There’s one in practically every TV show and film. You know who I mean, the pretty sulky teenage daughter of the family, she’s bratty and rude and rolls her eyes at everything her parents and cool-geek younger siblings say or do, she’s only interested in her cellphone and boys and painting her nails and doing her hair and gossip, she’s really silly and shallow, but underneath it all she has a heart of gold and something something something and in the end everyone loves each other and family and love and hugs.
I don’t mind the love and hugs part, but I am really, really resenting how these pretty sulky teenagers are teaching my Princess to behave and think and act even before she is a teenager. She already has a clear idea of how she is supposed to act when she becomes a teenager, she’s already practicing it. I can hear it in her increasingly grumpy tone. Her near-hysterical impatience with the Golden Boy. TV shows have provided a perfect template: look: this is how popular pretty young girls act. They’re snappy and sulky, they obsess about clothes and friends -or rather, “friends”- only sometimes they’re funny and amusing, and that makes up for it all.
How can I, a mere mom, a mere student mom on a poverty line funding counteract all that? How can I convince her of the beauty of the mind, the nobility of soul, the virtue of thought? When Edwina dip-dying her hair is THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER? The odds are stacked against me. Burn in hell, stupid TV shows with your worn stereotypes and prescriptions of how people should act and behave. Rot for eternity.