Why Teenagers Like Winehouse

Posted on: 01/28/08 1:39 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Many of you saw my last post about Amy Winehouse’s recent troubles and how we can respond. The more interesting phenomenon is why teenagers aren’t critical of her, when they ARE critical of celebs like Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, etc.

17 year old writer Jemina Owen chimes in with her theory in this article:

Perhaps part of her appeal is her honesty regarding her very obvious problems. So many celebrities appear to spend their lives trying to glaze over the rough patches in their lives to present a ‘clean’ image to the media – whether it be Victoria Beckham staunchly defending her ‘healthy attitude towards food and weight’ (though we’ve yet to see a photo of her tucking away a burger to put our minds at ease) or Lindsay Lohan rolling her Bambi eyes and moaning at how the press portray her as some kind of ‘wild girl’ when in fact she likes nothing more than a cup of tea and a good book.

Winehouse, on the other hand, makes no attempt to cover up the mess her life is in, and you only have to read the pitiful interviews with her father to gain an uncomfortable amount of insight into the heartache that drug addiction, an eating disorder and a husband locked away in prison bring to her loving parents who wonder where on earth they went wrong.

Honestly, I don’t think any of us would want to swap our lives for Winehouse’s. But maybe at times teenagers feel they can relate to some aspect of Winehouse’s plight – whether they be going out with a guy Dad can’t stand, or desperate to persuade Mum that a tattoo doesn’t screw up your chances of getting a decent job. However big a mess Winehouse makes of things, hundreds of messages of support from her fans reinforce that there are still people rooting for her. For teens, it’s a comforting message in a world that can often seem unforgiving – no matter how much you screw up, there will still be people who want you to shine.

Two observations:

  1. Authenticity is huge with this generation.
  2. Forgiveness is still something that people seek today. Jesus seemed to “reek” forgiveness and people sought Him out. What do we reek of?

… something to consider as we try to reach out to this generation.

(thanks to Anastasia for the link)