Dear youths of today,
Hmmm, now how can I put this delicately? Many of you are shaping up to be entitled little turds and I simply CANNOT with you. (Wow. That was much easier than I thought...)
Ok ok... Redo. Let me approach this another way.
Dear misguided youths,
Your childhood and innocence are being swiped from right under your noses, and you literally have no idea. Aside from fresh air being traded for FaceTime, and marbles being traded for Minecraft, your entire childhood experience is being sold to you in the glitziest and most detrimental package of all time. From the clothes and accessories you're being marketed, to the music (and I use that term ever-so loosely!), the toys and television programming being catered to you... It's all a hot pile of steaming commercialized garbage. Ok, maybe not all... But mostly.
I weep for those of you who have no concept of what it is to be a child, and who are instead, going through life, passing yourselves off as small adults. Your prepubescent brains are being filled with information and images that up until recently, have been primarily reserved for adults. Your emotions, self esteem and identities are being manipulated by the incessant mixed messages of corporations with single-minded agendas (aka "a profit"). It's kind of heartbreaking to watch sometimes. Furthermore, while I realize that celebrities don't necessarily sign up to be role models when they become famous, I also know that if the Mileys and Biebers and the "twerk teams" are the ones who get the most air time and attention across media platforms, then you're likely to follow suit and adopt the trendy habits and appearances of your "faves".
I wish I could scoop you all up and transport you back to a time, not so long ago where you would come home from school, put on your play clothes and run right back outside to catch up with your neighbourhood friends; a time when parents would literally have to go and drag your butts back in the house when the sun was starting to set. I wish I could loan you the one or two dolls and various books I had as I kid, and tell you to go to town. I wish TGIF was still a thing, and that you had the same sense of urgency I did to be in the living room with your family or friends promptly at 8 pm to watch the lineup of Friday night sitcoms. If I could bring back classic Saturday morning cartoons à la Looney Tunes, He-Man, She-Ra, Jem, Captain Planet, and My Pet Monster, I'd do it in a heartbeat. If I could trade your One Direction for the Jackson 5s, and your Nicki Minaj and Young Money for Missy Elliott and No Doubt- you bet your ass I'd be on it. It hurts my heart that you may never experience the greatness that was the soul-stirring music of the 90s. That issue in itself may be worthy of its own blog post...
Kids - you've got to know that you will have years and years to grow up into annoying, self-righteous teenagers and adults. You don't need to take on those roles now just because of what you perceive to be cool on TV. You don't have to speak and act like adults. Talking back to your parents/elders is not funny or normal. It's embarrassing and simply gives others the impression that you lack home-training and/or proper socialization skills. Just because you see other kids being disrespectful around you or on TV, it doesn't mean that it's acceptable to act that way. Please also note that it's perfectly ok to prefer reading a book to playing video games. It's ok to NOT have a cell phone at the age of 10. It's ok to rock old ripped jeans when everyone else is wearing new skinny jeans. It's ok to study and want to kick ass on a math test, instead of being non-chalant and lackadaisical because "being a brainiac is soooo not a good look". It's ok to be friends with unpopular kids, instead of ignoring them to preserve your own "coolness". It's ok if your hair, skin and weight don't reflect those of the kids you see on your screens. Why? Because 90% of what you see is not reality.
Boys: it's ok to be friends with girls and to play sports with them and respect them for the awesome humans that they are. They're not fragile, breakable creatures in cute outfits for your gawking pleasure. Girls: impressing boys in grade school should be priority zero when you get up in the morning. Focus on being great at being you and excelling in the activities that interest YOU... Regardless of what the boys will think of you. Protect your morals. Protect your innocence. Protect your self-esteem. Because once they're gone, those things can never be restored to their original factory settings... Not even with a hard reboot. Don't dumb yourself down in order to gain cool points. (THIS JUST IN: cool points can't actually get you anywhere or anything.)
To quote the infamous Regina George (of the hit movie Mean Girls):
"Stop trying to make 'fetch' happen. It's NOT going to happen".