Social Media Hates Teenage Girls
By: Elina Sadeghian
Photo by: JonathanC
There isn't much teenage girls can enjoy without the media jeering at them. Are teenage girls not allowed to like anything without being “labeled” and mocked?
I'm sure we're all familiar with the saying ‘boys will be boys’ or nowadays ‘the boys’. The boys become a popular terminology that started off as innocent but soon turned to be a group of young boys making fun of minorities and the LGBTQ community. Boys will play rough and wear the same sweatshirt over their shorts to school everyday and they will blend in with the rest of their peers. There isn't much to distinguish them by their looks, because that simple “look”, does not imply any of their interest, and does not give them a label.
However, that is a different story when it comes to women. The way a girl styles her hair, the clothes she wears, the way she behaves all make her fall under a stereotype. “Oh, she's a tomboy” if she likes to play sports and wear her hair short. Or “that one’s a rotten apple” if a short skirt is worn. There is no simple look that makes a girl, a woman, blend in with her peers and not imply anything about her personality.
It is a known fact that there are still double standards present between men and women in the United States; be it lower wage jobs, exceptions to change your last name when married, or the sexual slurs they face. We have stooped low enough that we make fun of teenage girls' simple interests.
Why is it that the image of young girls screaming their lungs out with excitement for a pop-star is considered crazy, psycho, scary, and a bit too much? But, the image of young boys screaming their lungs out for a football player or their favorite athlete is perfectly normal? Boys cursing and shouting over their team is just for the love of the game, however, girls crying over their favorite singer/artist (for say, Conan Gray, BTS, twenty one pilots, etc.) is pathetic.
There is clearly a double standard here and I realized all of my judgements about fangirls come from the same assumptions. That they are fools and crazy young teenage girls. I saw videos of girls screaming and swooning over Backstreet Boys and One Direction and the word that came to mind was not “excitement” but “hysteria”.
Why do we hate teenage girls so much? If we tried to understand their interests rather than the offhand judgment that comes from the stereotypes surrounding the word “fangirl” or “teenage girl” (that word would most certainly remind me of girls ‘too young to know…’ if I wasn’t a teen girl myself) wouldn't there be a sort of admiration for their vivid enthusiasm for art?
It seems quite the challenge for the media to respect the interests of teenage girls without having anything to say. This contempt only makes these young girls more insecure and dishonest about the person they are. They are being told by the media that “you should be a ‘normal’ teenager” and even then we will still mock you for being too bland. When will we stop projecting our ideals onto the influential minds of teenagers and start acting like adults?