First of all, I want to give a shout-out to everyone out there who sent positive words and voted for me over at Sego Lily Day Spa where they are searching for their official blogger. I was stunned and completely humbled at the outpouring of support from all of you! I tried to personally thank as many of you as I could, but for some reason, the spa’s site wouldn’t reveal all the posted comments. If I missed you, it is not by design, it’s because I was unable to see the complete comment archives on Sego Lily’s site. Thank you!!
Now, today I’m posting, albeit a little late, as part of the Beautiful Like Me series hosted at one of my favorite sites, The Life and Times of a Wicked Stepmom. The current topic up for debate is: What do today’s children and teens feel pressured to imitate? Why?
Now, if you want to read an honest, soulful search into this topic, be sure and visit Wicked Stepmom's post or the series co-developers, Shout! Daily (Hi, Tricia!) and Five Flower Mom. If you want to read a totally biased account of my observations of frenzied tweens at a Zac Efron movie premier two weeks ago, well then, you’ve come to the right place.
Appearance of a Tween Girl:
It’s a forgone conclusion that most tween girls pride themselves on their appearance. They are highly groomed and will go to extreme lengths to gain the approval of their peers through choice of hairstyle and/or clothing. However, it seems critical in tween girl culture that they appear uninterested, almost aloof in gaining said favor with their peers.
I know this to be true because I witnessed one tween girl (Girl 1) in the rest room wearing a Miley Cyrus “I Rock This Joint” tee parked in front of the mirror fussing with her hair -- putting it in a ponytail, taking it down and then back up in an even higher ponytail. Moments later, I found myself, once again, standing next to Girl 1 in the concession line. Her friend, Girl 2, who looked identical to Girl 1, same shirt, same hair, same leggings, commented on how awesome Girl 1’s hair looked in a ponytail to which Girl 1 replied, “Whatever, I just totally rolled out of bed with it this way.” Well played, Girl 1. Or well played, Girl 2. Actually, I wasn’t really sure because at this point Girl 3 joined the group and she looked just like the other two.
Social Habits of a Tween Girl:
As I hinted at earlier, it is no mistake that tween girls traveling together look exactly alike. It has been long believed that tweens’ similarities were the calculated result of clever marketing campaigns devised in concert by clothing labels, MTV and the Disney Corporation. However, recent studies have shown that tweens, both male and female, use these similarities as a defense mechanism to ward off well-meaning individuals over the age of 30 from approaching them in a public setting.
These groups of tweens, specifically tween girls, are commonly referred to as “clans”. They are easily identifiable by their highly groomed hair, low-waist jeans and their incessant chatter accompanied by flailing hand movements. (It is almost impossible for a tween girl to speak without using her hands or prefacing a sentence with, “Oh my gosh!”).
Come to think of it, it’s nearly impossible for me to communicate without doing those things too.
If you come upon a tween clan, it is best to step aside and let the group pass you. I noted at the movie theater, each clan has it’s own speed and whether it moved at a snails pace or tore through the theater halls faster than Tara Reid’s career, whatever you do, don’t get mixed up in this living breathing, heavily accessorized organism. Girls at this age are drawn to shiny objects and will be wearing loads of metal or bedazzled jewelry. It only takes one rookie move and next thing you know, you find yourself smack in the middle of a clan where getting an accidental shanking from a dangly earring is considered getting off easy.
I made the mistake of infiltrating a clan, splitting them right up the middle, as I lunged for the butter dispenser at the snack bar. No skinny 7th grader is going to keep me and the liquid butter apart. Can I get a witness? Long story short, the whole ordeal was so traumatic for me that all I remember is the horrified looks on those young girl’s faces, the shrieking (on my part) and the sudden urge to get myself to the nearest Hot Topic, stat.
Unless you are somehow related to a tween girl, it will only be on the rarest of occasions that you find yourself alone with a tween girl who has become separated from her clan. Don’t panic. A tween girl removed from other tweens is relatively harmless and should not be considered hostile. However, since tweens find comfort in numbers, should you approach her, do so with extreme caution. Without her clan, she will most likely be jumpy and easily startled. You’re more likely to elicit a response from her if you drop the following key phrases into your conversation:
“Isn’t Edward dreamy?”
“Are you on Facebook?”
“Do you want to go to the mall later?”
Warning: Only use these phrases if you are a female trying to start up a conversation with a tween GIRL. I cannot stress this enough, ANY OTHER COMBINATION, (i.e. adult male to tween boy, adult male to tween girl, adult female to tween boy) IS CREEPY AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.
Language of a Tween Girl:
Tween girl speak is a complex and can range from a series of high-pitched squeals to muffled whispers and giggles. Often times, tween girls prefer to talk at the exact same time to each other in a rapid-fire tempo. You may not understand what they’re talking about, but make no mistake, they do. If you listen closely, however, you can extract key words or phrases such as, “Nick Jonas” or “Zac Efron” or “weird lady with curly hair eavesdropping on us”.
If you’re lucky enough to have pulled out one or more of these words, what ever you do, DO NOT attempt to use these in a conversation with the tween. These tweens are professionals. They will only see you as an uncool adult, or again, “a weird lady with curly hair eavesdropping on us”. If you are over 30, you most likely won’t know how to use these terms correctly no matter how many episodes of iCarly you’ve watched. Trust me, one of two things will happen if you attempt to make verbal contact at tween-speak pace before you are ready; 1) You’ll use the term incorrectly, or 2 ) You will sprain your tongue. Either way, you will fail miserably in the tween girls’ eyes.
Not that I would know or anything. Pft.