Came across this post of mine written way back in 2006… and realised much of this hasn’t changed till beginning of 2010 🙂 so sharing my thoughts on the topic that I mulled over then till I post in some fresh thoughts on teenage girls later…
I was chilling out at a friends place on Saturday charting out plans for her forthcoming birthday while her ever-lively teenage sister, Neha entered to be all set to leave for someplace else. Being in casual conversations with Neha has always been a joy, ever since I’ve met her and so a rather prompt question followed, “So, in a hurry to meet your boyfriend?”- “No way, boyfriends are stale news. I prefer chilling with my bubbly girls. After all, who wants to waste time thinking about how to be and how not to be? Hey, I have more fun being just me.”, she replied instantly. The genuineness in her style didn’t push me to think she meant it any other way.
Wooing the guys and catching their attention may still be lingering as a naughty spark in the girl’s eye but if we notice today’s times, girl bonding surely seems to be on the rise. We see pubs or discs or hang-outs and hear more giggles from a group of young girls who are out there for simple fun. Sitting or frolicking around with a bunch of friends that you can confide in and get real, honest feedback is one thing the girls are willing to vouch on. It could be a factor of a better comfort level shared between them or just a matter of conscious decision creeping from a career-oriented mindset but preferring the company of her same sex does indicate that it’s their fun time to let our hair down without guys hanging around.
BPO with its ever-expanding demand for freshers, is inviting a large scale of disposable incomes waiting to be splurged on the latest trends and fashions be it clothes or gizmos. The earning and spending power of the teenage girls today has widely become an easier medium for marketers to watch for as teenagers today have a much more open hand in indulging their purchases on the best of brands. An urban Indian teenager now no longer feels the need to depend largely on her family to decide her basic spending as India‘s youth market finally has a credit card – with no supervised spending limits. That’s music to the ears of marketers, who’ve been chasing them for years.
Connecting with the BPO trend and coming close to the professional world sure has brought about attitudinal changes from the perspective of having one’s own opinion. Young girls today no longer shy away from speaking their mind on the most delicate issues to the general day-to-day topics. Moreover the effects of globalization on gathering influences or knowledge from the affairs around the world and surrounding have created mixed feelings in the minds of the teenagers. Live-in relationships, apprehensions to changing one’s identity post marriage or thinking matters over career concerns are topics they are able to manage sensibly with grace.
Though a large number does get noticed in statistics pointing immature minds considering the unprotected teenage sex issues, a fair number of teenagers are willing to own up responsibility in such cases. With parents also joining in their effort to take up issues more responsibly, sex education in schools and colleges could be a major topic in 2006 followed with social cause advertising concerning topics like AIDS and STDs.
The effect of the globalization trend has also gone ahead with fashion and making a statement in the way you want to be perceived by the crowd. Braided hair, belly buttons, trendy clothes and a cool attitude is what the girls today want to wear. The Hip-Hop culture rising from the global culture mix has eventually been adapted from music to fashion to lifestyle attitude amongst the youth culture. Girls and fashion always went hand-in-hand and the trend lately is being the Hip-Hop way.
Open mindsets, standing up for her rights and a will to fulfill her dreams sets our Indian urban teenager of today to make the most diverse career choices that offer her the leeway of driving her passion along with making money of it. Gone are the days when young girls opted for Home Science courses, more out of family decisions while are now giving way to demanding career lifestyle of a journalist or a pilot or an astronaut. It doesn’t end there. These girls move on at young ages to explore their skills and use them as business points to the best capacity. From candle-making to designing to teaching, they have tried their hands on anything a mind can imagine. The marketers too feel the need to be with the trends followed by the upcoming teenagers and don’t shy away from inviting young woman employees to arrive with freshness of ideas and innovations. Just ‘going with the flow’ is no longer accepted among teenagers. They want to be clear where they are headed for their future. The trend to prove one’s skills has set in and waiting more to show with the young ambitious girls exploring their abilities to their best capacities.
To sum it up, based on my observation and understanding of an urban Indian teenage girl of 2006, have drawn 5 hypotheses concerning this group:
- Girl bonding surely seems to be on the rise. A feature, advertisers could certainly look for.
- India’s youth market finally has a credit card – with no supervised spending limits. That’s music to the ears of marketers, who’ve been chasing them for years.
- Young girls today no longer shy away from speaking their mind. It’s no longer surprising to find them voicing their opinions on what they feel is right. Sex education in schools and colleges could be a major topic in 2006 followed with social cause advertising concerning topics like AIDS and STDs.
- The Hip-Hop culture rising from the global culture mix has eventually been adapted from music to fashion to lifestyle attitude amongst the youth culture. Girls and fashion always went hand-in-hand and the trend lately is being the Hip-Hop way.
- Just ‘going with the flow’ is no longer accepted among teenagers. They want to be clear where they are headed for their future. Making their mark in a field, be it service or entrepreneurship, they have taken their step forward, slowly opening doors for younger talent each day.