I’m 15; don’t judge me.

I am 15. So, because of American society expectations I am someone who cannot make responsible decisions or think like an adult because my mind is too wrapped up in mindless things.

Really? Is that how you think of me?

Seventy years ago there were no such things as “teenagers.” That whole idea didn’t exist until after WWII, when people had more money and were expected to stay in school longer. “Teenagers” were no longer needed to work or take care of children.

The media discovered a new opportunity to market to “teenagers.” We can always blame the media, people. It’s very safe to blame the media. I am going to blame the media for my favorite toothpaste type running out. Damn you, media.

There is now a mass expectation for every person to completely change their personalities when they are “teenagers.”

Have I changed my personality in the last three years? Honestly, I don’t think I have. So why is it that suddenly everybody started noticing things about my personality that they’ve never noticed before?

I have always been slightly pessimistic. When I was ten I wrote “Sarah Palin Diary Entries.” They were brilliant and belonged on SNL. When 6th grade ended my yearbook quote was, “Just because a bunch of people hate you, it isn’t a reason to feel hated.” I have always had this personality. So maybe I’m not an optimist. I never have been.

Is it because of this blog? Is that why people suddenly started accusing me of being negative? I’ve always been like that. I just didn’t have a blog until I was 14.

Now to get to the point of this post: You need to stop dismissing my personality and my thoughts because of my age. That is called age-based discrimination and it is illegal in many workplaces. So I am a teenager. (No quotes this time.) But why does that mean I am a different person?

I know it’s hard to understand how I feel, so think about it like this: Let’s say that as soon as you turned 40 you were expected to change your personality. And anyone could pass off your feelings and concerns as you being old and senile. You aren’t really old and senile, but now everyone has an excuse to not listen to you. You can provide a reasoned argument if you want, but you’re really just old and senile and you’ll grow out of it.

A little offensive? Yes. My personality is who I am. Who I have always been. So I’m sometimes negative and snarky. Believe it or not, that comes from elementary school. I was slightly unpopular and held grudges for a really long time.

There are some people out there who are going to pass this off as me being a “teenager.” They might say I need an “outlet” and a place to “complain.” Yes that makes me angry. I don’t think anyone likes being discriminated against because of something they can’t control. That’s what you’re doing. It is discrimination.

I’m not saying stereotypes are never true, but maybe you should think of a person as them self  before you group them into a category based on age.

I am not going to change who I am in five years. I did not change who I was three years ago. Age-based discrimination is real. Over-extended childhood is real. Is that what this is? Do you think that by treating me like a child you can, in a sense, “out rank” me? Is it because you are jealous that
I am still young? I certainly hope not.

There are false expectations that are fed to young people about being adults, too. I will be completely honest; until I was 13 I thought all adults loved vegetables and were always nice and polite and never considered having a shouting match. That isn’t me. And me not being that is not an excuse to dismiss me.

There are adults who don’t like vegetables and who argue with teachers and doctors and rude salespeople. And maybe I will be one of them. But do those adults get called “teenagers?” No. Because “teenager” is not, as it would seem to an alien, a personality description. It is supposed to be purely age related.

At some point, however, the term “teenager” became a personality description that applied to all the people it described in age. Why might that not always work out?

You can dismiss this if you want. You can keep judging me based on my age, and you can keep attacking my personality of you want. Someday you will be old and senile and I can do the same to you.

Now, let’s comment following the Nice Comment Rule. If you have something nice to say, say it! If you don’t have something nice to say, phrase it as a backhand compliment and I’ll understand.





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