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Friday, 6 September 2013

Why do we always make fun of teenage girl's obsessions?

I don't like Justin Bieber. His voice seems out of tune to me, he has a long, long history of acting like an ass and, quite frankly, I don't really get the apparent heart throb appeal. Regardless, I won't mock his followers. Why?

Partially, because they are a force of nature to be reckoned with. But mainly because they have every right to like who they see fit. Equally, I won't mock Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga or One Direction, though their followers are just as obsessively passionate about their respective idol. Some of those artists have put their names behind good causes and have worked hard to get where they are, so regardless of what people think of them (or, indeed, if they are worthy of critique) they don't deserve the over the top scorn that's heaped on them.

You'll notice that all of the oft-mocked artists mentioned have a mainly female following, and I think that that displays a pretty significant degree of misogyny. We're always bringing down teenage girls for what they like, whether it be their love of fashion, their make up (god forbid they apply it a little too heavily or inexpertly!), their facebook posts or indeed their music tastes. We call them vapid and frivolous, accuse them of being petty and obsessive. The artists they like are all accused of being cheap sellouts which no self respecting person could appreciate. This doesn't happen with things teenage boys like, and ignores all the really fucking cool things teenage girls have done. 

I had an obsession. It didn't make me a bad person, and I don't regret one bit of it. Source.
But, you say, these things are ridiculous! How could anyone declare that they would die for Harry Styles when they've never even met him? Or actually enjoy Evanescence? Well, equally the things teenage boys like are ridiculous. Sports fans suspend all rules of social etiquette in the stands and base their entire lives around teams who don't give two shits about them. Call of Duty is a dick swinging rage fest filled with the bottom scrapings of the barrel. The obsession with getting a six pack is laughable. Let's move on.

Furthermore, teenage girls are going through a hell of a time (I would know. I was one). They are shifting from child to adult - both physically and mentally - and have to cope with new pressures from society, from parents and their peer group alike. The teenage years is when people learn to express themselves and find out their interests and passions. So what if they're rather enthusiastic about their support, or like the things that the pop industry spend billions marketing at them? They're already going through a hell of a time, and your mocking doesn't help.

One of the most important things I've learned through being both a feminist and being a goth is that an open mind is the most valuable thing anyone can own. I accept that, yes, some people think the way I look is horrendous and ugly as hell, and also that my particular vein of sex positive feminism isn't agreeable to others in the movement; that's the result of everyone being, you know - different people.

Equally, I can understand how teenage girls like what they do. Does their enthusiasm for boy bands sporting £500 haircuts make a serious negative impact on your life? No? I didn't think so.

So stop telling girls that they are horrible human beings for loving the things they do.



  1. Well said. Although boys are getting a bit more stick for their choices, it does seem to be aimed at girls, portraying them as teenage bimbos. Much as I dislike many of the performers with a rabid fan following, and wonder HOW fans can follow them with such fervour... It's their choice. So long as they don't shove it in my face, I'm cool with it.

    Of course, sometimes they do shove it in your face, and that's when it gets nasty. I remember reading about things which happened at the height of Twilight fever - people being physically attacked and having acid thrown at them for saying they didn't like Twilight...

    1. Yeah, I will admit I get a bit irritated with obnoxious behaviour (twilight is a whole other kettle of fish and I care less about it's rabid fans than the worrying messages it sends to its fans, but I digress) - especially with online behaviour, but that's more to do with how we consider online behaviour in our culture.

      With the more severe attacks we have to remember that these are the actions of individuals who clearly have personal issues, and don't represent the group as a whole (same with people in alt subcultures and the accusations made at us, really).


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