Author Tells Media “Young Women Are Not All Narcissistic & Vapid!”

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Australian author and TV personality Gretel Killeen has had enough. The 50 year old mainstay in Aussie media has a teenage daughter, appropriately named Epiphany, as it seems this is exactly what she had when she wrote this blog post on Mamamia.com.au.

The post was titled ‘In defense of young women’ which was essentially a rant against the media and society’s obsession with calling all young women vapid, narcissistic and self-obsessed. But hang on, we aren’t all like that! There is so much more to today’s girl than the older generation thinks, and it’s about time they start doing some self-reflection before pointing the fingers.

Don’t they remember what it was like to be young once?

“Don’t get me wrong. I think many ‘young women’ are self obsessed etc. But the difference between me and ‘The Experts’ is that I think many members of my generation are self obsessed too. In fact I think I’m self obsessed, and I think the experts are as well. What could be better proof of this than their  willingness to judge entire generations as inferior.” she starts off in the post.

She calls these so-called “Experts” faceless women who hide behind judgements and keyboards and corporate worlds, while the younger generation are constantly on display through social media constantly crying “Look at me!”

“Is this any different to my youth, when we sang ‘I Will Survive’, at the top of our lungs on the local train, hoping that someone would discover us? Throughout time young women have cried: “Look at me! Notice me! Validate my existence! The reason why it appears so writ large nowadays is simply because the mediums are so damn in your face.
In days of yore, we sang into hair brushes and  strutted in front of a mirror. Nowadays, girls sing on YouTube and take Instagram ‘selfies’. But, other than the size of the audience, it’s really the same as it’s ever been.”

While the execution may be different, the sentiment is the same. We all go through phases and learn a lot as young women. But that doesn’t mean we should forget and become judgmental. Instead the older women should become the supporters, the flag-wavers, the sideline cheerleaders helping their daughters reach the next step in life.

“Today’s young women are not a generation any worse than any other. Their behavior does not signify the demise of the species. They simply have different tools at their fingertips than in our day.” Gretel points out.

“The most important influence in your daughter’s life is, and will always be, you. Both positively and negatively. No matter whether Gen X,Y,Z, Boomer or beyond most young females are, or have been, deeply insecure and want to fit in. Very few young women actually have role models who are uniquely expressing themselves through their appearance, expression of goals, or pursuit of passions in life. Perhaps ask yourself, are you?”

If all women were completely honest with ourselves, we will be able to admit we are held back from being great role models because of our own insecurities, jealousy and the feeling of wanting to keep that success all to ourselves. How are we ever going to get ahead if once we achieve our ultimate milestone, we essentially block the path to progression for the nest gen?

“We criticize our girls for being superficial, at the very same time that we superficially judge them. And as soon as they try to do something to express their individuality we tell them to “toe the line”, we tell them to behave, we tell them to conform. And all the while The Experts are telling them they’re losers. Maybe it’s time for us to think about our contribution to the young women of today.”

Well said Gretel! Let’s all choose how we are going to be the best encourager and supporter of the young women in our lives, all the while remembering how we would’ve valued and appreciated the same in our lives at their age.

Let’s cultivate an intentional attitude of women supporting women, instead of being our own worst enemies!

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