Siena College's Student Newspaper

Opinion

xoxo, gossip girl

Gossip Girl here, warning you that the 2007 television drama series portrays a false perception of a teenager’s life. Based in the “city that never sleeps,” sixteen-year-olds are depicted as far older than they appear. The first season begins when the main characters are juniors in high school. Juniors in high school are sixteen or seventeen years old. At that age, the show romanticizes alcohol consumption, drug usage, sexual behavior, cheating, lying, using wealth to get ahead and scandalous relationships. Gossip Girl portrays high school characters going through life dealing with situations that resemble what a real-life person in their late twenties would be going through. I first watched this series when I was a senior in high school, and yes, I got sucked into all of the drama. I have always loved the City, so watching this show allowed me to see some interpretation of the glam of living there. My hometown is the furthest thing from the Upper East Side, but boy did I wake up some mornings dreaming I could be Serena Van Der Woodsen for the day.

The show was definitely my guilty pleasure, due to the lack of reality within the whole series, but I think that is what kept me watching. It was a fantasy. However, this fantasy was not all good. As I mentioned before, every single episode promoted bad behavior for teenagers. If the media is showing sixteen year olds hosting parties with alcohol, having an affair with a married person, paying people to take the SATs for them, and stealing designer dresses from rich friends (to name a few examples) what do you think is going to happen? Well, real-life sixteen year olds are going to think it is okay to behave the same way.

I cannot give you a good reason as to why I restarted the series this semester, but I did, and I find watching it as a college senior far more appalling than the first time. I am seeing clearly how corruptive this show is and I am genuinely concerned for all of the teenagers watching. It is readily available on Netflix, and is quite popular, so I have no doubt that many are watching this very minute. My high school and my hometown never had any scandals like in the show, nor did anyone dress or act like the characters. Today in NYC however, I am sure that teenagers are acting this very same way and I pray that they do not continue to base their lives off of this show much longer. I think for the good of humanity, we should be cautious. I am not saying do not watch this show, because yes, there are some good parts despite all the bad. I am saying be careful with your actions after turning off the TV. Be your own version of Blair Waldorf, a good one. Don’t let the show alter your vision about what is right for teenagers to be doing.

xoxo, gossip girl