If you are a parent of a teenager, like myself, you must sometimes be wondering about the complete discrepancy in artistic tastes between your teen and yourself. I have tried to understand. It’s as if they are a different species. They speak differently (no full sentences), they have a different vocabulary (chillaxin) , they use abbreviations that are meant to be obscure to adults (AYSOS = are you stupid or something), they don’t use telephones or even email any more. They are considered “digital natives” by those who study societal trends and by those that are interested in marketing of on-line businesses. I find myself asking my teen whether to sign up for Skype versus Oovoo, or whether to buy an I-phone or an Android. In both cases it’s clearly the latter. With such strong opinions and with tastes that differ from those that are just 5 years older, it’s clearly important to study teens because they are the customers of tomorrow. The following is a quite unscientific study of teen fashion tastes.
First, a sense of color coordination is very pronounced it seems to me:
Note the bright colors, the matching blue sweat shirt and cell phone, but the contrasting red nail polish, and purple hair dye. Note the snake ring (definitely cool) and the LOVE mood ring which changes colors depending on your mood (so they say). Colors need to be shocking and full of contrast.
I was referred to a website called bodycandy.com. Although body piercing is an ancient practice in different human cultures, there is perhaps a new worldwide trend that is gaining traction. In particular the prevalence of body piercings in young teenage girls has increased and is now often over 25-50% in countries like the USA, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Australia according to numerous publications. Is this the future?
Third, accessories that have a special or personal meaning are in. Woven wrist bands as symbols of friendship, often handmade for someone special, are popular. Plastic bangles reading I LOVE BOOBIES or SAVE BOOBIES are in. They mean to increase awareness for breast cancer. Similar bangles for different causes (or just for fun) are popular, in part because of their low cost. Low cost is really important for teens. Wearing a large number of bangles on the same wrist is trendy too. While some of these accessories will no longer be popular when these teens morph in to young adults and have more money to spend, I think the principle of wearing a statement that has a special personal meaning, or a message, may remain important. In deed, silver and gold jewelry with inscribed comments or insignia, or names of your children are already popular with young women and mothers.
Never a dull moment with a teen in the house!