The Exhibitionist Generation

Susan Anderson

by Susan Anderson | August 13, 2012 @ 12:00PM

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Walk down any street in America, and you’ll see that skin is in. This fashion revolution didn’t sneak up on us, but one could argue that Generation Z (those born after 1995) loves pushing the boundaries.

Generation Z has been the first generation to grow-up with highly sophisticated media and computer technology and unparalleled access to the internet and social media networks which has led to greater information-sharing and decreasing personal privacy. And Generation Z has embraced it. It has made them technology savvy and fashion forward. It has made them proud of who they are and aware of their strengths and weaknesses. It has empowered them to be leaders and also highlighted their insecurities. They are motivated to stand out in this crowded and connected world. And they’re choosing to do it with their bodies.

They didn’t get to this place all on their own. As generational divides were forming, fashion was evolving. As the long petticoats and ankle-length dresses at the turn of the century gave way to the knee-length flapper dresses of the 1920’s, destiny was set in motion to lead up the one of the most revealing eras in fashion. Today, mini-skirts, plunging necklines and backless dresses are in, and the biggest names in film, television and music are all competing to have the freshest look and hottest headlines. This is now the time where nude photos and sex-tape videos are the norm and posing for Playboy isn’t a sign your career is over but a sign of confidence and empowerment. The ‘teen queens’ are shedding their squeaky clean images at earlier ages to lure a more mature audience into their fold to be able to take on edgier roles to increase their fame and wealth. Miley Cyrus stripped down at 15 for Vanity Fair, pole danced at the 2009 Teen Choice awards and visited the happiest place on earth sans bra in 2012.

Gen X is taking note and following suit. The shorts are shorter, the necklines lower and the need to be sexy is setting in at much earlier ages. Ever browse Facebook? More teens are pouting their lips and taking sexy photos and posting for all the world to see. They want to be noticed, desired and adored. To achieve this more teens and young adults are opting for plastic surgery to enhance their breasts and plump their lips. They’re strutting their stuff down the streets and through the malls of America. They wear their fashion as if they were holding giant signs above their heads with the writing “Look at Me!’.

In short, Gen X is not shy or meek or modest. They are exhibitionists and I only expect them to take fashion and public behavior to new heights as they mature into adulthood.

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