JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: How about all of the hype over MTV’s Skins being child pornography?
JESSICA BADER: I saw the first episode, and while there are some problematic aspects to the show (there was a scene in which the main group of characters accidentally drove a stolen car into a body of water and all emerged unscathed), it’s rated TV-MA. Nobody’s tuning into the show unaware that there’s content that’s inappropriate for younger viewers, and for all the hype over how they consult with actual young people to ensure realistic dialogue, the show just isn’t that good, and I refuse to believe that teenage slang circa now is as labored as it was made out to be in that first episode.
MOLLY SHOEMANN: I kind of feel like they want people to think that they took that Fiona Apple music video where all the sexually ambiguous Abercrombie teens are naked in the hot tub and the hotel room and turned it into a sitcom.
STEPHON JOHNSON: Well with Skins being based on a british show, the debut seems tame by comparison. This difference between this version and the British version is that the british one shows……BOOBS! *gasp*
NAVA BRAHE: As someone “older” this “Skins” controversy is reminding me of all the uproar over reading Judy Blume’s book “Forever” when I was 12. Is it just another phase where adults are becoming too uncomfortable with teen sexuality, or have we crossed a line? As for the Brits, boobs are not sacred there. Hello? Sunshine girls? We have them here in Canada, too but they’re at the back of the paper.
MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I recall a girl I knew in high school who had lived in London for awhile talking about how teen magazines in the US were really sad and tame. She said the British equivalent to Seventeen magazine had features like, ‘Sexual position of the month”.
I’m starting to become fascinated by the way we fetishize youth and youth culture in this country. Were we always like this?
JASON CLINKSCALES: The commotion around that show is comical. It as if people expected MTV to be a) concerned about being a good citizen and b) concerned about producing a good show. My goodness, the ads told me this was a train wreck waiting to happen.
NAVA BRAHE: I believe the answer is “yes” Molly. You don’t realize it’s happening until you’re no longer a teen. I find myself doing it all the time.
MOLLY SCHOEMANN: To MTV’s credit, I have seen two episodes of “I Used to be Fat” and really enjoyed them both.
They really got into some underlying emotional and psychological family and personal issues with each episode.
EMILY SAIDEL: To answer Molly’s question:
No, we did not always fetishize youth. “Youth” as we know it now largely did not exist until…I want to say just after the industrial revolution, but don’t hold me to that. Adolescence did not exist–or rather wasn’t recognized. There were little children, of course, but they were basically expected to go from child to adult-in-training. This varied with different classes and is specifically a Western European/American view.