Mashup and Makeup: Authenticity Through Time

“All the people on this program [The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills] wear faces frozen in time by their many procedures… They have traded their ability to communicate and commune in the present moment for an altogether unconvincing illusion of timeless beauty. In attempting to stop the passage of time and extend the duration of youth, they have succeeded only in distancing themselves from the moment in which their real lives are actually transpiring… They are trapped in another version of the short forever — one in which a particular stage of one’s life is deemed to be better than the rest, and so everything before and after is remade in its image. Twelve-year-olds and fourty-year-olds both aim for about age nineteen, making children look promiscuous and women look, well, ridiculous.” -Douglas Rushkoff

There is little doubt in my mind that this is true.

The question is, “what makes like this”. Why are both 12-year-old girls and 35-year-old women making duck faces in their twitter avatars? Why do both 12-year-old boys and 35-year-old men wear tight jeans and converses? I think that Douglas Rushkoff and I would agree that its in our society, our internet and society.

“fashion magazines, advertisers, and fictional media focus on this group [19-year-olds] as the pinnacle of human experience” (pg 93)

Yes. This is also very true, but it doesnt make any sense. Why focus on 19-year-olds? Why not a number more in the middle like 40? Why is it that the late teens set the trends?

Even though the late teens set the trends, and they are closer in age to the 12 year olds than to the 35 year olds, it’s scarier to think about the 12 year old girls wearing short revelaing dresses, makeup, and high heels than the 35 year old women.

Not that I like making such bold statements, but I don’t believe the youth should be wearing clothes like that before they even have much to reveal. But the media doesn't care. They show the teens with what they are doing and what they are wearing. It’s a little extreme, but when you think about the television shows aimed at kids (7–13), they are mostly about high school students. So these children are already told to look up to teenagers when they are just getting used to elementary school. What does society think is going to happen.

In his subchapter Mashup and Makeup, Douglas Rushkoff also talks about hipsters. Although late teenagers and young adults wearing and doing things that maybe their parents would be wearing and doing is a little harder to understand, the reason why it got so popular is simple. The 19 year olds were doing it. Or more like a 19 year old was doing it. So not only were the rest of the late teens and young adults falling into the fad, but so was everyone else. In fact, in the beginning of the hipster movement, hipsters would have to go to thrift shops to buy their ripped Van Halen t-shirts, denim overalls, and worn-out vintage shoes. Currently you can walk into any mainstream store and find tons of distressed shirts and acid-washed jeans and well as oversized-overpatterened sweatshirts. The 19-year-old created our current culture.

I haven’t answered many, if any, of the questions I’ve posed. I’ve thought long and hard about the topics, but I have no idea what the answers are. In the Mashup and Makeup subchapter there are alot of ideas and many facts fused together which makes it a little hard to grasp, but I’m preety sure the answer is somewhere in there. And if not, it’s somewhere in Present Shock.

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