Girls and the internet

August 6, 2010 at 10:54 pm (Uncategorized)

If you’re reading this, you probably know what my work looks like. I draw girls – young girls, who generally fill in and play a kind of surrogate for me in my work. I spend a lot of time looking back on my life from ages 16 and under (more specifically, usually around ages 9 to 12, although sometimes it goes further on either side than that) and wondering, What happened? Growing up is so hard and it’s such a blur; it just happens and then it’s over, just one really heavy, profound thing after another, and then you’re supposed to leave it behind and just go and be an adult. Right.

So I’ve been watching the whole Jessi Slaughter thing with interest. Jessi, a screwed up, confused, upset, trying-to-be-cool 11 year old released a bunch of profanity-laced videos threatening to kill people (because 11 year olds are angrier than we like to think they are) and then a bunch of people reacted and gave her a hard time for it. And then her dad appears in a later video, acting like a jerk and making everything worse.

I did a lot of research about her, and the whole thing is just sad. I’m not sure I can say anything new or interesting about the case, but here is obviously a girl that’s in desperate need of help. That she would gleefully represent herself as this kind of thuggish, tough girl is just depressing; it’s obviously not who she is and not who she (or anyone) should aspire to be. And the most depressing part is that it’s clear she’s not going to get any help, and the misery will just continue indefinitely.

Anyway. Just when I was feeling at my lowest about young women and their choices of representing themselves online or elsewhere, I found this video. I don’t know anything about the person who made it; I’d guess she’s about 15* or so. But she’s articulate, sensitive, and smart. She’s doing the sort of eyeliner-and-low-parted-hair thing that makes anyone over the age of 30 cringe, but who cares. That’s fashion – it comes and goes, and if I don’t quite get what teenagers are into, well then hey – mission accomplished, kids. I was just so happy to find a video with a young woman who yeah, is doing all the cool fashion stuff, but it doesn’t define her – she has thoughts in her head and opinions and seems like a nice person, too. This gives me hope for the future. I’m thinking of her as the anti-Jessi-Slaughter.

*Note: According to her Tumblr page, she’s 19**. Which makes the eyeliner and hair totally fine.

**Yes, I backtraced it! 🙂



  1. Andrew Thornton said,

    The beautiful thing about being human is the potential for change. Sometimes it’s expected and the transformations are gradual and in even increments. But sometimes change happens drastically, suddenly and without warning. A moment can make the Universe turn on its head and everything is different.

    It’s easy to write people off, to expect the least of them. Hell, it’s easy for those who are in a bad situation to think even less of themselves than others do. But the miracle of life is that each day is a new opportunity to embrace change and rise above the expected. Even if the status quo is comfortable, like land mines hidden underfoot, there are days that whether we want to embrace it or not, change explosively happens.

  2. siouxsielaw said,

    The whole story is so sad.
    But the video made me smile. There’s hope.

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