Increasingly in life I am noticing more and more the illusion that a person’s age will define them. I am 21 and I have been told I won’t know certain films because they were made before I was born, or asked how I knew an old song on the radio. Apparently at 21 listening to Radio 2 is not the normal thing to do, and that classical music I like? You can forget it, apparently I should just know all of the music in the charts instead.
I particularly dislike it when people think they can comment on these things to your face. There is nothing more patronising than someone older than you making you feel so small and insignificant. I recently left a job in which I was the youngest employee and one of my co-workers was constantly making me feel like a child. I think this is a hard barrier to break, because perhaps to people of my age, we are still defining ourselves as adults. We have broken free from the clasps of being a teenager and we are entering our twenties.
The title of ‘teen’ seemed to always act as such a label and guided you to the things that would be socially acceptable. In England, we label our Young Adult books as Teen Books, and sometimes these come with age advisors. I cannot stand this label, I think that if you want to read a story then nothing should stop you – teen/YA should be acceptable for any age. Working in a bookshop, I never see adults purchasing from this genre, and yet I myself am constantly in this section. I will always read from this genre, and others, because I love the stories the books are bringing to me. I find that books aimed at a younger audience will allow for more creativity in their story and will fill my mind with more action and excitement.
Everyday people are stereotypical of age and I fear this is something we will never get away from. Last week an old man started telling me about love and then said I wouldn’t know anything about it, which I found rather insulting – how old did he think I was? It seems when you are a teen and in a relationship it is just discounted as immaturity/inexperience and no one takes it seriously. I have been mocked for ‘young love’ many times and honestly I am just sick of it. I have been in a relationship for nearly three years now and have had a relationship that latest nearly four years, prior to this one. I understand the feeling of love and of pain as much as someone who is ten, twenty or thirty years older than me, even if I haven’t had such grand experiences or haven’t felt the same type of pain.
Overall, I seem to have had a bit of a rant here, maybe that’s just what I needed. But maybe, even if you don’t think this applies to you – we could all be a bit more wary about the things we say to people and how they might take it. RANT OVER.