By GRETEL KILLEEN
The Experts have announced that pressure to conform is turning young women into self obsessed, supercilious, nincompoops and clones. Well, I’ve had enough of your expert blurts. It’s time for you to lay off our daughters!
Don’t get me wrong. I think many ‘young women’ are self obsessed etc. But the difference between me and The Experts is that I think many members of my generation are self obsessed too.
In fact I think I’m self obsessed, and I think the experts are as well. What could be better proof of this than their willingness to judge entire generations as inferior.
So why then is my daughter’s generation the only group that is singled out as the embodiment of narcissism and the epitome of futility?
Well perhaps because The Experts are faceless and women like me (working mothers who haven’t slept for 25 years) tend to be invisible, while the behaviour of young girls tends to be so very ‘look at me.’
Yes, in their short skirts and skyscraper heels they’re screaming for attention. But is that any different to my youth, when we sang ‘I Will Survive’, at the top of our lungs on the local train, hoping that someone would discover us? Throughout time young women have cried: “Look at me! Notice me! Validate my existence!”
The reason why it appears so writ large nowadays is simply because the mediums are so damn in your face.
In days of yore, we sang into hair brushes and strutted in front of a mirror. Nowadays, girls sing on YouTube and take Instagram ‘selfies’. But, other than the size of the audience, it’s really the same as it’s ever been.
Nowadays, girls permanently straighten their hair with a four hour process using Japanese potion. In the late 1960’s my cousin used to spend four hours every Saturday straightening her hair with an iron, not a curling iron, an iron! (NB: Do not try this.)
Today’s young women are not a generation any worse than any other. Their behaviour does not signify the demise of the species. They simply have different tools at their fingertips than in our day.