In Defence of the Teenage Girl

With the burgeoning success of posting videos on Vine, Instagram, Facebook etc, it is likely that you have come across some kind of short video of teenage girls doing something ’embarrassing’. Most likely you will see that these videos are accompanied by comments such as, “dumb sluts” / “would like to see them try that in my house” / “fuck this generation”. And so on because people need to type their own variation of the comment despite the 1000 comments already there.

I am more inclined to think these commentors are the disrespectful ones. Either they’ve forgetton what it’s like to be a tween or they were really, really boring. The videos I’m specifically talking about are the ones where young women do some kind of booty-shaking dance / choreographed dance moves / sing-a-long. They’ve probably spent a bit of time learning and practicing the moves.

"Booty-shaking". I'm hip. I'm down. I've got the 411.
“Booty-shaking”. I’m hip. I’m down. I’ve got the 411, and you are not going out and getting jiggy with some boy, I don’t care how dope his ride is. Mamma didn’t raise no fool.

Then of course, comes the filming of the dance and posting it online.

Cue: hateful comments. This is the part where I shake my head in disbelief. Do I think that thirteen year-olds should be posting videos of themselves online shaking their butts? Not really, no. Do I think people need to realise that young girls have been shaking their booties to dance movies together since the beginning of music? Yes.
The only difference is that girls post the videos online now.

I am baffled by this idea that the only girls who would dance to the current-pop songs are today’s girls or slutty girls when we’ve been dancing together for centuries.

I remember attempting to learn one particular dance from Center Stage with my friend when we were about 12. This was not the only time we attempted to copy the dance moves from movies. I was not good at dancing. We thought we were doing awesome. I’m pretty certain we would have filmed it if we could – and then probably posted it on our profiles if they existed when we were 12. In fact two years later another friend and I tried to recreate Kill Bill shot-for-shot with her parents video tape camera – we made it through about 3 scenes, poorly reenacted. It was so bad that we destroyed the evidence of this as adults but at the time we thought we were the coolest for making that.

How people on facebook react to teenager's dance moves.
What (I assume) people on Facebook think dancing leads to.

Are girls doing sexy dance moves? Some of them are, yeah. Though I don’t remember if there were particularly sexy moves in Center Stage, you can bet that if there was, me and my friends copied them. The thing about being a teenage girl is that you will often do sexy dance moves; in the school corridor, alone in your room, at parties. Should young women be doing something sexy on camera for the public to scrutinize? Probably not because they’ll cringe when they look back in a few years. Should people insult and harass and bully those who do post silly videos? No.

Teenagers aren't the height of mature. We know that. It's up to the parents to know how to monitor internet use but to also show their children how to conduct themselves online. It's up to teenagers to learn from their mistakes. But it's not up to you, random facebooker, to angrily yell about how all teenage girls today are 'little whores'.
Teenagers aren’t the height of mature. It’s not up to you, random old man on facebook, to angrily yell about how all teenage girls today are ‘whores’.

The difference in this generation is not that girls dance, it’s that they post it online afterwards. So quit calling minor’s sluts and start educating young people on what’s appropriate to post online.


Author: SighOhJessica

I like stories, history, the bizarre, biographies, mysteries, justice, nature and mountains. I write about... not many of these things on my blog.

15 thoughts on “In Defence of the Teenage Girl”

  1. Maybe the thought out there is desperate times call for desparate measures? I don’t know, but i guess if we focus on the details too much, we can lose sight of the bigger picture. Life is quirky that way. Hope your Friday is a quirky one in a good kinda way!

  2. There is always room to learn and it doesn’t matter how old or young we are, its inevitable for us to evolve. I like that you defend the issue, because probably “back in the day” similiar antics were done, publicly as well. The only difference is we didn’t have access to intant media to share our craziness “look what i just did antics!” kudos jessmittens

    1. It’s true, I don’t doubt at all that teenagers haven’t been embarrassing themselves all through history! Ah, now people just get to remember the embarrassing forever.

    1. Oh thank you 🙂
      It would be good if people remembered reality once in a while when commenting insults on facebook.

  3. I’m with you, Jess. Being a teen today is something else entirely. Me and my friends made tons of ridiculous videos when we were younger and I’m sure we would have been ridiculous enough to post some of them online for the world to see if that was the thing. I’m sure there would have been plenty of haters commenting, too.

    Teens are just young and silly…that’s it.

    1. It’s different today already from my teenage years which also had internet! It was starting as I was leaving teenage-hood I think. They really are.

  4. teenage girls are more beautiful than flowers and anyone who says mean things about them is jealous and……mean. Your post reminded me that a hundred years ago I used to practice the “go go” and hope I was appearing “sexy”
    LOL! I had forgotten about that. You are a compassionate, gifted writer Jessica. 🙂

    1. They certainly can be!
      I am sure you were very sexy in an innocent, teenage girl way 😉
      Thank you, that means a lot 😀

  5. I remember, as a teenage girl, reenacting Titanic and other movies. We filmed it but it was on a video camera. Insufficient technology was the only reason it never went on the internet!
    The thing that bothers me is that you would never say these things to someone in person. It’s so frustrating that the anonymity provided by the internet makes it acceptable to hurt someone’s feeling and be cruel.

    1. Haha yes that was our reason, too! I’m replying to these after having just seen someone upload a video of their boyfriend in the shower on facebook, which makes me so glad there wasn’t this kind of mindset for sharing videos when I was a teenager, not that I remember showering in front of any boyfriends then haha.

      So true! Reminds me of the Louis CK joke about about how it’s acceptable to yell horrible things when driving at other drivers but you’d never get up into someone’s face in real life and yell “I HOPE YOU DIE!” Internet is the same.

  6. You know, I read an article about this yesterday. Some new platform is introducing a new way for people to share photos and videos online. Honestly, snapping photos or videos of dance moves, sexy photos, nudes whatever is something just about everyone in the world has done at one time or another…it’s just that not everyone posts them online. The worst part is that young girls are totally slut shamed while all the videos and snaps of penises out there make no dent whatsoever. It’s sad.

    1. Oh I’ll have to google this and see what other people have said! I always find there are wonderfully eloquent people out there who can say things better than I can. It is ridiculous to completely slut-shame teenage girls – it’s like people forget they’re young or think that they deserve it just because they’re teenage girls.

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