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THE SKINS LIFESTYLE: A BRIEF GLIMPSE ON WASTED YOUTH

The world of the Millenials, is one abscinded into various social settings. Where you live, what you look like, and how much money you make are the " Three Sisters" of what feeds the outcome of the youth. The average life of the American teen usually involves one of Facebooking, hanging around the neighborhood with friends, possibly skateboarding, shooting hoops, video gaming, going to the movies to see the latest Twilight flick, watching tv, snagging mp3s off the internet, going down to the shore (If you're a South Philly Italian), and hanging out with your friends at the park, mall or nearest fast food restaurant. I know this isn't all that we do. But those are the basics, and boredom is laced between all, eventually. Which is kinda sad, but whatever.

THE SKINS LIFESTYLE: A BRIEF GLIMPSE ON WASTED YOUTH
Minor Kyler Jones

Here's some things you should know prior to the reading of this blog. In this page, I am not going to nor am I entitled to give you a solution or answer to life you've been looking for. Nor am I saying what's morally right, or wrong. And here's something you should consider about me, I don't acknowledge morality. I worship none of my own. What I'm really aiming to do is to try and break down our society's moral psyche, in the following themes....or make no sense at all. You're either gonna get one or the other when it comes to me.

Now, imagine a lifestyle outside of our norms. One that could be occuring right now, but just not in our country. One of hard partying, underaged drinking, free sex, illegal drug use, sneaking out of your parents house at night, underage smoking, and hot Euro- Electro bands. The one they call THE SKINS LIFESTYLE.

Now there are many alternatives to what I've just said clouding over your heads. All centered around the blatant ideas, "WTF are you talking about?"

"Sex, parties, drugs, nah that's nothing. I already live that...what is Skins?"

S1:Trailer from Skins Nation on Vimeo.


"Skins," is a current British drama show centered around the lives of Bristol teens who engage in a wild life of sex, parties...blah blah. The show aired in 2007, yet it somehow revolutionized teen culture. Parents were shocked, the public was, and an entire generation of European youth were inspired to "Party Hard." Which is one of the reasons why British youth are declared the "Worst Behaved" on the entire planet.

In American culture, when we think of drugs, sex, and alcohol, there seems to be this negative firewall that appears instantly in our consciences.

Firstly, the media. All throughout the news we hear about people overdosing on drugs, and crackwhores, and drug busts and young people dying because they were driving while drunk. Then there are all those anti- tobacco and Above the Influence ads, and we all know what they campaign against.

And then there are channels like Teennick. To be honest I watched The-N when I was eleven, and that was hardly too inapropriate for me. Teennick is way different now. Shows like iCarly, Sunny With a Chance, Victorious and even Degrassi, they all paint this safe, popstar,colorful, young, censored, controlled image of what it's like to be a teen. It's basically everything that our parents, DO approve of.


The only show that would go as far to deal with sex, drugs, and parties is Degrassi. But in Degrassi, something bad always happens. Degrassi sends out the same negative message towards drugs, alcohol, teenage sex, and wild parties. All the characters are over-dramatized but it seems like the one who does do drugs, or smokes, has sex or participates in this so called "bad behavior," ends up dying, or overdosing, or becoming a complete failure loser and destroying the relationships between the ones he loves.

And that's probably the exact opposite of what Skins does. Skins is like Degrassi, but all the characters indulge in sex, parties, drugs and alcohol and they enjoy themselves. They are crude and rude, and very inapropriate, but they live it up, and don't neccesarily fail in life. They don't become drop outs, or losers or unhappy. They are pretty satisfied with their lives, actually. I'm not saying that drugs, cigarettes, and a lot of sex won't fuck you up, it can, but not everybody overdoses. Not everybody gets lung cancer and dies. Not everyone dies form alcohol poisoning. Not everyone gets HIV. And for the ones that do, that's life. There has to be sacrifice for all these sins you know.

It seems that I may be drawing many of my inspiration from films, and digital media. I can't help that, I'm studying to be a film writer. And also, in society today, movies and tv programs impact us a lot more than we think. Films show us things. Realism, fantasy, art. Reflection. Life. They show us the world.

I beleive that American society is even more monitored and controlled. Our generation probably has it the worst, because all the tricks our hippy parents used, they know the best, which makes it harder for us to get away with it. The best thing we have is technology. They don't know a thing about that. What's even worse is that the shit-hop that blasts through the radios, boasts about pimping, clubbing, and bullshit, that's polluting our minds and filling up Juvenile Hall. There's a difference between being bad, and just being stupid. And that's where I think we should know where to draw the line. Some do and some don't. But I don't think the actions of one side account for the controllment of others. America is too diverse, a lot of us are idiots, but not all of us.

I honestly don't beleive that our society will ever accept an image of youth that party, have sex, do drugs, drink, and just be wild in a positive view. I know, the tv may be over dramatic sometimes. I mean, not all parties are like that. There are many walks of life, and not all of them have to be dedicated to getting completely wasted every Friday night. I just wanted to show you my short take on a current "trend" that has rocked European culture.

One more thing, we may be getting the big wave too. Jamie Britain and Brian Eisley have agreed to let MTV make an American version of "Skins" based in Baltimore. I'm very afraid of it, they already shot the pilot, and I just really pray to god that MTV doesn't fuck it up.

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Tags: afro-punk, british, carded, skins

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Comment by Edgar Wharton on August 30, 2011 at 10:12am
I agree that American society is more monitored and controlled then almost any other developed society. Our media plays a huge part in the cultural production of American culture, and what this show "Skins" is doing is attempting to create downward comparisons. In the US kids have been constructed to no matter what have some sense of judgment--that they will never do this, or they will never work at a burger king, or be a plumber(even though some plumbers make on average 50k/yr), but the main thing that shows of this nature---like Jersey Shore--do is to provide a downward social comparison. "I am better than those guys because I will never do anything like that". Media understands the American Condition more than we do, and they usually will not make mistakes when attempting to send out a message especially to the "Millenials"--also, when watching the American adaptation of this show which has recently aired we see a different aspect of the parents than in the British version. The parents are appalled, angry, and more disturbed.
Comment by Garrison on September 7, 2010 at 11:28pm
My little brother said this the other day "This 40yr old woman bought me and the homeboys liquor and beer" she said "I cant believe I'm about to get some teenagers drunk" little brother said "Why? We do this all the time!" hahah. Its like the movies "KIDS" "LA HAINE" "DAZED & CONFUSED". Those are all perfect examples of what kids really do.
Comment by Space Ghost on July 27, 2010 at 6:30pm
Censorship and all this fake crap is bad, sure but those shows are probably not really even targeted towards teens but more "Tweens". Degrassi is more teen targeted. Now just because other countries are airing it doesn't mean we really have to. There is never going to be a show that is completely realistic of teenage lives. Ever. Not even close. So showing a bunch of teenagers fucking and partying or whatever isn't going to be some new revelation nor will it be shocking, especially with all of the media we already have out here in America.
Comment by Donovan on July 26, 2010 at 11:02pm
Whats sad is teens in many places in the world do this, its just American culture where we consider it perverted when at the same time the media subliminaly pressures you to do the same things they censor.
Comment by Kodachi on July 22, 2010 at 10:42pm
Oh dear god, in my city? No way. If so I am going to hope really hard that the show will have a veeeeeeeery scant number of Blacks and stay deep inside the White/rich parts of Baltimore. We already got enough bad rep with The Wire, The Corner, and Homicide: Life on the Streets. And Hairspray and Ace of Cakes does NOT help.


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