The current thing that makes us all despair for the teenagers is their avid desire to be famous. Specifically, famous for nothing, or rather, famous for being famous/rich/having a leaked sex tape with someone marginally more famous. Kicked off by Paris Hilton (who? Oh, cruel world) and continued by Kim Kardashian and other reality stars I am not au fait with because I don't have cable (does that phrase sound horribly '90s to you too?), many a teen now apparently dreams of the day they will be photographed drunkenly falling out of the passenger seat of a car outside a club.
Of course thanks to smart phones, social networking sites and the rise in acceptability of The Selfie (less than a decade ago I'm pretty sure that was a masturbatory reference) this can become reality TODAY! All it takes is a smart phone and a catchy hash-tag. As the young woman who is known as the 'Slane Girl' has learned.
I think we all know the brief story of the Slane Girl and let's remember she is not an explicit image, she's a person and quite probably a minor. The incident has thrown up several problems but one that I think is very important is our language when referring to incidents such as this involving a young person. This is not 'child pornography', whatever you think of it pornography features consenting adults. This is an explicit image of an under age person taken without consent.
It has been noted that the young man has not received any online vitriol. Or if he has not to the great scale #slanegirl has received. The abuse aimed at the girl has been mostly attributed to her peers but I wonder A) if it is and B) if they aren't taking their cue from us.
teen girls have always dabbled in morbid fascination
The sight of teen girls waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of their idol/s isn't new. They aren't crazy. It's just that our thirst for gossip has resulted in them having more access to information. You only have to flick through a romantic story of any era to know teen girls have always dabbled in morbid fascination.
It might have been worth noting the similarities in the Take That teen girl fan's prospects to these current One Directioners. We have a Tory led government, high unemployment, rioting and an economy that would give the early 90s a run for its money, only it didn't have any. Can you blame either set of teenagers looking for an escape with a good looking boy who can dance and mime at the same time?
But we'd rather brand them either sexually precocious and shameless or deluded and silly. Then wonder why they turn on themselves.