Monday, March 22, 2010

Fast Foward

The Preface of Fast Forward by Lauren Greenfield is an introduction to her book entitled Fast Forward which gives us a glance in to the lives of child and Adolescents from L.A. particularly those who reside on the West Side. In documenting the lives of these children and adolescents she was able to get to know them, what they like and dislike, their goals and aspirations, whom they aspire to be and how the media and popular culture has influenced the way in which they both live and view their lives. Throughout the text Greenfield discusses the loss of innocence and how youngesters particularly those in Hollywood are living life on the fast track and feel pressure to grow up rather than to enjoy the virtue of childhood. As one teenager said, "You grow up really fast when you grow up in L.A. It seems like everyone is in a rush to be an adult. It's not cool to be a kid."

In Lauren Greenfield's article she stated "Like young people everywhere, L.A.'s teens are greatly influenced by the television and films they watch, the magazines they read, and the music they listen to. If anything, Hollywood's proximity amplifies its import and influence. At the same time, the experience of L.A. teens has inspired many popular media products, such as the television series Beverly Hílls 90210, the movies Clueless and South Central and countless music videos. Through their influence on mainstream media, L.A. teens help create the trends and attitudes that reverberate among international youth. The relationship between Hollywood and the teens growing up in its shadow epitomizes the modern dialectic between kids and media, reality and fantasy". I found this article to be intriguing and I too, was on a quest to discover how different facets of the media and popular culture affect youth who grow up in Rhode Island as well as neighboring cities and towns. While conducting my own photo project I visited schools, arcades and several shopping centers to get a greater insight on how trendiness, fame and fortune have become synonymous with popularity.

I believe that Greenfield would agree with Raby's text which discusses teenage discourses. One of them being the discourse of pleasurable consumption and how adolescents and popular culture are essential in assisting an individual to discover their identity, beliefs and values. Greenfield examines this discourse in her photo project citing its significance of how materialism, money and the journey for "perfection" drastically effect how youngsters are percieved by their peers, as well as, themselves. In her photo project Greenfield documented as young adolescent female who was undergoing rhinoplasty. Lindsey 18, describes how she didn't feel like she was "good enough" and was insecure about her body image about the procedure. During the interview she also said "Out of my ten close friends, I think six of us got something done". Greenfield's portrayal of the subject illustrates how popular culture and the obsession for the perfect image have cost us to lose sight of true beauty and self acceptance, in the respect that sometimes our flaws are what make us who who are, making us unique in a world that is so absorbed in creating carbon copies to hollywood celebrities.


Eva said...

yea!!!! i can comment now!!!!!