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Tien Phan

Written Task One: Part Two/ Language and Mass Communication


Rationale
In this written task, Im going to pretend to be Tavi Gevinson, a 17-year-old
fashion blogger and feminist, expressing her love for the show My So-Called Life and
Freaks & Geeks in a love letter in the monthly Rookie issue. Our coursework
discussed how women are represented on TV shows and how teenage girls feel about
themselves. In our class, we watched the documentary Miss Representation. Not
only did we watch the documentary, but we also saw an episode of My So Called Life
and one of Freaks and Geeks and discussed how teenage stereotypes are portrayed in
these shows. Teenagers have been labeled as loud and disrespectful, but adults
sometimes act like teenagers too so I think its fair to address the misconceptions.
Also, we discussed register, style and intended audience. Therefore, Tavi Gevinson is
a teenage girl, she would use very casual register to connect with teen readers and
have a personal connection with them. Therefore, I decided to look up interviews and
articles about her and blogs she wrote about teenagers to really get her style when she
talks to teenage girls. Therefore, my written task is going to be about Tavis love for
My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks but also her thoughts on teen stereotypes,
the female characters in the shows and peoples labeling teenagers through the voice
of Tavi speaking to Rookies readers.
Words Count: 230

Tien Phan
Written Task One: Part Two/ Language and Mass Communication
Written Task
ear my fabulous Rookie readers,

Back in the 90s, there were these two TV shows that portrayed how teenagers
were trying to figure themselves out and feeling insecure, how people labeled
teenagers, but they also showed that the adults were the same as teenagers. One was
My So-Called Life and the other was Freaks and Geeks. Each only aired for one
season and was stopped. I LOVE THEM!
About the characters, Angela Chase in My So-Called Life is exactly who we
are when it comes to making decisions. She likes a guy, Jordan, who is from a
different clique than hers. He is your
typical jock that needs to keep up his
reputation and cannot be seen with
plain Jane like Angela. The show talks
about every single teenage issue there
is: drugs, broken long-term friendships, family issues like fights with parents, etc. In
the episode called Self-Esteem, Angela was having a secret relationship with
Jordan; they had rendezvous in the boiler room so no one would see them. A guy,
named Brian, liked her and would do anything for her but the feelings werent mutual.
Angelas friend, Rickie, was getting irritated and weird out by a substitute teacher
because the guy would not let Rickie off until he signed up for the Drama club. Then,
Angelas dad joined the cooking class; but when the teacher didnt show up, a
loudmouth woman kept talking to him and getting personal. That woman really
D
annoyed me to be honest. What I really like about it was that the characters portrayed
exactly how typical teenagers act in the same situations; for example, when boys
arent honest with you, you would totally try everything to get the truth, even trying to
stalk his Facebook to see if his friends mentioned anything. They showed that
teenagers are always insecure, they think lowly of themselves, etc. Thats exactly
what Angela did in this episode, she thought that she was not good enough for Jordan
so she also didnt want to show the world their relationship because people would
gossip about it. In addition, the adults were exactly the same as teenagers; they act the
same way as us, regardless of age. The teachers at Angelas school flirted with each
other, gossiped and showed signs of jealousy. And they say teenagers are weird and
childish
Thats exactly what Freaks and Geeks is about. Lindsay Weir, the main
character, portrayed exactly how we all are still trying to figure out what the heck we
are supposed to be doing with our
lives. Really, being a teenager is just
too hard sometimes, especially girls.
She is smart, nice, funny, infatuated
with a guy and broke up with him, and
she also has other usual girls issues like family, parents and little brother. At the end
of the season, instead of going to a workshop for top students, she went with her best
friend on a trip to see a musical concert and follow a band with these two students she
just met in school. I like Freaks and Geeks the most because partly of the actors; there
were James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, etc. They played their roles perfectly,
like the characters were written for them. James was the regular burned-out guy in
your school who does not show one single excitement for classes and always looks
like hes high. In the end, he hung out with the geeks because he found them as funny
as other people too. Also, I like it partly because of the way the characters do what
they want to search for their goals to look forward to. The things I do not get about
adults are that they give the same labeling to every teenager they see; we are loud,
disrespect, obnoxious, unappreciated of what we have. However, when you are a
teenager, youre still trying to figure yourselves out, nevertheless your life. You have
pressures from school and family up to the point that you dont know what you are
supposed to be doing. You are just trying to go out, day by day, finding your own
self-identity and your goals for the future. So, I think you should not pay attention to
what people say of you, just think of them as obstacles that are in your way towards
your prize at the end of road.
From watching characters like Angela Chase and Lindsay Weir trying to
figure their lives out, I feel like teenagers are a rare species that should be under
scientific research. Haha, Im not saying that were bacteria or any animal; I want to
say that because people label teenagers as something else that they have not seen
before, science should give an entire branch of research dedicated to teenagers so they
can find ways to prevent us. So, you guys should check out the shows because
honestly, they are the best shows ever!
Lots of love and kisses,
Tavi
Words Count: 825
Works Cited
Cunningham, Scot. "Teenage Stereotypes." Teenage Stereotypes. Slideshare, 03 June
2012. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.
Duncan, Fiona. "Tavi Gevinson: The Like, Role Model, or Whatever." Bullett Media.
N.p., 25 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.
Lori. "Tavi Gevinson: Feminism Is Not a Rulebook but a Discussion." Feministing.
N.p., 11 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2014
Mitch. "A Stereotypical Teenager?" Teen Ink. Emerson Media, May 2012. Web. 31
Jan. 2014.
Miller, Julie. "Tavi Gevinson on Shifting from Fashion to Feminism, Surviving
Blogger Mortification, and Her First Acting Gig." Vanity Fair. Vanity Fair, 09
Nov. 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.
"My So-Called Life." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.
"Tavi Gevinson: A Teen Just Trying to Figure It out." TED: Ideas worth Spreading.
TEDxTeen, May 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.