I have been given the task of creating a blog. Something… anything to do with youth and popular culture. I struggled with this idea for a while. I was so used to following strict guidelines that I was unable to work with almost total freedom.

What should I write about?

Will it be good enough?

Is it a stupid idea?


So I thought about the most interesting thing I had found about this unit so far. Controversy. Things that attack the norm. I remembered studying a Young Adult Texts course in the past and found the essential readings fascinating. These books, they tackled societal issues. They taught youth to think for themselves, and to act against injustices and corruption. Some of these books demonstrated a future where no one acted out. Where no one questioned the norm, what society deems to be best for everyone. Perhaps I could explore this?

My first assessment was about a trilogy called “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld. I found this novel during my previous course (as with many others I will explore). I spoke of the idea that the human body is the source of control.

Throughout history, (predominately) men have used their interpretations of the female body to control the “weaker sex”. As a woman I have indeed experienced this, as my own grandfather asked me (at the age of 15) when I would hurry up and give him a great-grandchild. Because to him, that was my function. Find a man and have a child. Societies all over the world have deemed this to be a woman’s main function.

Youth have also been controlled and managed through their bodies. The youth of society are young enough that older generations feel it is their responsibility to mold these young people into prominent members of society. They have no chance to be themselves, because themselves isn’t good enough for those older than them. Think about the films we watch. Teenagers are often portrayed by older actors, because puberty does not look good on camera. No wonder our young men and women feel inadequate. They have been told that their bodies are wrong.

“Uglies” demonstrated how this issue was rectified in a future utopian/distopian world. On one hand, everyone is made (through an invasive operation at the age of 16) to be pretty. Everyone is happy and content with their lives. All are equal and gorgeous. Yet, all are controlled, brainwashed, and manipulated. Their bodies give those in charge the ability to control the masses.

So what messages are we sending our youth through these texts and popular culture? Are we sending them warnings in an attempt to steer them into a good future? Or are they manipulative and controlling? Subtle ways to breed a mindless generation!

A future we can all be afraid of…


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