The media is a rapacious beast and loves nice easy stereotypes of “The youth of today”.
In the past this was used to label youth culture as being degenerate or too out of step with contemporary morals to be acceptable. However over time the acceptance of youth culture as a valid part of the fabric of society and acknowledgement of its contribution to the vivaciousness of all our lives has softened this outlook on “what the kids are in to”.
I suppose the reasons for this are varied, the increased sophistication of society, the producers and the consumers of media in general is part of it. As is the fact that the average age of the decision makers in media seems to be decreasing year on year.
I was watching a programme a few days ago which featured the producer of a TV programme talking about why she had approached the very sensitive subject matter in the way she did. She looked to be only just out of university. When I was her age all the TV producers and directors looked like my grandparents.
There’s another thing too, the increase in the number of women in the media. Once dominated by men the media in general is becoming more balanced in its attitudes. I’m not just talking about pushing “Women’s issues” here, that’s counterproductive in the extreme. I find people who try to force you to think a certain way about any issue just because they have made up their own mind make me want to kick back at them – even if I agree with them in the first place, LOL. More women in media means that lazy (male) journos can’t get away with the sort of sloppy stereotyping and hackneyed headlines that were once the staple of the print media, and to a lesser extent TV programme making.
Anyway, where did I start out? Oh yes, youth culture.
Starting in the 1950s and 60s there were Teddy Boys, Mods and Beatniks, then Hippies, Heavy Rockers, Punk, New Romantics, Ravers, Grunge and then … it all petered off. It seemed to coincide with the diversification, some might say degeneration of youth culture into a number of sub-genres and manufactured crazes the media lost a youth movement to blame for society’s ills.
Now we have the hoody for that.
What has happened is that youth culture such as Cosplay have become the source of positive headlines. Their roots in eastern culture and the almost virgin and unsullied medium of video games means they are safe territory and provide vivid and exciting visual content for a predominantly visual medium. The Web.
Cosplay has a side benefit for the tabloids that I haven’t seen them exploit yet. Maybe because of the problems with BDSM that the recent criminal justice act could cause they haven’t picked up on Hentai. Then again, tits over breakfast is one thing, hogtied girls in school uniform is another.