you are beginning to explore your sexuality. This can lead to the posting of some fairly provocative images on social media. I know I myself was guilt of the high-angle-selfie-that-means-viewers-can-just-peek-down-your-top. Or the pajamas/high makeup shot, so it looks like you are naturally always gorgeous. These types of images have recently lead to a controversial ‘slut shaming’ open letter from a woman name Mrs Hall entitled, FYI (if you’re a teenage girl). There have been many responses and you can easily Google search to find them. It is just another example of how the trials and tribulations of being a teenager are now being stored online forever. This means people could hold the fact you went through the exact same stage as everyone else, against you.

Possible solutions could be to agree as a society that anything done before the age of 21 is automatically ignored when you are an adult, unless it has legal ramifications. Or perhaps it could become part of the ‘right of passage’ of turning 21 that all your previous social media posting are wiped from existence forever, unless you request otherwise. Almost EVERYONE born since the invention of the teenager in the 1950’s did at least one really dumb, ill-advised thing when they were growing into themselves. We’ve all said something misinformed or ignorant, we’ve all explored (to varying degrees) our own sexuality, and we’ve all tried to be accepted. This shouldn’t be held against people who are both fortunate and unlucky enough to be born in a digital age.

*If you are not sure what a scene kid is then it is a cross between emo, indie and goth. We invented the pouty high angle selfie, the mirror shot and throwing up a peace sign. We brought back drain pipe (skinny) jeans in a wide array of colours. We also brought back leggings. We wore skinny fit band tee, checkered (cowboy) shirts and anything with a nautical star.  Around our necks we would often sport an afghan scarf or perhaps a bandanna. We sported massive side fringes, bows and heavy eye make-up. Gender didn’t necessarily make a difference in what we wore.

—UPDATE——

I found this web-comic online that I thought added to this post, so I wanted to share it here: http://xkcd.com/1370/

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2 responses to “Fat Ugly Emo Kids Who Photoshop Their Pictures!

  1. Nick Papa says:

    Great post, Domi! (That I read belatedly. Not sure why it took me this long!)

    I’m told that Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) has suggested a similar idea – of being able to purge your data shadow at 21 – but I can’t find the specific quote to link it. It’s an interesting idea, but one that you expand on the possible reasons for beautifully here.

    I kind of think something that formal is the wrong way to approach societal issues, mind – as is probably obvious by now, I’m a weird sort of utopian, who thinks the best way really to deal with issues like this is to just make everyone a bit more intelligent and tolerant, so that when/if someone finds themselves looking at the travesties of a person’s past, they understand it in the context that it’s the past.

    To be honest, I don’t think people stop doing idiotic things when they hit adulthood anyway, so really we should get better about contextualising stuff as a society anyway.

    The thing you say about how mean kids can be, and how technology impacts on that, is totally true, and Louis CK has something smart to say on that subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbYScltf1c

    Also, oh, right, all that stuff is thanks to you scene kids? Great, thanks. o_o

  2. […] Fat Ugly Emo Kids Who Photoshop Their Pictures! Nov […]

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