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On being a teenage girl in your 20s | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

It was hell being a teenager, writes Shit You Should Care About’s Lucy Blakiston. Six years later, it’s all I want to be.

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You know when you’ve been away from something long enough you forget how shit it was and want to do it again? It’s why people keep giving birth even though it hurt the first time, why we go back to our exes even though they suck, and why, even though hell was being a teenage girl, right now she’s all I want to be.

As I type this I’m wearing chipped pinked nail polish, a beaded friendship bracelet, and orange jelly shoes. I spent last night talking to my besties about how excited we are for Taylor Swift’s 1989 re-release, reminiscing about when it first came out (we were 17), and planning our sparkly outfits for when we see her next year.

Sparkly outfit inspo for seeing Taylor in ’24. (Photo: Scott Legato/TAS23/Getty Images)

I’ve recently moved home to a room with curtains covered in glittery flowers, One Direction posters on the walls, and a Chicken Soup For the Teenage Soul beside the bed. I go online and am served a platter of The Summer I Turned Pretty (or edits of it), the Jonas Brothers being back on tour (or edits of it) and the Barbie movie (or edits of it). I’m listening to Lorde’s Pure Heroine, Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now, and anything Olivia Rodrigo throws in my direction.

I’m a 25-year-old teenage girl.

The last time I was a teenage girl was six years ago and I thought for sure that was gonna be the hardest time of my life. But something about losing a sibling, losing a few years to the pandemic, and re-entering a world that feels like it’s operating on borrowed time has given those years a halo. Luckily it’s never been easier to go back.

The pop culture we grew up with as teenagers is now being reinvented as pop culture we get to consume as 20-somethings, which means all we want to do is dive under our baby pink duvets and drink in the blue light of our upgraded iPod touches (aka iPhones). In the past few years alone we’ve seen reboots and reunions of iCarly, Zoey 101, Gossip Girl, Friends, Sex & The City and Gilmore Girls. We’ve been re-gifted the Taylor Swift albums that once told us that someday we’d be living in a big old city, and now that we are, they’re asking us whether we’ve done things greater than datin’ the boy on the football team. And we’re eating this shit up.

Barbie puts her foot in it.

The purchasing power of teenage girls was already unmatched (tell me why I had five different copies of the same magazine just so I could have a front cover with each member of One Direction on it?). So imagine the power of teenage girls in their 20s who are no longer worried about looking basic, mainstream, too girly, too adolescent, and don’t have to use their parents’ credit cards. You don’t have to. Nostalgia sells, and now we have the money to buy it. The Eras tour alone has been boosting cities’ GDPs by hundreds of millions of dollars, employing thousands of people, selling out jewellery stores for friendship bracelets, museums for exhibits, and bringing people out to local food spots serving ‘Lavender Haze’ cocktails (no wonder world leaders are begging Taylor Swift to visit them.) Barbie has made over $1 billion at the worldwide box office and prompted other franchises that defined our childhoods (like Polly Pocket) to get their moment in the sun. And look at Olivia Rodrigo topping the charts with every new teenage-angst fuelled hit. Us teen girls in our 20s may be little but we’re coming for the crown.

This is coupled with the fact that buying a house feels impossible and saving for retirement when the future feels wobbly seems like a waste of a life, so doing things that give us that rosy glow in our cheeks just feels… right. It’s like we’ve collectively decided that we don’t want mortgages, we want memories.

And not that you asked, but I’m also not taking my own car to the mechanic, making my own doctor’s appointments or answering an unknown number. What I am gonna do is move overseas with my bestie in the hopes that it’s a sleepover every night where we get to listen to Alanis Morrissette and watch Camp Rock and lust over life the way we did at 15. Because hell was being a teenage girl, but right now she’s all I want to be.


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