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What HBO’s Euphoria Tells Us About Being A Teenager Nowadays

By: José Luis Salinas, 11º

Euphoria, HBO’s new hit, and TV drama follow the high school life of 17-year old Rue Bennett (Zendaya), her experience with mental illness, drug abuse, alcohol, and queerness. The show quickly gained popularity, due to its impetuous nature, its inclusivity of transgender characters and actors, and its promotion of body positivity. All while flat out revealing the utmost deranged nooks and crannies of modern society, and the frustrated psyche of the teenage mind, though this depiction is dishonest.

The exposure that the current youth has to the world is uncanny and unprecedented. The lack of regulation in networks to ensure the internet is a safe space, has made the young men and women of today, just as knowledgeable of the dangers and ‘traumas’ of society as if they’d lived through them, resulting in the creation of more critical individuals, conscious of themselves, and increasingly aware of who they think they are. The problem with teenagers now, though, is that they all think they’re unique, which is dangerous because they find their sense of identity and self-expression through the media and because of the media.

Euphoria has been recognized for its use of glitter and holographic makeup and psychedelic imagery to capture the essence of its characters, and just created a trend within the beauty community, where these looks are recreated. That’s kind of the problem with youth right now; it’s malleable, it finds authenticity in emulation, and that’s what Euphoria tells us about the modern adolescent, that pop culture is a significant part of their character. Not vaping, not alcohol, not drugs, just culture. Truth is, the media likes to share this oversexualized, corrupted image of teenagers, that is truly just disconnected from reality. If anything, the modern adolescent is more introverted than its predecessors, that means less partying and much less social skills. Staying in, is just not a problem anymore, ordering takeout and watching Netflix, has pretty much become the norm. We’ve become more inclined to live our lives by observation, instead of actions of our own.

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