Am I Turning 40 or 14?

When I was 14, I spent my Saturday afternoons glued to the TV watching this youth-oriented series Gimik. It was an hour and a half long and starred some of the biggest teen artistas of the late 90s. I don’t really remember any storyline in particular, but my friends and I watched it religiously. A couple of years later, Dawson’s Creek started airing on Studio 23. Mondays at 8pm were off-limits. I’d be on the phone with a boy and I’d make up some excuse once the clock struck 8. I just couldn’t miss an episode.

These days, I can watch things on-demand, whenever I want. And for 3 weeks now, I’ve been rewatching the newest adaptation from Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty. My official count is 4 (yes all 7 episodes, 4 times) but if I count the number of edits that have appeared on my fyp, it’s probably more than that. I’ve had the show’s playlist on repeat for 3 weeks, too. I also read all 3 books in 3 days right after I finished the series (the first time, hehe). You could say I’m obsessed.

There’s nothing I love more than a good teen show. I’ll watch them all and when I find one that’s perfect, I’ll obsess over it until I don’t.

Maybe it’s no surprise that I spent 12 years of my life working for a teen brand. And now that I’ve crossed over to social marketing, it pays to still somehow connect to that part of me. My former publisher messaged me after I left the company to never lose my interest in teens—how they speak, what they like, what makes them tick, etc etc. It’s a skill, she said. I think more than anything, I’ve always loved listening to what teens have to say because their POV has always been distinct, no matter what generation.

I remember how annoyed I was when a publication had alluded to a trend trickling down to teens as a signal that it was on its way out of fashion. I didn’t quite agree. If anything, when something eases out of a teen’s radar, that’s when it’s considered obsolete (or more accurately laos). Some are quick to dismiss teens and their take on most anything, but if you stopped to listen, you’d actually stand to learn something new and quite possibly broaden your perspective.

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