Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Do Teenagers romanticize death?
My daughter is enamored with Perry “If I die young” Is this healthy?
Teenagers romanticize everything. Is it healthy? Hell, no!
Teenagers can be very literal in their perception of the world. Our culture has an underlying mythology which glorifies love and sacrifice as a means to redemption. The combination of that literal perception and our cultural mythology works to feed our teen’s
dangerous flirtation with death. The Perry video you mentioned depicts this myth.
But more worrisome is the video by Eminem and Rihanna, which illustrates the consequences of it:
The fatalistic Romeo and Juliet type thinking depicted here is also popularized in Twilight.
It is just such dysfunctional romanticized bullshit that leads to chaotic sacrifice-based relationships. In our culture WE reinforce the notion that our naive daughters should find insane partners who expect and demand sacrifice from them.
Our daughters are taught to feel this is true love. They are just living out the story they have been taught.
They should instead be taught to protect themselves and run from anyone whom does not treat them with respect and equality. But in our culture, as the Eminem/Rihanna video stated, they “LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE!”
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
The Granny Doctor adds:
Teens romanticize everything because they have not yet had any real experience. They think that they have, because the ideas are in their heads- and in a teen’s mind, a feeling and a reality are the same thing. Until they come face to face with the real thing, it is pointless to try to reason with them. You can’t tell a teen anything- not unless you are Rihanna or Eminem or someone else who is not their parent or authority figure.
Granny wouldn’t dream of telling them anything. Instead, she will just share a story from her own teen years.
When I was growing up, I was an outsider. A hyper-sensitive artist from birth, I seemed to be living in a different world that neither I nor those around me understood. I was deeply
attracted to the idea of insanity because it made more sense to me than the other reality I felt no part in. I read books such as The Snake Pit and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and The Bell Jar, and I felt I had finally found my peers. The idea of insanity and death seemed romantic and attractive, right up to the point where one of my closest friends was committed to a psychiatric ward and never came out.
My idea of insanity and death as ROMANTIC came to an end the week that Sandy locked herself in a closet and set herself on fire. What was left was the image of a charred, unconscious, lost young girl who died after two days of hellish pain without ever speaking
You will learn, teens, you will learn. Death is only romantic until the bowels loosen and the eyes roll back and the flatline keens it’s eerie song. That’s about all that Granny has
to say about the romance of death.