Killer Smile

Come on, NYTimes.

In particular, come on Susan Dominus.  This response to her article is a bit belated, but it’s sincere nonetheless.  For the record, yes, the article (in the hyperlink above) is about my school, and for the record, it’s kind of ridiculous.  They make us sound like whores . . . we really aren’t.  Okay, some girls are kinda skanky, but why should those few represent our entire population?  And what the hell does any of this have to do with Miley Cyrus? 

I listen to her music (sometimes) and I watch her show (sometimes).  Not often at all, and not because I really really am dying to listen to her or watch her.  Her YouTube channel is pathetic, and she doesn’t seem to be making the best photographing decisions, but she’s got a career which I guess you could say is cool for her.  The media seems completely out to get her though, which would explain the lame excuses for “racy photos”.  Seriously, what teenage girl hasn’t taken photos showing a bra and some stomach?  I mean, it’s not like we’re getting shots of her vagina or even like an actually legit boob (though let’s not encourage her . . . please). 

And in defense of my school, while some kids like to dress in short shorts and tights, the school can hardly be blamed for it.  And those who do it don’t do it to be slutty.  Trust me.  While there are a few sluts in my school, there aren’t enough for it to become a generalized term describing the student population.  Kids come to school dressed like that because they are LAZY, wake up late, and don’t get enough sleep.  And when you can wear whatever you want to school, why not just go for the minimal to keep you warm?  It’s not a come-on-to-me-thing, it’s an I-really-don’t-give-a-shit-about-my-appearance-it’s-just-school thing.  Which is totally cool, I think.  That our school is an accepting enough place that people don’t have to care what they look like when they go to school. 

Oh, and the cigarettes?  Yeah, some kids smoke.  But try finding a school where there isn’t a single student that smokes.  I’d say it’s damn near impossible.  To use that to make our school look bad is STUPID.  I read a comment to an article about this article that said “Most disturbing in the Times story is the Beacon girl’s admission that she smokes cigarettes. Can’t that school even teach them that they get all the contamination their lungs need from the city air?”  WHAT.  THE.  FUCK?!  Okay, just because ONE CHICK is described as being a smoker, definitely does NOT mean that the entire school smokes.  And to insult our teachers because of it is the biggest bullshit I’ve ever heard.  The teachers at our school DO discourage smoking.  We have entire major health units devoted to the topic of how smoking kills.  That’s not going to keep all kids from smoking.  I will tip my hat and bow down to the teacher or school that manages to keep a thousand students from touching a cigarette.

And this article wouldn’t be a big deal to me if it hadn’t caused reactions like that.  To me, the article itself, while providing a skewed version of the truth, isn’t really doing any harm.  It’s the reader interpretation that takes the hinted meanings to a whole new extreme.  So, again, I say what the hell?  The article is ridiculous, and our school doesn’t deserve shit like that from the NY Times.  We are NOT whores.  Or sluts.  We may be harsh sometimes, and we may be lazy, but we don’t dress with the goal of seduction (okay, at least not ALL the time).

Comment with opinions, etc.  I’m interested to hear other views on the article that aren’t my own (particularly from people who aren’t familiar with my school, but I’m not disregarding people who are).


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  1. Miley Cyrus Celebrity Gossip | Come on, NYTimes. pingbacked on 11 years ago


  1. * Seth says:

    I totally agree with you. I don’t think it would matter as much if Susan Dominus actually got legitimate interviews from multiple schools. Just targetting one school was kind of harsh on her part. It was also poor journalistic values to just go to one school, come one she could have went to at least 4 middle/high schools in Beacon’s area. Our school does not deserve such a reputation, but I doubt it changed anything because as you said all schools have kids who were the clothers they want and I think Dominus is making a problem out of nothing. Miley Cyrus is not even the most important influence on teens, there are too many to count. The article did not really successfully prove anything that a normal person could not use logic for.
    Personally, I am very disappointed the NY Times allow such a news-less article in their world renowned newspaper.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  2. * Sarah says:

    I agree that your school is getting misrepresented. She seems to have interviewed maybe a handful of girls with what she interprets to be different styles and choices. The problem is that she went to one school. The bigger problem is that she is focusing way too much on what is being worn by these girls. I (staring at the cusp of 30) think that the more we focus on what you, as teenagers, are wearing, the more we are sending you in that direction. I remember when I was 15 and I just wanted to shock everyone with what I was wearing. Teenagers still do it today. The more everyone says we are raising a nation of whores, the more likely it is to happen because let’s face it, whores are shocking. As a sidenote though, as someone who has done work as a photographer I see absolutely nothing wrong with the Miley Cyrus pictures.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago

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