the other day i was listening to the virgin suicides soundtrack and my partner said something to the effect of how it was a beautiful film about how being a teenage girl can feel so much more tragic than it is, and how it was more a film for adults than for teenage girls. i was all “HELL TO THE NO, are you fucking kidding?” and quickly remembered how much this movie meant to me when i saw it. and then i thought out loud about how i wasn’t really sure why it was so important to me at the time… and also how awkward i’ve always felt about how much i love the story of teenage girl sisters told from the perspective of a bunch of teenage boys who hardly know them (written by an adult male). for some reason though i’ve got a lot of respect for jeffrey eugenides and feel like he can tackle the stories of girls without coming off as appropriating their stories.
when arguing with my partner about the film and which audience it was intended for, this was the image that came to mind. celia in that white lace late seventies dress, and the plastic bangles covering her self-inflicted wounds. i remember the teenage girls who cropped it and used it as their livejournal icons in the early 2000s, where they talked about their (non existent and/or unrequited) lovers in the most melodramatic of ways… i remember that line about how old men could never possibly know what it was to be a thirteen year old girl.
i was a bit older than thirteen when i saw the film, 14 or 15 maybe, but i’m pretty sure i used that line on more than one occasion when someone tried to make me feel as though my feelings weren’t valid, simply because i was a young girl.
(i miss writing about movies, maybe i should make more time for that again)
(been thinking lots about girlhood lately, does it show?)