"In the psychic moving stream of Tumblr, teen girls build and perform their individual aesthetics, which are not anonymous, even if individual images are not interacted with in the same reverent (or highly art-critical) way with which one might encounter a Monet in a museum. The teen-girl Tumblr aesthetic is less about an individual image that might be dissected and praised or excellence in a specific medium, and more about “articulating a point of view."
I found this article equal parts baffling, super important and way too intense. It took me three tries to make it to the end, and I can’t get past the fact that they used the death of a young woman as the declencheur for this conversation.
I also wonder how distorted my own visions of these topics are since I’ve only been using Tumblr since the age of 22. Not to mention how sick I am of people lauding/touting Molly Soda as representative of this so-called “Teen-Girl Tumblr Aesthetic.” “Tumblr-famous tEEN GuRL?” She’s 23. Bitch was on livejournal just like the rest of us, never used Tumblr as a diary or a tumblelog in the traditional sense, but as a hyper-parodic art school experiment exploring notions of girlhood. The more people talk about her, the more people talk about her and convince themselves she is some sort of elected representative of every teen girl on tumblr ever? When in fact, she’s mostly mocking it? Snore.
Also, very curious about the absolute absence of discussions around race in this piece… the central figure is Asian, but that is not addressed at all. This is compounded by the fact that all of the images and examples used are very much centered around whiteness and white privilege. There have been countless important discussions challenging the way white young women in these online spaces react in knee-jerk ways to being challenged to at least address these questions. Not to mention, more importantly, how many POC resist those dominant scripts by creating and sharing their own images, giving voice to “girls like them” in a way that hadn’t been nearly as accessible/widespread a few short years ago.
I’ve got lots of feelings, most of them not good. Like, knot in the pit of my stomach not good.
"It’s tricky to puzzle out exactly what to make of the persistence of rape in film. You could argue that the ubiquity raises awareness about sexual violence as easily as you can say that it desensitizes us to the trauma. But one thing is certain. The idea of “legitimate rape” is not an idea ensconced only in red states by conservative extremists. It’s in blockbuster action movies, on TV, and in sensitive indie films. And when you start to recognize the persistence, it’s hard to see the experience on its own terms rather than a trope, the cherry atop the coming-of-age sundae."
— Special Victims by Elizabeth Greenwood (September 14th, 2012)
"When you are a young woman and your body becomes a reminder of tragedy, how can you ever come to love it?” I wrote in that secluded cabin in Banff. “You yourself become a crime scene — a place of mourning you carry with you every day. Something tolerated, hated or, most commonly, ignored. I am happy for those people who see the body as a tool of empowerment, a vessel for pleasure and strength, but I’ve had to unlearn mine as a site of violence out of necessity."
— Stacey May Fowles, “What can’t be published” from The National Post. (via batarde)
Being a fourteen year old girl is like being forcibly submerged in this cultural narrative about falling in love. It’s a weird time – having no experiential knowledge of this feeling that is so ubiquitously discussed. Falling in love is aimed at young girls like a self-worth destroying weapon. When will it happen to you? What boy will choose you? Do you have the right lip gloss?
I was young then but I was smart. I needed someone who could speak to the terrified & terrifying young lady I knew I would be. It wasn’t the clothes or the dates that would be dangerous. That part I understood. It wasn’t love that was dangerous – it was me.
— iris’ super thoughtful album review/love letter to fiona apple. read the whole thing: Doing Femme: Fiona Apple