As crushes go from real-life likes to digital “likes,” the typical American teenage girl is confronted with a set of social anxieties never before seen in human history. He was “really smart, really funny, really athletic, really tall,” she said, eating chips at the long wooden table in the kitchen of her home, an eight-bedroom house on a leafy street in Garden City. “It goes on the best and you can make wings like Audrey Hepburn’s. I watch of them ’cause they give you really good information.”She had ordered the eyeliner on Amazon the night before for next-day delivery. “Garden City kids are sick at sports,” said Matt, a 17-year-old boy at Roosevelt Field, a mall in East Garden City, the 10th largest mall in America; it used to be an airfield.“You work hard, you excel at sports,” Matt said, “you get into an Ivy League school, or even like an N. They see everything in terms of money so that’s how they show their love—through money.” “But a lot of kids who are fuck-ups get whatever they want, too,” his friend Roxanne, 16, observed.In this adaptation from her new book, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, Nancy Jo Sales observes one 14-year-old as she gets ready to embark on her first I. “And he’s been my friend for a while”—since the previous summer, when they went to science camp together at an Ivy League university (“It sounds really nerdy I know, and it , but honestly it’s fun”)—“and I really like him and he really likes me so I think it’s . “My mom’s credit card is on there,” she said, “so we can just like get whatever we want. He’s just jealous because I’m older and he’s immature. During the financial crisis of 2008, ran a story about how the residents of Garden City were coping; one resident, a wealth manager, told the paper, “Someone from Des Moines might not feel bad about well-off people like this losing their money, but people get used to an income level.” The number of Garden City residents who work in finance and real estate has been estimated at 20 percent.He threw it twice.”Lily was glad Henry wouldn’t be in the house while she was getting ready to go on her date; he was always saying things to try and make her doubt herself, always comparing himself to her, saying he was better at sports, and she was “dumb” for caring about things like clothes and makeup. As the oldest of five, Lily said she never felt she had her parents’ full attention; the littler kids took up so much of her mother’s time and “my dad is, like, never home.” Her mother did pay her attention, she said, but she was “always, like, managing me and making sure I’m doing everything right.” So now it was nice—“so nice,” she said—to have someone in her life like Josh, her date, who would just talk to her and listen to her, and tell her she was pretty, “Oh my God, like all the time.”They hadn’t actually seen each other in person for about a year. Ever since then, she said, she and Josh had been Skyping most nights for about an hour, and then for three- or four-hour stretches every weekend, only stopping “when we have to, like, go to the bathroom or take a shower.” Now they were texting all day, every day, even during school (“We just talk about whatever we’re doing, or we’ll say, like, Hey, what’s up, hi, bye”).
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“And that’s why I wanted it to be a date, because if it’s weird to see each other again there will be other people there.”She had enlisted the help of her best friend, Priya, to come along that night “in case it gets awkward,” and Josh was bringing along another boy as Priya’s date.
They were going to see .” There was a five-tier makeup tray in her bedroom, overflowing with shiny, colorful cosmetics.
date, she said—she had been on dates, of sorts, since seventh grade, but this was the first one where she “really liked” the boy. Lily said she wanted the date to be “perfect,” so she really wanted this certain Lancôme eyeliner to come before she had to start getting ready to go out. The school district is known for its strength in sports; in the afternoons, the playing fields are dotted with kids in team uniforms, running up and down. or a Boston College, you make your parents look good, and they, like, pay you for your time.
She never notices.”The doorbell rang and some packages came—the UPS man had two: some squishy neon-colored balls for Lily’s younger sister, Olivia, 10, and Lily’s eyeliner. ” Lily told the UPS man, signing for it.“Don’t tell Mom,” she told Olivia, the package under her arm. ”“She took Henry to the Apple store,” Olivia said, tearing open her box of squishy balls. ” Lily asked.“To buy him a new i Phone,” Olivia said. He threw it at the wall when he got mad at the game he was playing. Lily’s father was a lawyer who worked in Manhattan and her mother was a stay-at-home mom.
“It was fun to feel like everyone was watching you and it was cool to be able to say, like, I’m part of a modeling agency.”I asked what had made her want to model. “I guess I wanted to do it from seeing models on TV and in magazines—it was like, Oh, if I can be a model, girls will look up to me like I look up to these girls.