Pills, Pols, and Oprah
• Eight percent of the city’s sexually active teens report using the pill, as opposed to 18 percent nationwide, a city Health Department survey finds, with girls from the South Bronx nearly twice as likely as the nation’s average to have unprotected sex. [1010wins]
Saying Anything About ‘Say Everything’How do you get people who spend all day talking about themselves to talk about you instead? You talk about them. “Say Everything,” Emily Nussbaum’s cover story for last week’s New York, explored the ways the brave new Webby world changes the ways kids share information — and creates a nearly unprecedented generation gap. And, of course, the blogs have been responding. Some of our favorites:
• Slob: “Wow — so the Internet generation has collectively huge balls.”
• Leesean.net: “One of the girls they profile was born in 1989 — that makes me feel old. But I totally identify with them. I’m a total Net Narcissist Exhibitionist Extraordinaire.”
• Bout Manje : “The idea that this is essentially a *generation* gap is a bit overplayed. It is a magazine article, after all, and therefore sensationalized.”
in other news
Atoosa Watch: Still Unstable, Updating Blog FrequentlyWe know, we know: We care way too much about the latest updates to former Seventeen editor Atoosa Rubinstein’s MySpace blog. (You know, that launching pad for her TK-soon domination of the Internet.) But the thing is, there’s just such good stuff there each time we check. Last week, there was the announcement of Atoosa.com. And then when we looked this morning, there was this:
I lived my whole life just trying to be the perfect girl my mother wanted me to be: I never let on when I was struggling. I realize now that’s why I became a cutter — I’d gone through a very serious trauma but kept it completely to myself instead of imposing it on my parents — so instead I used the razor to do my crying for me.
Two reactions. First: Wow, Atoosa was a cutter. Second: Are weeping rainbows supposed to make us think she’s cured?
The Dangers of Protecting Your Parents TOO Much [Atoosa’s MySpace]
it just happened
Hearst & Teen Girls: BFFs 4-Ever!!!No way Hearst is going to let its online teen braid be yanked by the likes of Condé Nast’s forthcoming flip.com or Atoosa’s as-yet-unrealized MySpace empire. The mag-publishing owner of CosmoGirl.com, Seventeen.com, and TeenMag.com — all being revamped for February — has done the corporate equivalent of making sure no other beeyotch gets the same prom dress by purchasing ecrush.com, a social-networking site that lets users find out if he likes them, do a chaperoned flirt, and vote on pressing issues like “best hair.” Says Chuck Cordray, Hearst’s digital VP, “as social networking and interactivity online become an integral part of teenagers’ lives, we want to be everywhere they turn.” Which, if we read that right, makes him the world’s first corporate-backed stalker.
To Bolster Teen Reach Online, Hearst Buys eCrush.com [Ad Age]
Earlier: Condé Nast Attempts to Figure Out Girls Who Read
in other news
Gray Lady, When Not Showing Some Breast, Leg, Scolds Teens for Showing Breast, LegIn another blow to the patriarchy, today’s Times is giving Andrea Dworkin–size coverage to readers’ response to “Middle School Girls Gone Wild,” Lawrence Downes’s condemnation of the Britney-like wrigglings of a troupe of overrouged prepubescents at a Long Island middle school. In one of three irate letters, a reader rails:
What kind of parents are we when we allow the gross sexualizing of children who are not even remotely of an age where sex would be deemed legal?
I am grateful that I have only one child and that he is a boy. The temptation to lock up a daughter in the nearest convent would be powerful.
Yes, and who can imagine where these young girls are getting such ideas? After all, it’s not like responsible media outlets are running exposés on boob coverage or analyses of how men create digital empires while women sport Marc Jacobs heels or reports on how even older woman can now be porn stars. Oh, kids.
Letters: Our Girls Are Growing Up Way Too Fast [NYT]
UWS Teen Vanishes
With its yellow school bus–clogged streets and mom-and-pop-riddled baseball and soccer leagues, it’s easy to mistake the Upper West Side for the suburbs. (Okay, maybe not always — this also being the land of screaming street preachers and the occasional red state–blue state smackdown — but it’s close.) Which makes the appearance all over the neighborhood of this poster asking for information about missing Brooklyn Friends student Zachary Manning doubly distressing. Is there an abductor at loose? The Post says a suburban-style Amber alert isn’t likely; the police don’t believe Zach is the victim of “foul play.”